A total of 72 RS400s turned out for the class inlands at Rutland
The penultimate RS400 event of the year saw 72 boats squeeze on to Rutland Water for the Gul-sponsored RS400 Inland championship.
Saturday morning arrived bringing sunny October skies and a gusty but cold Force 3-4. With the large fleet and some tight courses, the scene was set for extremely close and exciting racing. Race one got underway from a heavily port biased line which tested the fleet’s boat handling ability to the limit. However, it was the usual suspects that made the best of the melee to lead the pack. Nick Craig/Keith Bedborough powered through to take the win closely followed by Roger Gilbert/James Stewart. The rest of the fleet were led home by Steve Venables/Richard Brown and Geoff Carveth/Mark Greaves.
Two incidents during race two led to Gilbert and Craig both protesting each other. Both won their respective protest and thus both carried a disqualification. The race was thus won by Craig Burlton/Andrew Bonsey followed by Chris Jennings/Ed Nicklin, with Mark/Sam Littlejohn and Hywel Roberts/Karen Baker third and fourth.
Race three, in a slightly lighter breeze saw a return to the front for Craig and Gilbert who both demonstrated excellent boat handling and speed to lead the fleet home in first and second with Burlton third and Phil Jackson/Gerard Baron built on their recent excellent form to finish fourth.
Another perfect Force 3-4 on Sunday, and Gilbert and Stewart led the fleet home in race four, with Venables/Brown and Jackson/Baron in second and third. Craig/Bedborough managed to extricate themselves from carnage of a capsized boat on the start line, and led to take the win from Gilbert and Stewart.
Going into the final race Gilbert/Stewart and Craig/Bedborough were tied. However, with an OCS, Craig/Bedborough lost the final battle before it had begun, leaving Gilbert/Stewart free to sail into a huge lead taking both the race and the event win. Burlton and Bonsey’s second place was enough to secure second overall.