The Fat Face-sponsored RS600 Winter Championship took place this weekend at Northampton SC
The Fat Face-sponsored RS600 Winter Championship began dull, chilly, foggy and windless at Northampton Sailing Club on Saturday 16 February. The race officer made a sensible decision at an early stage of the day to cancel the racing, enabling everyone to take advantage of the warmth of the bar and the six nations rugby matches.
Sunday brought no fog, a slight breath of wind, 16 eager 600s and a nice, tight trapezoid course. Race one began in 5-6 knots of breeze with Alex Davies showing the fleet how to do a pin-end flier, but being slowly reeled in up the first beat by Dave Nunn and Matt Humphreys, who led around the first mark.
Nunn tacking inside Davies caused a bit of a collision, allowing Roland Emmans and Nick Wapshott through to second and third places. Davies recovered to third down the run with Nunn recovering well from taking his penalty turns to regain fourth by the end of the second lap. These positions then held to the finish.
Race two saw another port-bias line, with the black flag in force. Anthony York showed the fleet a clean pair of heels, with Nick Lowe, Humphreys, Nunn and Emmans chasing hard. A tight bunch formed for second place as York stretched away in his pursuit of a title that has just eluded him for the past two years. The bitter battle that ensued saw Lowe doing well, but on the final reach, passed the wrong side of a mark and retired after realising his mistake, leaving Humphreys just beaten by Nunn with Emmans fourth. Paul Craig scoring a satisfying fifth having seen Lowe retire and Davies, having narrowly beaten him, cross the finish line to silence for being OCS.
A quick lunch break followed with race three getting underway in a rather sunny and pleasant 10-12 knots of breeze. Alex Southon showed the fleet just how quick he is in a bit of breeze, just leading from York at the top mark. The pursuing pack comprising the usual suspects of Lowe, Humphreys, Nunn and Emmans. Tough tactical racing was the signature of this race with the match race between Southon and York stretching away, and the four-way battle for third becoming more intense, Lowe managing to keep his cool and take third from Humphreys, with Nunn fifth and Emmans sixth.
Race six and another pin-end flier by Davies saw him ending up on entirely on the wrong side of the beat, left paying massively, and Humphreys leading the race, needing to beat York to win the event. York was chasing hard and Southon and Lowe chasing for third. Places down the fleet changed massively with each lap as the wind swung and either side of the beat paid on different laps. The biggest gain made by Nick Wapshott who came from mid fleet to third on the last lap, only to be overhauled by Southon and Lowe. Humphreys meanwhile had stretched away to consolidate his lead over York in second. Southon held of the challenge of Lowe down the final run to secure third, with Lowe fourth and Wapshott fifth.
1st 962, Matt Humphreys (Chew Valley Lake SC)
2nd 946, Anthony York (Northampton SC)
3rd 826, David Nunn (Draycote Water SC)
4th 944, Roland Emmans (Queen Mary SC)
5th 935, Nick Lowe