June 11, 2019
With a forecast that promised a wide range of wind conditions, the RS100 fleet gathered for the Rooster RS Summer Regatta at Lymington over the weekend of 8-9 June, hoping that the predicted gusts of 40 knots would not materialize on Saturday. Unfortunately, although proven heavy weather expert Huw Powell was chomping at the bit, the forecasters were bang on the money and racing for the day was quickly called off.
Everyone enjoyed a day of rest, followed by a few too many beers and great chili at the evening reception, during which the RS classes paid tribute to retiring class secretary, Heather Chipperfield, after 18 years of service.
Suitably rested the competitors were met on Sunday morning by wind at the opposite end of the scale. In a light F2 the Jones boys, Ed and Andy Jones, were quickest out of the traps and led the fleet on the drag race out of the tide to the shoreline. After successfully negotiating Sargasso sized proportions of seaweed, they extended throughout the race with son Ed beating father Andy, ahead of Clive Eplett in third.
Race two started in similar conditions. Clive flexed his newly acquired biceps to casually cross the fleet on port off the line, and led out to a big win well ahead of Ed and “I’m getting better at this light stuff” Huw Powell, while Simon Geyman kept the mid-fleet boys amused by first attempting to unsuccessfully trawl a mooring buoy upwind, and then taking on the more formidable windward mark and capsizing in the process.
Race three followed a similar pattern, although Ed was taking the fight to Clive and would perhaps have had more success if the RS400s sharing course were not quite so strategically positioned to thwart his attempts. Further back, Simon decided to avoid any further stunts and smoothly accelerated through Andy and Huw to claim third from Huw in fourth.
The final race promised a showdown between Ed and Clive for first, with a win by Ed being the only thing that would unseat Clive from pole. Both got off to a good start, but Ed led at the first mark with Clive in hot pursuit close behind. They then disappeared towards Gurnard in a private battle, with the outcome clear only when Clive came through the heat haze in the lead, with Ed trailing slightly behind. Well behind, Simon was in third, which became second when Ed took one last unsuccessful roll of the dice with the inshore line on the final run, while Andy slipped past Huw for fourth.
Overall Clive deservedly won his third event in a row from Ed Jones, both of whom were well ahead of Simon in third. Huw was the proud recipient of the RS100 National Tour sponsor’s cap, and Darrell Sleep won the Endeavor prize. Despite the challenging conditions, everyone agreed it had been a great weekend with excellent racing at a super friendly and efficient club – thank you Lymington Town SC!
Report by Andrew Jones