A total of 28 boats turned out for the RS200 event at East Lothian YC on May 4-5
The five-event GUL RS Grand Slam Circuit which includes Torbay, Stokes Bay/Lee on Solent, the nationals and the inlands kicked off in some style at East Lothian YC, North Berwick on May 4-5..
For the second year in a row, the weather gods really liked the idea of an RS event in North Berwick on a Bank Holiday and supplied glorious sunshine, almost total clear blue skies and decent winds. In such weather, the sailing area of North Berwick has to be one of the most scenic in the country with sandy beach, Bass Rock, hills, gannets and puffins.
The message about how good a venue North Berwick was had got home with a doubling of the RS200 fleet from last year with a good quality fleet of 28 boats really revelling in the conditions. The air in North Berwick obviously did wonders for the Bristol Corinthian pair, Ian Pickard and Pete Vincent who turned in a pretty awesome display to record a 1.2 overall. And, with Craig Burlton they really dominated the event. The trend was really set by race two. Ian Pickard and Laurie Dunn had already won race one and shot straight into the lead in race 2. Pete Vincent and Trudie Danbury were never more than two boat lengths behind but just could not get through whilst Craig Burlton and Claire Upton-Brown were a constant threat in third.
Pickard/Dunn had boat speed to burn and won the event with a race to spare with a score of 188.8.131.52. For a very happy virgin Pickard this was his first ever open meeting victory and it will surely not be his last if he maintains this form. Vincent and Danbury put their boat on the water for the first time on Saturday and after sorting out a few small problems recorded 184.108.40.206 in the next four races to ensure a Bristol 1.2. Burlton and Upton Brown, third at the 2001 RS200 nationals, were always right at the front and a consistent score of 220.127.116.11.4 left them well clear in third overall. Eurocup winner in Carnac, Ollie Holden and Sarah Freestone were not at their best on Saturday but had a good Sunday to claim fourth overall. Mike Saul and Sophie Hartley looked like they had a real flyer in race four to lead from start to finish but had been to keen at the start and had to settle for fifth overall.
The front five were clear overall on points but there were many good performances behind. Ripon sailors Andrew and Eve Hartley had some explosive starts and top results of 5.6.8 to claim sixth overall. Just behind was a group of Scottish boats who had obviously benefited from the recent RS Association-supported training weekend led by Steve Dunn. In 7th place, Katie Masterson and Fiona Foulkes was first Scottish boat and showed they really could mix it with the leading boats with two 5th places. In 8th place was Richard and Val Evans who had a long trip, even living in Scotland, as they sail at Channory SC some 30 miles north of Inverness. Mention must also be made of Douglas/ Kirsty Hamilton from Loch Tummel and Kirsty/Sandy McSeveney of St Marys Loch who were first and second at the first mark in the last race before giving way to the usual suspects.
1st 728 Ian Pickard and Laurie Dunn Bristol Corinthian YC 6pts
2nd 777 Pete Vincent and Trudie Danbury Bristol Corinthian YC 7pts
3rd 637 Craig Burlton and Claire Upton Brown Hayling Island SC 9 pts
4th 741 Ollie Holden and Sarah Freestone Hayling Island SC 16 pts
5th 762 Mike Saul and Sophie Hartley Ripon and Grimworth 18 pts
6th 710 Andrew and Eve Hartley Ripon SC 30 pts