After a breezy day's sailing last Saturday, competitors at the RS400/600 open meeting at Stone SC were unable to race on the Sunday due to lack of wind
A fleet of 18 RS400s turned up at Stone SC for last weekend’s installment of the Fat Face 2002 Circuit. Competitors were greeted with sunny spells and variable breeze on the Saturday. Leaving Stone SC sailing against the tide, the visiting competitors, sailing for the first time at Stone SC did not realise how much the tide was going to play in their fortunes/misfortunes in that day’s racing.
Race one started in a good Force 3, with most competitors favouring the port end of the line. Phil Jackson/Gerard Baron reached the windward mark first but had trouble finding the breeze and were overtaken by lightweight crews Craig Burlton/ James Stewart and Robin Kenyon/Toby Lewis on the downwind leg. The mid fleet enjoyed close racing with many place changes on the downwind legs. As the race progressed the tide turned and got progressively faster. This heavily favoured port tack up the remaining beats due to the lee bowing effect. Race one finished with Burlton/Stewart first, Kenyon/Lewis second, and Robert/Storey third.
After one general recall in the second race, most competitors immediately tacked onto port to take advantage of the lee bowing effect. This along with 30-degree lifts favoured the boats starting at the committee boat end. With the tide increasing in strength, port tack proved to be the way to go up the beats. The consistent Team Kenyon/Lewis won this race, with Jackson/Baron finishing in second with very big smiles on the faces, and Jones/Braine (Leigh-on-Sea) took third.
Race three started with an ever increasing tidal stream. Once again most of the fleet tacked on to port. Due to the speed of the tide the race officer moved the windward mark in between races – the windward mark almost being on transit to the start line! As in race two, the committee boat end seemed to be the best place to start. Jackson/Baron reached the mark first in what now was a very strong tide. This caught out a number of competitors tacking too early on the starboard lay line forcing them to make a second approach. Matters were made worst when one competitor tried to take out the windward mark by capsizing on it, creating an even bigger windward mark for the competitors behind them. Jackson/Baron held their lead to take the race with Lloyd Walker/Andy Middleton taking second followed by Burlton/Stewart in third.
Sunday morning dawned with heavy rain hitting canvas and no sign of any wind. Eventually racing for the day was cancelled due to lack of wind. This left Robin Kenyon/Toby Lewis winners of the event with Phil Jackson/Gerard Baron in second and Craig Burlton/James Stewart third. The first Stone SC boat came in seventh sailed by Karl and Filly Terkelsen Terkelsen.
This was the penultimate RS600 Fat Face Circuit event so all the 29 boats competing for the title turned out. The courses were held over windward/leeward legs, which included an initial reach in order to keep away from the RS400 course which was held alongside.
Three races were sailed on Saturday with winds varying from Force 2-3. The wind flow was rather unstable with gusts funnelling down from darker clouds and shifting 30 degrees. This made life difficult for the race officer, who constantly had to fine tune the course, but with much moving of marks the best of a difficult situation was achieved.
In the first race, the three Stone boats of Richard Smith, Colin Turner and Ian Montague hit the front. Smith looked to have enough of a lead with 50 yards to the finish, however, newly crowned national champion, Colin Turner, found a shift coming in to the finish, made a dash for the committee boat end of the line and just pipped Smith. The second start got under way in a building Force 3, however, just after the start the wind shifted to the south, making the legs rather processional. Richard Smith again hit the front, this time Matt Humphries pulled through to take second spot with Turner in third.
What proved to be the final race was sailed in the best conditions of the day with the sun breaking through and a steadier Force 3. A new local face, Adrian Miles, showed good upwind speed to lead at the first mark. He was quickly overtaken on the downwind leg by Ian Montague who went on to win from Andy Peake and Alex Newton-Southon, with Miles finishing in fourth. Richard Smith retired from the race, having pulled the dagger board up a little too quickly on the downwind leg; it came clean out of the boat with him swimming after it.
Sunday dawned windless, and it remained this way so racing was cancelled. This left overnight leader, Ian Montague to take his first RS600 open meeting win.
1 Ian Montague (Stone SC) 8pts
2 Colin Turner (Stone SC) 12pts
3 Matt Humphries (Weston SC) 13 pts
4 Alex Newton-Southon (Hayling Island SC) 16 pts
5 Mike Bean (Datchet Water SC) 19 pts
6 Andy Peake (Bough Beech SC) 25 pts
7 Adrian Miles (Stone SC) 25 pts
8 Pete Hutchings (Stone SC) 27 pts
9 Richard Smith (Stone SC) 29 pts