Ian Martin and Ben McGrane sailing Rooster Sailing win RS800 nationals 5/9/06

Fifty three boats, sixteen races and twenty knots of breeze for six days solid – the 2006 Gul RS800 Nationals at Weymouth are officially over. With just two discards in this gruelling series the consistency card was definitely the one to play.

In first place counting 13 first places and just one second Ian Martin and Ben McGrane (Rooster Sailing) stole the championship in fine style.

Steve Irish and Martin Gotrel (Magic Marine) took a very convincing second place overall, counting three first places and a whole string of seconds. While they failed to defend the title for the third year running, second place having taken a season’s break still make them our number one at heart!

Rounding off the podium and third place overall went to Spod and Jane Olive (Sola Harken). The points were very close between third and fifth going into the final day but this duo held their nerve right the way through and put themselves on equal points with fourth placed Andy Bryson and Jonny Clegg, but took third place overall on count back.

In the silver fleet Adrian and Julia Coatsworth stole the show with their new boa. Finishing 22nd overall they won the silver fleet in style. The first lady crew award went to Jane Olive who sailed her socks off all week to take third place along with her husband, Spod. First Lady helmsman was Jo Skinner. Having battled with all kinds of boat breakages she, along with brother Simon, managed several top ten results and 29th overall.

David Pike took the honours as first master in 12th overall, Nathan Bachelor and James Clarke as the first youth boat in 7th, and the lightest crew to have completed all races weighing in at just 124 kilos was Philip Highfield and Tamsin Butcher.

By the time the huge prize giving dinner commenced on Friday night everyone was in agreement that the 2006 nationals had been a complete success. The sailing couldn’t have been better (though many yearned for a lay-day come day four) and the range of social activities meant the fleet gelled better than ever before.