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2015 RS400 Southern Tour at Oxford SC
RS400 fleet in action - 2015 RS400 Southern Tour© Locks SC

RS400 Southern Tour 2015 at Oxford SC

RS400 Southern Tour 2015- 18 RS400s arrived at Oxford Sailing Club on Saturday to find decidedly autumnal weather together with a swirling, puffy breeze. With two races either side of lunch, the scene was set for a great day’s racing, and the strong turnout included a smattering of top ten rock stars from the recent nationals at Tenby.

The sail out to the start line indicated how tricky the racing would be, with strong puffs of breeze together with big holes in the wind leading to the sailing equivalent of snakes and ladders!

In the first race David Brown and Rebecca Witt in 1290 started well and led up the first beat, only to be overhauled by Caroline Whitehouse and Jason McDonnell in 1212 at the second windward mark. 1212 didn’t look back and sailed away to a commanding lead with 1290 holding on for second. Paul and Mark Oakey in 1441 were third.

In race two, Paul and Mark Oakey in 1441, fresh from their third place at the nationals, started to show their form. Making short work of the tricky conditions, they cruised round with a large lead. Brown and Witt were again bridesmaids, having held off 1202 (Sam and John Knight) and 1189 (Steve Restall and Chris Stubbs) who pushed them hard for third and fourth places.

With that the teams retired for lunch – special mention must go to the chilli, cheese and chips which was by far the largest and most calorific meal ever seen! Suitably weighed down, the crews returned to the water for two more races in a slightly lighter and, incredibly, shiftier breeze.

Race three was nip and tuck, with Howard Farbrother and Louise Hosken in 1418 finally rousing from their seeming slumber (possibly caused by such an early morning start) and building a clear lead for the first lap, only to be caught by the Oakeys and 1290. There followed a couple of laps where these three boats were pretty much tied for the lead with each taking their turn at glory in the random puffs.

Coming into the leeward gate, the Oakeys gybed away to avoid being caught up with the other two boats at the right hand mark, only to notice the shortened course flag was flying and sneak off to the finish line and victory! 1418 and 1290, caught up in their own race, had by this point dropped their kites and headed upwind, letting 1189 and 1444 (Nick and Caroline Martin) through for second and third.

Going into the final race Paul and Mark Oakey had the event sewn up and could relax a little. Restall and Stubbs sailed a near flawless race for the victory, with 1441 second and 1290 third. However, this wasn’t quite enough overall, with Restall and Stubbs losing out to Brown and Witt for second place by a single point.

After some fantastic close racing at a very friendly club (not to mention free tea and cake at the prize giving) the 400 fleet is looking forward to coming back next year for more of the same! In the meantime, it is on to Lymington on 19th and 20th September for the final event of the Southern tour (Saturday only to count).

Rank SailNo HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Nett
1st 1441 Paul Oakey Mark Oakey (3.0) 1.0 1.0 2.0 7.0 4.0
2nd 1290 David Brown Rebecca Witt 2.0 2.0 (5.0) 3.0 12.0 7.0
3rd 1189 Steve Restall Chris Stubbs (4.0) 3.0 4.0 1.0 12.0 8.0
4th 1202 Sam Knight John Knight (7.0) 4.0 3.0 4.0 18.0 11.0
5th 1212 Caroline Whitehouse Jason McDonnell 1.0 5.0 (8.0) 7.0 21.0 13.0
6th 1444 Nick Martin Caroline Martin 9.0 6.0 2.0 (12.0) 29.0 17.0
7th 1418 Howard Farbrother Louise Hosken 5.0 8.0 6.0 (10.0) 29.0 19.0
8th 1356 Pete Vincent Pete Cruickshank 8.0 (10.0) 7.0 5.0 30.0 20.0
9th 1296 Howard Eeles Wayne Hancox 6.0 7.0 (13.0) 8.0 34.0 21.0
10th 1270 James Cutler Alan Glanville 10.0 11.0 (15.0) 6.0 42.0 27.0
11th 904 Grant Blake Jess Barker 12.0 (15.0) 9.0 9.0 45.0 30.0
12th 1017 Sean Cleary Mark Hunt (13.0) 12.0 10.0 11.0 46.0 33.0
13th 1446 Mike Trueman Martin Gibson 14.0 9.0 14.0 (16.0) 53.0 37.0
14th 1280 Andy Jarvis Kirsten Claiden-Yardley (17.0) 13.0 12.0 13.0 55.0 38.0
15th 1417 Paul Rees Sue Rees 11.0 (18.0) 16.0 15.0 60.0 42.0
16th 1051 Matthew Sheaman Ellie Sheaman 15.0 14.0 (17.0) 14.0 60.0 43.0
17th 1316 Jack Cook Christine Cook (18.0) 17.0 11.0 17.0 63.0 45.0
18th 1175 Shann Woodcock Tony Cliff 16.0 16.0 (18.0) 18.0 68.0 50.0

by Heather Chipperfield

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