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21/08/2004
Gul RS700 National Championships Weymouth & Portland SA

  • RS700 Nationals Plymouth 2014
Sponsored by GUL, the RS700 Nationals at Weymouth and Portland Sailing Academy produced electric racing, with 5 different race winners, and a high standard of boat handling throughout the fleet. And with top performances coming from competitors throughout the weight range 70 - 95 kgs, the 700 proved that it can be raced effectively by a wide range of shapes and sizes. Day 1 saw a shifty and gusty wind which saw Tim Dickinson extend a huge lead in the first race which would never be headed. Behind him a close tussle evolved with reigning champion Paul Bayliss eventually pulling through to second, with Jerry Wales third. One of the favourites to lift the title, Neil Robinson, opened his campaign in the worst possible way suffering gear failure on the way out to the start. As if set to avenge this, Robinson shot out of the line in Race 2 on port tack and extended a lead that looked unassailable. Bayliss however ground away at the lead with some brave downwind sailing and took the lead up the last beat, leaving Robinson wondering if he should have invested in a compass. Another favourite for the title, Andy White sailed clean to take third. With a forecast for more wind on day 2, the fleet were surprised to have 3 races in a fickle breeze blowing alternately round either side of Portland Bill. This was to be Robinsons day scoring 1,1,2 with fantastic boat speed and clever tactics. Bayliss was struggling with 4,3,3, however nobody had a day as bad as Andy White, who had given a seminar on gybing earlier that day. Capsizing on both gybes to the finish in the first race, he trumped this with an OCS in the second and then had a painful X-flag call on the final race. Former Olympic sailor Jason Belben, and Jerry Wales were both starting to put series' together with a set of consistent results which was hard to do at this stage. Strong winds finally arrived on Day 3, and the fleet nervously made their way out to the race course. Series leader Robinson showed he could sail fast in all winds leading the pack round the windward mark, however he was quickly overtaken by Bayliss and White charging downwind, and the race finished in that order despite a quick dip at the finish to cool off by Bayliss and White. Race 7 was held in winds gusting towards 30 knots, and the trio of Robinson, White and Bayliss opened up a gap at the front once again. The flat water at the top of the course was manageable, but a steep chop was setting up in the leeward half of the course. One by one, all three leaders fell victim to the wind and waves, and Belben held his nerve to take the race win, followed by a recovering White and a constantly improving Jerry Wales. So going into the last day Robinson held a narrow lead, with Bayliss needing to pull out all the stops. However, both Wales and Belben could steal the show if these two had a repeat of the previous days disasters. Bayliss is no stranger to pressure sailing, and in the fresh (and freshening) breezes, confidently scored a couple of bullets, with Robinson down in 6th and 12th place in the races. White scored a couple of second places, which unfortunately were little more than consolation prizes at this stage. Wales (3,4) narrowly took the day from Belben (4,3), whilst RS legend Alex Southon (4,7) showed some great form that he'd been promising all week. The final scores on the doors therefore showed Paul Bayliss as three-time RS700 National Champion, adding to the four RS600 titles that he won in the 1990's, a remarkable achievement in these performance single- handers. Neil Robinson managed to hang onto second, obviously disappointed not to convert an excellent performance in the first half of the week. Jerry Wales has come of age in the RS700, and will be justifiably proud of his third place at this testing event, improving all the time. Jason Belben was fourth overall, which probably doesn't reflect his superb speed, strategy and consistency at this event. Andy White was fifth, left wondering what might have been, and the long standing RS sailor Andy Irons put together a good series to end up in sixth place. Newcomer Jon Heissig from Lymington was the winner of the silver fleet, coming an impressive 10th in his first year in the boat. Overall the fleet left exhausted from a very satisfying week of sailing at Weymouth, with thanks to WPSA, and in particular race officer Jim Gollop who managed to get a great series in around the weather windows. The fleet look forward to coming back to WPSA when the new building is finished, and which even now looks like promising a superb facility for hosting events.
