A total of 57 boats turned up at the RS400 inland championship at Grafham Water SC last weekend
Close racing on tight courses combined with screaming downwind blasts was a winning combination for the 57 boats that turned out for the Gul Inland Championship at Grafham Water SC last weekend.
Fresh from his nationals win, the clear favourite was Nick Craig who, with Keith Bedborough, always set the pace. Challengers included the current 200 National Champion, Lee Sydenham, sailing with the current 200 Inland Champion, Tom Hewitson.
The start of race 1 coincided nicely with a viscous squall resulting in some early swims whilst the leaders powered off up the beat. Phil Jackson/Gerard Baron proved held on to the lead for 3 laps before Craig/Bedborough passed them on the 3rd run. Jackson fought back, re-passing them a couple of times before finally succumbing to the pressure and allowed Craig and the usual suspects through.
Race 2 saw Craig/Bedborough once again at the front. This time they led from start to finish but were pushed hard all the way by Burlton & Bonsey in 2nd. A moment’s lapse of concentration saw Burlton/Bonsey swimming on the last gybe, however, allowing Mark/Sam Littlejohn through to 2nd.
By the start of race 3 the number of boats on the water was somewhat reduced. A huge windshift on the first run nearly allowed the Littlejohns through but Craig/Bedborough managed to stay ahead from where they powered off to a substantial lead.
Sunday, and the Littlejohn sailed a faultless race for 4 laps, closely followed by Craig/Bedborough in 2nd trying everything to get past. Finally, they took the lead on the final beat and held on to the finish.
Chris Jennings/Ed Nicklin won race 4 by about 5 minutes. The chasing pack had a close battle for 2nd place with Roger Gilbert/Greebo leading ahead of Craig/Bedborough.
In a force 4, Gilbert/Greebo led the final race from start to finish whilst Jennings & Nicklin sailed another incredible race to finish 2nd.
Nick Craig & Keith Bedborough: 7 points
Chris Jennings & Ed Nicklin: 10 points
Mark & Sam Littlejohn 15 points
Craig Burlton & Andrew Bonsey 22 points
Roger Gilbert & Mark Greaves 23 points