Datchet Water SC played host the Gul RS Pursuit race last weekend

The first attempt to run the GUL RS Pursuit Race in November never hit the water with a flat calm and fog beside Windsor Castle. Datchet Water SC kindly agreed to a re-run and the RS family met at Datchet on Saturday 21 January under reasonable winter sun and not a bad looking breeze around the top end of a Force 2-3. Afloat the trapeze boats were looking hopeful as they got out onto their wires and the 400s were powered up on the reaches. The wind was though surprisingly patchy over the M-shaped course with a long tight reach across the bottom.

In race 1 Tom/Jo Hewitson and Geoff Carveth/Emma Clarke were swapping places in their 200s in the lead but it was soon evident the 400s were making quick in roads and the 800s were going to be very close. As the last few minutes approached the 400s were rapidly pulling through the 200s but the 800 of Alan/Jane Olive were on a charge and hit the front in the last two minutes or had they? Nick Craig/James Stewart in their 400 had got real pressure on a reach early on to pull well clear of the rest of the 400s and took the lead in the race with 20 minutes to go. By the finish they were over the horizon over a leg ahead of the Olives, with the Hewitsons third and Roger Gilbert/Fiona Clark fourth in a 400.

The wind had slightly eased for the start of the second race and David Giles/Kita Carpenter escaped the quality 200 fleet on the first lap, about the only boat to make a kite work on the tight reach all day. With the wind slowly fading the 200s were proving impossible to catch and were going to pack out the leading positions eventually taking seven of the top ten places. Giles/Carpenter were miles clear but with the Hewitsons and Carveth/Clark always in the top five overall victory depended on how far through the 200s Craig/Stewart could get. With Carveth/Clark securing second in the dying wind Craig/Stewart moving into sixth in the last five minutes was crucial. The trapeze boats made up very little ground and the Olives were the first trapeze boat limping in a distant 21st.

Craig/Stewart were on the same points as Carveth/Clark but won overall having won a race. The Olives were the first 800 in 12th place. Paul Craft from Teign Corinthian was the first Vareo, sailed off PN 1050, in 14th proving competitive against other RS classes when sailed off a true PN. Andy Hessig was the first 600 in 18th and Tim Keen the first 300 in 19th.

Overall Results

1. RS400 1237 Nick Craig James Stewart 7

2. RS200 751 Geoff Carveth Emma Clark 7

3. RS200 772 Tom and Jo Hewitson 8

4. RS200 1133 Colin Smith Rachael Williamson 10

5. RS200 753 David Giles Kita Carpenter 11

6. RS400 1161 Roger Gilbert Fiona Clark 11

7. RS200 927 Trudie Danbury Karen Baker 13

8. RS400 1236 Richard Bone Dan Martin 16

9. RS200 1077 Pete Vincent Tessa Nicholls 19

10 RS200 1103 Alex Taylor Sam 22