The 2001 RS inland championships at Grafham Water SC on 6-7 October has to go down as one of the most spectacular events this year. One of the worst weather forecasts that could be imagined did not stop 254 boats across six classes entering the event with the Met Office words “expect severe structural damage due to very strong winds” ringing in their ears.

On Saturday the wind was Force 4-6 with regular big lumps of Force 7. There was plenty of rain but also long periods of sunshine. The classes were split over three courses, the 800/600s were on a trapezoid with the 800s on the inner loop and 600s on the outer loop. The 200/700s were also on a trapezoid while the 300/400s had their own course with the 400s doing straight windward/leeward with two leeward marks and the 300s on a triangle with their own leeward mark. The Race Management was out of the top draw with four races completed on all courses in four and a half hours with never a doubt that races were going to be held. The fleets were huge with 65 RS200s, 15 RS300s, 84 RS400s, 45 RS600s, 12 RS700s and 33 RS800s. The sight from the clubhouse was impressive as the whole lake was filled with the three race tracks with superb action and many spectacular capsizes to keep the spectators happy. It is testimony to both the sailors and the boats that well over 80 per cent of the competitors finished at least three races on Saturday in extremely testing conditions. There were a vast number of capsizes but the rescue boats were never stretched with only one mast breakage and only a tiny handful of competitors needing help.

Sunday saw slightly different race organisation with club racing using a course area the RS fleets were rotated on two courses. The day began with a Force 4, but it started to rise steadily during race two, with race three seeing winds well over 30 knots. As the forecast was for a severe Force 9 to arrive on Sunday afternoon the final 200/700 start was abandoned. The squall promptly eased, and the Race Officer went for another start. Although the wind was around a Force 5-6, the remaining fleet raced extremely hard. An hour later the forecast force 9 arrived, producing large waves on the lake along with hard, driving rain. Good timing!

Overall Results


1. Tom Hewitson/Lizzie Humphries, RNCYC 10pts

2. Jon Lewis/Paula Hall, Burghfield 14 pts

3. Penny Mountford/Karen Main, RNSA 19 pts

4. Pete Vincent/Trudie Danbury, Bristol CYC 19 pts

5. Steve Dunn/Lucy Davey, Stewartby 28 pts

6. Ian Pickard/Laurie Dunn, Bristol CYC 34 pts

7. Chris Jenkins/Rachael Jenkins , Frampton 35 pts

8. Colin Staite/Jo Beston, Bartley 63 pts

9. Chris Darling/Helen Toms, Itchenor 64 pts

10. Buzz Keck/Pippa Williams, Hayling ISC 66 pts


1. Will Gulliver, Oxford SC 5 pts

2. Nick Bolland, Draycote SC 11 pts

3. Matt Thursfield, Chelmarsh SC 17 pts

4. Steve Cook, Hill Head SC 21 pts

5. Jamie Mawson, Ulley SC 23 pts


1st Nick Craig/Keith Bedborough, Frensham Pond 7 pts

2nd Craig Burlton/Richard Brown, Northampton 13 pts

3rd Paul Goodison/James Date, Ulley 13 pts

4th Roger Gilbert/James Stewart, Frensham Pond 18 pts

5th Chris Jennings/Ed Nicklin, Burghfield 33 pts

6th Greg O’Brien/John Blundell, Sutton 47 pts

7th Russ Gibbs/Jayne Singleton, Starcross 48 pts

8th Dan Vincent/Adrian Lynham, Stokes Bay 53 pts

9th Colin Smith/Mark Greaves, Leigh & Lowton 68 pts

10th Phil Jackson/Gerard Barron, Parkstone 72 pts


1. Andrew Peake, Bough Beech 14 2. Andy Irons, Bough Beech 15 3. Brian Greensmith, Calshott 16 pts

4. David Geal, Eastbourne Sovereign 21 pts

5. R Smith, Stone 24 pts

6. Anthony York, Northampton 32 pts

7. Ian Walters, Grafham Water 35 pts

8. Peter Saunders, Datchet Water 38 pts


1st 741, Andy White, Stokes Bay SC

2nd 716, Carl Vining, Queen Mary SC

3rd 762, Tim Johnson, Chew Val