The RS200 fleet enjoyed a fantastic weekend's racing at Eastbourne Sover
After the weather had produced a series of frustrating events for the RS Fat Face circuits for much of this season Eastbourne proved to be a very welcome event last weekend with great breezes and, for the first time this year, superb sea conditions.
Eastbourne Sovereign also proved excellent hosts for the combined RS200,RS700, RS800 Fat Face event, creating a very friendly atmosphere, great beach party and very good race management.
Saturday was grey with a 12-14 knot breeze from the south which slowly built during the day to 16 knots with a decent sized sea running. The first RS200 race David Giles and Fiona Clark had a poor start, duck transoms but then lee bowed the tide to good effect to lead with most other leading contenders well over standing. Sarah Allen/Elaine Turner were second for a long time but Lee Sydenham/Anne Vaudrey pulled through to claim second at the finish. Race 2 saw Tom/Jo Hewitson and Pete Vincent/Louisa Fewtrell get the best starts to be 1,2 at the first mark. The Hewitsons went onto win with Sydenham/Vaudrey second.>p>
Race 3 was led for 3 laps by James Stewart/Lucy Matthews until one of the most entertaining windward marks of the season, well at least for the rest of the fleet. Giles/Clark had closed right up to Stewart/Matthews and a tight tacking battle took place for the lay line until the tide took hold leaving the pair anchored to the mark and then drifting rapidly back down the beat head to wind. Sydenham/Vaudrey chuckled their way into first place whilst learning some new words with Stewart second and Giles third.
Sunday morning and warm sunshine with blue skies/small white clouds was very pleasant; the wind had swung to the south-west so the beach was a lot more comfortable. But it was clear to everyone having breakfast in front the club there was a fine breeze offshore and so it proved with a good 19-22 knots very steady from the south-west creating lovely long waves. Gybe corner was fun and there were plenty of spills but downwind was just superb. Giles and Clark were in a league of their own in the conditions winning all three races and virtually leading all three from the start. Sydenham/Vaudrey had led yet another event over night but again had to settle for second overall even they counted a first and four seconds.
The Hewitsons had to settle for third after a bad Sunday with a capsize at the first windward mark when Tom dropped the mainsheet and being the only boat OCS all weekend in the final race. Steve Dunn, sailing for the first time with Jane Willan, was very consistent in fourth apart from a fifth race capsize. James Stewart, also sailing with Lucy Matthews for the first time, had a bad start to Saturday but a very solid Sunday gained him fifth overall. Pete Vincent/Louisa Fewtrell’s capsize tacking whilst in third in race 5 was costly and they finished 6th overall. Hamish Calder and Severine Rees-Jones produced a third and fourth on Sunday but missing the first race on Saturday was costly for them too. Andy and Jill Peters are new to 200s this year but a series of top positions at first windward marks shows they will be a real force when they get used to angles downwind. Sarah Allen again surprised many in strong winds with four top ten results. Matt Davies and Dottie produced their best sailing of the season with a sixth and fourth on Sunday.