1 875 Paul Bayliss Portchester SC 17 G 12 2 1 4 3 3 1 7 1 1 2 744 Neil Robinson Hayling Island SC 21 G 20 RET35 2 1 1 2 2 6 6 12 3 888 Jerry Wales M Queen Mary SC 27 G 24 3 5 5 9 1 10 3 3 4 4 788 Jason Belben Stokes Bay SC 18 G 27 5 6 3 6 8 4 1 5 3 5 900 Andy White Stokes Bay SC 19 G 29 10 3 7 OCS35 13 3 2 2 2 6 823 Andy Irons Queen Mary SC 24 G 47 7 20 16 7 4 6 4 13 6 7 881 Alex Southon Hayling Island SC 8 G 49 12 4 13 8 5 9 DNF35 4 7 8 766 Alex Koukourakis Eastbourne Sovereign SC 1 G 59 6 7 18 17 RET35 11 5 8 5 9 903 Timothy Dickinson Hayling Island SC 33 G 61 1 12 15 5 7 12 9 16 17 10 882 Jon Heissig Lymington Town SC 3 S 63 25 15 8 2 11 23 8 10 9 11 750 Andrew Peake Bough Beech SC 14 G 67 14 8 2 18 10 8 15 11 14 12 822 Tony Freer Chew Valley Lake SC 28 G 67 9 13 9 12 6 14 RET35 7 11 13 891 Stephen Butcher Hayling Island SC 12 G 74 4 9 10 15 16 16 18 12 8 14 861 Eddie Gatehouse Chichester YC 35 G 97 15 14 11 19 21 13 17 17 10 15 904 Nicholas Rizzi M Hayling Island SC 9 S 102 26 17 6 4 22 7 20 RET35 DNF35 16 894 Guy Mayger Felpham SC 23 G 105 11 10 19 23 15 21 16 25 13 17 798 Nick Rawlings M Hayling Island SC 31 G 105 16 16 22 11 14 18 14 24 16 18 808 Richard Rous Queen Mary SC 25 G 108 8 19 14 26 9 27 10 26 22 19 716 Carl Vining Starcross YC 29 G 113 17 11 12 10 17 OCS35 23 23 RET35 20 869 Leigh Albrecht Queen Mary SC 15 S 115 27 24 29 13 12 5 13 21 RET35 21 890 Ian Swann Hayling Island SC 7 S 118 13 22 27 30 20 17 22 9 15 22 844 Graham Simmonds Hayling Island SC 6 S 118 18 30 17 14 25 24 12 14 19 23 806 Nicky Griffin L Hayling Island SC 2 S 124 23 18 24 21 28 15 11 18 18 24 719 Jamie Stewart Stokes Bay SC 10 S 142 20 21 26 22 23 26 21 15 20 25 760 Steve Marshall M Corus Colours SC 32 S 148 21 23 28 28 18 20 19 19 RET35 26 721 Neil Sanders Cardiff Bay YC 4 S 162 19 25 32 24 24 28 25 22 23 27 834 Tom Offer Chew Valley Lake SC 30 S 170 22 27 23 27 DSQ35 25 26 20 RET35 28 769 Mark Pollington Burghfield SC 34 S 180 28 26 21 16 19 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 29 867 Richard Neiveen Stokes Bay SC 16 S 182 30 32 31 31 30 19 24 27 21 30 787 Angus Chisholm Hayling Island SC 11 S 196 29 29 20 32 29 22 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 31 901 Christopher Kirk M N/A 26 S 205 RET35 28 25 20 27 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 32 728 Adam Wright Stokes Bay SC 20 S 206 24 31 30 25 26 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 33 756 Peter Norris Grafham Water SC 22 S 227 31 33 33 29 31 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 34 892 Nick Collins Queen Mary SC 5 S 236 32 DNF35 34 33 32 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35 DNF35