West Country Boat Repairs RS200 SW Ugly Tour, Bristol Corinthian YC, 3rd June
Bristol Corinthian YC really out-did itself as 16 RS200s arrived on a gloriously sunny morning of Saturday the 3rd of June. The promising forecast encouraged a couple of entries on the day and it’s safe to say they made the right decision to join the fun.
A breeze coming off the nearby Mendip hills meant a shifty day was inevitable, but the locals were heard claiming this was the steadiest NE breeze they’d had in a long while. Promising planing conditions in the gusts meant that everyone was keen to get going. Generally the fleet was very well behaved on the line with no sight of a U or black flag, however some were a little too keen to get going for the first race of the day and had to return under the individual recall flag. Locals John Teague/Naomi Pound in 1365 were off to a good start though, kindly leading the way round the course to take the first bullet of the day, hotly followed by 1289 team Cliff/Bec Milliner in 2nd.
The 2nd race saw some close racing throughout the very competitive fleet, resulting in a few spins for the unwary. John/Naomi continued to bag good results taking 2nd behind Edd Whitehead and Anna Horokova in 1710, who were flying the whole way round but especially gaining on the downwinds. Edd and Karen Oldale had come up with grand plan to each get some sailing in whilst also sharing child minding duties, so Edd swapped out for Karen after race 2 with the help of a friendly RIB.
Race 3 got swiftly underway with Karen/Anna (no doubt benefitting from Anna’s experience from the first two races) making the most of their time on the water by taking the next bullet. A full game of snakes and ladders was in play behind, with major shifts and marginal conditions downwind resulting in constant place changes throughout.
Starting race 4 everyone had got back into the swing of things, resulting in some intense battles on the start line. Whilst some boats were being squeezed out at the committee boat end, others took a gamble on the pin. The latter proved a good choice as Merrick Stanley/Victoria Upton in 1078 crossed the fleet on port with a flying lead round windward. However, they were soon hunted down by Henry Hallam/Ashley Hill in 1621 who eventually took the lead on the last run. John/Naomi broke free from the chasing pack and committed to a final lap charge that almost took them to the front, but they ran out of race track just short, ending up settling for 2nd (their third one of the day for the very consistent pair!).
Race 5 Merrick/Victoria were going for it again at the pin, but under pressure from a gaggle of boats they hit the mark and had to re-round. Cliff/Bec took full advantage to lead round the windward mark, only to be over-hauled by Duncan/Lorna Glen in 861 on the second beat. This pair of boats pulled out a healthy lead and were able to enjoy the stunning scenery beyond the confines of the reservoir wall in the 3rd and 4th laps.
Our excellent race officer, Arky, must have been disappointed to have been declined the opportunity to use his infamous Guinness black flag during the day, so raised it by way of celebration (perhaps for his recent birthday) for the finish. Five races completed in shifty conditions in less than 4 hours – definitely something to celebrate.
Sailing ashore in stunning sunshine with the backdrop of Cheddar Gorge, it’s safe to say the fleet were all left with smiles on their faces after such a lovely day on the water.
The prizegiving was swiftly underway, with probably the quickest turnaround of results ever, showing just how professional this club is at running great events. Huge thanks to all those at BCYC who made this such a fab event, from those in the committee boat, on the ribs, onshore helpers and those in Antonia’s Deli too.
The overall top spot went to John Teague and Naomi Pound, with Duncan and Lorna Glen in 2nd followed by Henry Hallam and Ashley Hill in 3rd. We also had our 1st silver prize going home with Douglas Calder and Elizabeth Galloway, and 1st bronze won by Izzy Cramp and Stuart Jones. Special mentions must also go to Imogen crewing in 1340 with this being her first time in a 200. It was also great to see 594 team Kyle Brown/Madeline Strugnell showing some incredible upwind speed, squeezing some of the front runners out of their lanes. Finally, I think we’d all agree that it was also fab to have Pete, our title sponsor of the tour, back on the water with us in the 200 again!!
Looking forwards, we have our Cornish Nationals coming up at the end of the month (24/25th July) where we hope to have a great turnout for such a wonderful sounding event. Huge selling points include the fabulous venue of Restronguet SC, promised glamorous weather, event sponsorship from Rodda’s (proper cream teas guaranteed), and even a fly-by from the red arrows! What more could you ask for?! Entries are open now here: https://webcollect.org.uk/restronguet/event/rs200-cornish-national-championships-2023