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Day 1 – Volvo Noble Marine RS100 National Championships © Segel Spass
Day 1 – Volvo Noble Marine RS100 National Championships © Segel Spass

Volvo Noble Marine RS100 National Championships

The format for the day was to be 6 ‘Sprint’ races. Mo Farrah better look out because, our OOD Barrie Harding has massive confidence that 100 sailors can sprint for longer than Mo runs a 10,000m.

In reality, the result is lots of aching bones and muscles, even tho the sixth race had to be deferred as someone had pulled the bath plug and the water was disappearing.
Conditions were gusty, shifty, blowing across Southampton water in a breeze that grew over the day but always varied between sub and post planing. Lots of opportunities to make gains and losses, but no snakes or ladders were seen anywhere.

It comes as a relief for your correspondent to report that his runners and riders appraisal was not too far wide of the mark. Leading with a 3, 2, (10), 3, 2 is 2015 Champion Brett Aarrons, who showed great powers of recovery at times, particularly finding a personal lane of wind 50 yards above your correspondent and Greg Booth in the last race to nick that second.

Demonstrating the fleet’s strength in depth, is last years champion Al Dickson in second overall, but with up-and-down results of (15), 1, 1, 6, 8.

Channelling his inner Geoff Hurst was Weston based Steven Lee, with a 2, 6, 5, (19),5, followed by European Champion and retiring class chairman Mark Harrison. He took a while to wake up, with a (14), 14, 3, 1, 7.

Cursing his trigger-finger is the Young Pretender Robert Richardson who found the early conditions much to his liking with a 1, 3, 1. Sadly, the second bullet was actually an OCS, becoming his discard and followed with a 16, 6. This is getting too much like hard work, he told me. Wait until you are as old as the rest of us Robert.

The inevitable dark-horse turned out to be Dutchman Pim van Vugt. Unlucky that his charter boat’s main halyard went bang when in the top bunch, tipping him in, he calmly swam to the mast top, tied it up and sailed on, albeit to a 37. After that, he got better and better, scoring a 17, 4, 4, 1.

Chew boys Andy Jones and Chris Goldhawk, separated by one point in ninth and 10th, (just behind bidding-their-time-for-more-wind Huw Powell and Greg Booth) did actually manage to complete every race but seem more excited by the hot-tub at their accommodation, so have gone home early, bless them. We are sure they will be very happy together. Not sure where Andy’s brother Steve fits in this cosy relationship. Watch this space.

Day 1 – Volvo Noble Marine RS100 National Championships © Segel Spass

Day 1 – Volvo Noble Marine RS100 National Championships © Segel Spass

Other highlights include Mostyn Evans forgetting to sail thru the leeward gate before the finish and Nils Joliffe jousting Netley club-mate Luke Goble with his kite pole. I was not going to mention your correspondent capsizing downwind in two successive races whilst endeavouring to pass behind boats on starboard, but there seems to be an insistence not to omit this.

Leading the Silver fleet in 16th overall is Ed Jones also of Chew Valley. His hot tub preferences are yet to be determined. Top of the bronze fleet is Frensham’s Simon Lomas-Clarke in 30th.

After sailing, at the class AGM, stepping-down Chairman Mark Harrison was thanked by all for his three years sterling service and David Smart (after promising to actually come sailing next year and avoid the pathetic injury excuses) was unanimously elected New Chairman in his stead. Well done David.

Four races tomorrow and more wind. It’s happy days in the RS100 fleet.

by Clive Eplett

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