Justin Deal and Sarah Marriott win Gul RS800 inlands at Grafham this weekend 10/10/07

A total of 31 RS800s made the trip to Grafham Water Sailing club for the 2007 Gul RS800 inland championship at the weekend.

After a general recall race one began and David and Fiona Sayce sailed the perfect beat to round mark one in the lead. Charlie Roome and Steve Hall chased hard all the way with National Champion Peter Barton crewed by Bonnie Moody (skifftastic) only just behind. By the end of the three laps only metres separated the top seven boats. Roome and Hall held it to the finish to take the first win of the day followed closely by Sayce and Sayce. Barton and Moody finished in third with Spod Olive and Kate Gillow in 4th.

Race two saw identical conditions and this time, and at only their second ever event, Sam Maxfield and Chris Fisher rounded the top mark in first place. It was only on the third lap that Roome and Hall crept into the lead to take the second bullet of the day. Maxfield and Fisher held on to second place while Justin Deal and Sarah Marriott (Fat Face) took third.

By the final race of the day everyone was pushing the start line hard. First casualties of the dreaded black flag were event leaders Charlie Roome and Steve Hall leaving the over night leaders position wide open to any one of about 6 teams. Then on recall number two black flag favourites, Ian Martin and Adam Broughton found themselves going home to watch the rugby along with several others.

Finally come start number three everyone got away cleanly. This time Neil Baker and Uzzi Hughes lead the fleet with style round the top mark followed closed by Deal and Marriott (Fat Face). The battle for third, fourth and fifth was tight between 2006 National champ Ben McGrane and Tristan Jaques, Barton and Moody (skifftastic) and Simon Grundy and James Holmes. After four rounds Baker and Hughes cruised across the line in 1st place, Deal and Marriott (Fat Face) 2nd, Rob Style and Ben Lister, third.

Saturday night provided the ideal platform for the end of season party – rugby galore, a great band and of course the prize giving for the 2007 Fat Face Racing Circuit.
Pete Vincent awarded the prizes and first overall, with a string of first and second places went to Peter Barton and Roz Allen/Bonnie Moody (skifftastic). Second place went to Spod Olive and Guy Filmore (Sola Harken), third place to Charlie Roome and Steve Hall, 4th to Justin Deal and Sarah Marriott (Fat Face) and fifth place to Ben Schooling and Timmy Hirst.

Come Sunday morning the wind had done exactly as predicted – gone for good. An optimistic race officer held his decision until midday but with little hope of any breeze the event was declared as over.

And so, for a second year running Justin Deal and Sarah Marriott (Fat Face) took first place in the Gul RS800 inlands. Peter Barton and Bonnie Moody (skifftastic) took second place while Sam Maxfield and Chris Fisher took third.