Robin and Ben Wood sailed an excellent series to win the Fat Face RS800 Winter Champion at Queen Mary SC

A fleet of 18 boats arrived at Queen Mary Sailing Club over the weekend of 16-17 February for the Fat Face RS800 Winter Championship. Although not a large fleet, many of the front runners from the series last year were present for some great racing in the shifty Force 2-3.

The first race got away first time and with the fleet still very much together at the end of the first lap, it was still all to play for. Steve Irish/Martin Gotrel sailed a great second beat to open a lead which they then extended to win comfortably by the finish. Behind them, things were a lot more tense, with constant place changing between the five boats of David/Fiona Sayce, Geoff Carveth/Craig Davies, Robin/Ben Wood, Ricky Tagg/Rob Andrews and Lee Sydenham/Anne Vaudry. Carveth managed to get through to second on the third and final run, with the Woods snatching third.

After a slight shift of the course for race two, a shorter start line led to the only general recall of the day. The fleet got away cleanly at the second time of asking and again things were very close for the first lap and a half. This time there was no break to be made and the race was still very open until the last run. Colin Hatton/Paul Jenkins led down the run from the Sayces and Sydenham/Vaudry. The gaps closed to see all three arrive at the last mark together. Jenkins/Hatton maintained the slight advantage to take the gun, with the Sayces trying to get inside at the final mark. Sydenham/Vaudry closed the door on them to take second and Paddy Gamble/Martin Frary just managed to snatch third as the Sayces quickly recovered from turns to hold on to fourth.

The breeze increased slightly for the final race and some new faces had a turn at the front. Ian Jubb and Lesley Bennet (the new class Chairman) led at the first mark before being overhauled by Matt Adams and Mark Rhodes. However, Robin and Ben Wood were always in contention and sailed the shifts well to take the lead at the final mark and win from Irish/Gotrel, the Sayces and Carveth/Davies. Their consistency (3,5,1) in the shifty conditions gave Robin and Ben Wood the overnight lead from Sydenham/Vaudry and Carveth/Davies.

Sunday dawned foggy and windless. Despite the clearing of the fog, the wind never materialized so after an hour and a half waiting on the water, the decision was made to abandon. Saturday’s racing had shown that there are new faces in the fleet who are already appearing at the front and with such close racing and only five points between the top five overall it again promises to be a great season in the RS800 fleet.

1st Robin and Ben Wood (British Steel SC) 9 pts

2nd Lee Sydenham andAnne Vaudry (Hayling Island SC) 11 pts

3rd Geoff Carveth and Craig Davies (Hayling Island SC) 12 pts

4th Steve Irish and Martin Gotrel (Draycote Water SC) 13 pts

5th David and Fiona Sayce (Hayling Island SC) 14 pts