A total of 38 boats turned out for the RS800 Grand Slam event at Torbay last weekend

Without a doubt, the RS Grand Slam event was a great start for the 800s to the Gul-sponsored Grand Slam series hosted by the Royal Torbay Yacht Club on 18-19 May. For many of the 38 competitors, this was their first jaunt onto the “wobbly” stuff and, coupled with 20-25 knot offshore winds, made for immensely enjoyable buttock clenching sailing.

Race one saw Lee Sydenham returning to form with new crew Adam Brushett, crossing the line after three rounds in first place. However, RWO-sponsored Barrie Edgington sailing with Roz Allen carried on to complete the correct course of four rounds and win. Sydenham, realising his mistake, chased after him to finish second with Mike Lennon/Nicky Griffin in third.

Race two saw the wind increase, so nothing was certain until the fat lady sang. Geoff Carveth/Craig Davies set the pace in the style of the hare leading easily but the fable caught up with him and in they went. On round two, a fleet of 15 cruisers decided to beat up through the course, adding some interesting obstacles to the 800s travelling downwind in a wind gusting up to 30 knots at times. Lennon and Sydenham steered clear of the trouble and finished first and second with Paul Jenkins/Colin Hatton in third. Race three was abandoned much to everyone’s relief.

All the RS fleets enjoyed the RS Ball held at the Torquay Riviera Centre on Saturday evening. A highlight of the evening was the competition for a Caribbean holiday for two racing on board one of their Farr 65s, donated by Formula One Events. The lucky winner was RS800 crew, Mike Warren.

Sunday’s weather was supposed to be a Force 6-7 but this never materialised. In its place a comparatively gentle 10-15 knot wind prevailed which made for three great races. Race one belonged to Lennon, with Greg Wells/Celia Edgington beating Steve Irish/ Martin Gotrel to third place.

A slight increase in the wind saw Geoff Carveth hit the right-hand side of the course in race three and never troubled the fleet again. Never far from the front, Paul Jenkins took second.

The final race was won by Edgington/Allen showing that they are becoming a force to be reckoned with. However, Lennon’s consistency ensured not only a second in the final race but victory of the overall series. Sydenham took third in the race and second overall.

Overall Results

1st Mike Lennon and Nikki Griffin – Hayling Island SC – 1007

2nd Lee Sydenham and Adam Brushett – Hayling Island SC – 935

3rd Barrie Edgington and Roz Allen – Hayling Island SC – 909

4th Paul Jenkins and Colin Hatton – Weirwood SC – 986

5th Steve Irish and Martin Gotrel – Draycote SC – 922