Will Gullliver was the overall winner of the Fat Face RS300 Winter Championship
The RS300 Winter Championship took place on 16-17th February at Bartley Reservoir, Birmingham. The Saturday saw no wind, a blanket of fog, and a good OD who, with no sign of the wind filling in, called it a day at 1400. A total of four races on the Sunday with not much breeze forecast did not seem to be such a great prospect but the fog lifted and there was a good breeze for the racing to take place
Apart from Will Gulliver out in the lead, the whole fleet was bunched up to within 20 boat lengths all through the day. The course for the whole day was a long beat and four downwind legs of varying angle, creating screaming reaches, passing runs and capsizable gybes, all in a Force 3-5. Matt Sargant (Royal Artillery SC) was closest to Will Gulliver (Oxford SC) in the first race, pushing him for the first half hour, only for Gulliver to pull away in the last 10 minutes. Behind these two, havoc was let loose with places changing throughout, and six sailors pushing for third. Jamie Mawson (Ulley SC) led Steve Bolland (Bristol Corinthian) into fourth.
Race two, and again it was Gulliver who sailed away, followed again by Sargant. Steve Cook (Stokes Bay SC) pushed his new boat to the limit in this one, joining the battle for third, along with Mark Reddington (Bartley SC). It was on the final lap where the weekend fell apart for Sargant with a capsize at the penultimate gybe mark allowing three boats to pass him , Reddington not squeezing past due to his own death roll on the run. Ben Lulham, a newcomer to the fleet came in second ahead of Cook and Mawson.
The third race after lunch, with the breeze picking up a force, proved to be the decider in Sargant’s weekend, his mast bolt snapping on a gybe, giving those in chase of Gulliver a clear sight of the target. Matt Thursfield (Chelmarsh SC) assumed the role in the chase, taking second from Jamie Mawson. After three races, Gulliver had the event won, but four sailors could have taken second, depending on how the results faired in the final race.
The surprise package of the weekend was from Barry Steel (Aldenham SC) who took a port flier at the start, got a cracking lift to the windward mark, and led the race from start to finish. Gulliver had dirty wind for the first time throughout the weekend, getting involved in the tight racing in the chasing group. Gulliver came in second, Thursfield third, with Sargant, pushing to make up for his disappointments earlier in the day, taking fourth.
The final results, Gulliver excluded, were extremely close, four sailors within three points. Matt Thursfield taking second on countback, Jamie Mawson third, and Matt Sargant in fourth.
1st Will Gullliver (Oxford SC) 3 pts
2nd Matt Thursfield (Chelmarsh SC) 10 pts
3rd Jamie Mawson (Ulley SC) 10 pts
4th Matt Sargant (RASC) 11 pts