Fat Face RS700 Circuit Event, Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club
A total of 17 diehard RS700 sailors took no notice of the weather forecast this weekend of gales on the south coast and meet at Eastbourne Sovereign sailing club for the fourth Fat Face circuit event of the year last weekend.
From the off set Saturday was looking very marginal as gusts were coming through over 30 knots with a very big channel sea. The race officer, after delaying it for an hour, decided to postpone the racing until day two.
The racing was moved forward to 1030 on Sunday, the plan was to get four races under way. Sunday looked better, however, the wind was blowing offshore and you realized the wind was still quite strong as it whistled through the rigging on the beach.
Race one got under way. The wind was about 18-20 knots freshening. Richard Smith got to the windward mark first, followed closely by Andy Irons and Jerry Wales. Irons took the lead downwind as Smith capsized. Wales was in hot pursuit all the way around with the sea state worsening. Dave Geal held in there and took third.
As race two got under way the wind was freshening and the tide had turned making the sea state very rough. Again Smith showed how fast he can get off the stating block as he led around the top mark, followed by Irons and Wales. Everyone knew how exciting the race was going to be as the fleet turned downwind in the big seas. Irons capsized while Wales behind Smith took the lead downwind with Geal in close pursuit. Alex Koukourakis sailed very solidly to get past Geal as he capsized and took second while Geal came back to get third.
The race officer took the view that the sea state was to rough to continue and abandoned the final races. Despite being very fun, exciting, demanding and scary every one thought this was a good idea!