A total of 22 boats turned out for the RS200 youth national championship held at Stewartby Water Sports Club last weekend

The second annual Fat Face RS200 youth national championship was held on the 19-20 October 2002 at Stewartby Water Sports Club and attracted 22 boats from as far a field as the Scottish Borders and the south coast.

Conditions were varied and the winner, Alex Good and Nicola Smith from Ripon, sailed an excellent series to take the 2002 title. Alex learned his trade in the Topper Squad System while sailing his dad’s RS200 at the same time.

Saturday’s sailing was run under clearing skies and a nice 10-12 knots of breeze. The decision to run all the racing under the black flag caught out some of the eager competitors but did ensure that all future starts were off first time. As the race unfolded it became apparent that the competition was going to be tough right through the field as every competitor was scrapping for positions on the water. Out in front from start to finish was Paul Dorrer sailing with Ian Robertson, pushing him along for much of the race was Adam Fox and Alex Mills. However, some clever sailing from Camille Parsons crewed by Jon Lewis, snuck through to take second leaving Adam in third at the finish.

Race two got underway with the fleet spread evenly along the line and splitting up the first beat. This race was very tight for those in the leading pack, who broke away slightly from the group, and places in the top few changed on nearly every leg. The race was eventually won by Mathew Winter and Sophie Hartley with Charles Roome and Rachel Whigmore finishing in second after being in almost every position in the top five.

Race three proved to be another classic, this time there was no split between the pack and the leaders and places changed regularly with some boats losing or gaining five or more places on a leg. The consistent pairing of Alex and Nicola pulled through to take their first win of the event, closely followed by Charles and Rachel.

Sunday dawned with an excellent wind forecast but the reality was no wind, low imposing grey clouds and occasional drizzle.

Slowly the wind filled in sufficiently to run racing although the conditions were testing for everyone including race management setting the courses.

Race four got underway and those who came of the start line cleanly and moving pushed forward into an early lead. The team Daniel and Sean Vernon pushed out to a decent size lead and holding off the charging pack Paul and Ian held onto to second. Third went to Mathew and Sophie who did some nice manoeuvring through the fleet. The overall event was still wide open with five boats in a position to win as preparations for race five got underway.

Race five was started on a pin-end biased line that in the final few seconds was worsened by a swing in the wind. The leading boats tacked and found themselves on the layline. After executing a fine pin-end start, John Pinks and Steve Wilson gradually sailed away from the fleet on a biased course. Behind them the tactics of how to a reach had been forgotten by many who sail windward/leeward courses and this opened the possibility for a reasonable amount of place changing.

Storming through the fleet from a poor first mark position was Daniel and Sean, who snuck through then held onto third, boosting them to second overall. Edward Chapman and Tom Peel, who borrowed a boat for day two of the event, showed that they know where to go by sailing into second place for race five.

Overall Results

1st 766, Alex Good and Nicola Smith (Ripon SC)

2nd 762 Daniel and Sean Vernon (Rotherham SC)

3rd 695, Paul Dores and Ian Robertson (Bowmoor SC)

4th 719, Matthew Winter and Sophie Hartley (Beaver/Ripon SC)

5th 812, Charles Roome and Rachel Wigmore (Hayling Island SC)

6th 754, Camille Parsons and Pongo Lewis (Bowmoor SC)