The final day of the RS800 National Championship at Hayling Island Sailing Club dawned somewhat grey and windy, the sun occasionally peeking through as the clouds scudded past.
The fleet emerged into the dinghy park slowly and in some cases reluctantly after a hearty curry, dancing to the funky Steel Strum band and a couple of bottles of finest navy rum dispensed via the RS Boom of Doom team bonding equipment.
With three of the scheduled 10 races left to go, the SW 20-30 knot forecast and ebbing tide were making the racing look marginal, but the HISC race team put on a brave face and headed out in the committee boat, only to be driven back by the waves over Chichester bar. A straw poll of the fleet indicated not much enthusiasm to race at low water inside the harbour, so both the RS400 and RS800 championships were concluded. For entertainment we got to watch the 20 or so RS700s do battle with the sandbars in front of the clubhouse, with even the local boats finding new places to run aground.
So the final results for the RS800 championships stand as last night, including one discard after seven races:
1st Luke and Emma McEwen (Royal Lymington YC) – 11pts
2nd Roger Phillips and Will Crocker (Emberton Park SC) – 23pts
3rd Phil Walker and John Mather (Draycote Water SC) – 23pts
4th Tim Saxton and Fiona Hampshire (Grafham / Royal Thames) 27pts
5th Andy and Allyson Jeffries (Eastbourne Sovereign SC) – 29pts
6th Pete Barton and Chris Feibusch (Lymington Town / Hayling Island) 29pts
7th Rory Hunter and Nick Hollis (Datchet Water SC) – 30pts
8th Paul and Peter Jenkins (Eastbourne Sovereign SC) – 60pts
First Master Helm and Crew went to Andy and Allyson; Paul and Peter were the First Family team; Emma was first lady with Christina Bassadone as First Lady Helm; first Youths were Rory and Nick. Cameron Moss (the youngest competitor and helm at 15 years old) and his dad Darrol won the Silver Fleet, adding a nice silver platter to the new spinnaker they won in the draw for early entry.
The Endeavour prize for finishing every race went to the Dutch team of Michiel Geerling and Jody de Jager. The first overseas team was Gilles Peeters and Maiwenn Hermine from YC de Carnac, in 14th place. First buddy pair were Paul and Peter Jenkins, with Rory Hunter and Nick Hollis.
Varied conditions over the seven championship races made this a good event to demonstrate the RS800 weight equalisation system. Both light and heavy teams found their way to the front in all winds. Combined crew weights are fully equalised from 136kg to 153kg, but boats can be competitive even outside that range: the first and second placed teams were just off opposite ends of the scale. The lightest pair at the Nationals was 127kg, the heaviest weighed in at 172kg.
The RS800 fleet is very grateful to HISC for putting on excellent racing in often challenging conditions, keeping us safe in Saturday’s big waves and making the shore-side entertainment great fun. Thank you to our generous sponsors Volvo, Noble Marine, Harken, RS Sailing, and Harriet at the HISC Chandlery.
The next RS800 circuit event is at the ever-popular Eastbourne Sovereign SC on 17-18 September.
by Luke and Emma McEwen