Fat Face RS800 event at Eastbourne Sovereign SC on 4-5 June
Lasts year’s event at Eastbourne had been raved about throughout the fleet so this year found a full pack of excited RS800s eager for speed and excitement.
Unfortunately the wind also got a little too exited and curled around Beachy Head with some evil gusts proving too strong for Saturday sailing. Wisely, the race officer abandoned for the day and everyone headed off to find the crazy golf course. By Sunday the wind had abated enough to get everyone on the water and with the forecast due to blow up later in the day, no one was slow to get to the start line. Race one kicked off with Steve Irish and Martin Gotrel starting powerfully and led the race from start to finish, clearly showing that their winning streak was back on track. It was a wave leaping ride to the finish with Irish/Gotrel keeping the lead from Jeffries/Ody, followed closely by Olive/Olive and Ellway/Paterson.
The wind increased significantly in race two, Chris Haworth and Stuart Aston measured the layline perfectly to take the lead. Unfortunately, while trying to gybe they hit a huge wave, leaving the fleet able to scream past. Gill/Hughes took the lead with Irish/Gotrel in hot pursuit and Olive/Olive just behind. The Olive/Olive team managed to gain the lead, until 50metres away from the finish an ill timed gybe caused a pitch pole allowing Jeffries/Ody through to win the regatta with Olive/Olive finally crawling over the line for second place and Irish/Gotrel third.
The wind curling around Beachy Head brought fresh waves causing the despair of a number of crews who trawled their spinnakers and pitch poled while hoisting. With the wind increasing and the tide turning, the Race officer sensed the potential damage to the fleet and released them to head ashore where the band of Eastbourne beach teams caught and lifted every boat ashore in the rolling waves. Once again an exiting blast to clear the cobwebs for the 800 fleet and a great win for Andy Jeffries and Allyson Ody the local experts, who proved that sensible boat handling and cautious sailing can be fast. Olive/Olive finished in second overall, with Irish/Gotrel in third.