A total of 41 boats made the trip to Carsington SC for last weekend's winter championship

A fantastic turnout of 41 boats made the trip to Derbyshire for the first visit by an RS fleet to Carsington SC for the GUL RS200 Winter Championships. The fleet included boats that had travelled from Penzance and Dublin. Saturday saw two races in a Force 3-4, which slowly dropped for the third race. Sunday was full on with Force 4-5 regularly rising to Force 5-6 as lumps of wind hit the fleet.

The event was in all reality totally dominated by two boats. RS400 National Champion crew for the last three years, James Stewart bought a RS200 in December and for his first outing he thought he would get his 400 helmsman, Roger Gilbert to crew. This led to much pre race leg pulling and there was still much light hearted banter when the dynamic duo just led round the first mark. They then disappeared into the distance in a cloud of spray to win by a mile. Most others leading contender’s egos put this down to them getting a lucky patch of wind on the first run but James repeated the story in the second race to again win by a mile. By the time they survived a very patchy first run in the third race to still lead the fleet knew they had been white washed with a Stewart/Gilbert score of 1.1.1. David Giles and Fiona Clark had been the only other consistent performer with a 2.2.3.scoreline.

Sunday, and it seemed that the only thing that had changed was an increase in the wind, as Stewart /Gilbert won the first race of the day in style. Their grip on the championship seemed even more secure with Giles and Clark collecting an OCS. The fifth race was a really close race. Stewart/Gilbert were leading again but. Giles/Clark took advantage of a big gust to sail over the duo; almost in shock at being overtaken for the first time in the weekend Stewart/Gilbert capsized in the ensuring gybe battle for the layline. Giles/Clark won with Stewart sixth.

Stewart seemed to have sorted that blip out by leading the final race with two laps to go. But the expression “it’s not over ’til the fat lady sings” really came to mind when the outhaul clew on their main pulled out leaving the main un-attached to the boom.

Giles/Clark had won the battle for second place and suddenly found themselves in first. With Stewart unable to finish Giles and Clark score of gave them the championship by one point. The domination of the leading two was shown by the fact that they were 14pts clear of Pete Vincent/Elly Haines in third overall. Vincent and Craig Burlton had prepared well for the event by adopting the text book rule of having crews that had never sailed 200s and with whom they had never sailed. Obviously Elly Haines and Jodi Dyer must be top rate crews to get that pair to third and fifth overall in those circumstances. Defending Winter Champion Jon Lewis and Milly Parsons were fourth suffering from counting a 15th.

Overall Results


1st Fashion guru, David Giles/Fiona Clark Weir Wood 9pts

2nd Come on Roger, hike, James Stewart/Roger Gilbert Stokes Bay 10pts

3rd Bail the bow tank Elly, Pete Vincent/Elly Haines Bristol CYC 24ps

4th The quiff, Jon Lewis/Milly Parsons Burghfield 29pts

5th Better with bunches, Craig Burlton/Jodi Dyer RYA 29pts

1st Youth, Andrew Robertson/Emily Howarth Bowmoor

1st Lady Helmsman, Trudie Danbury/Bert Ryder Bristol CYC