June 11, 2019
It’s not often we get an RS300 open on the sea, so when we do we like it to be blowing a bit to give the full experience. The 35+knts forecast for Saturday this weekend was a little too much though, and to add insult to injury Sunday was forecast to be a drifter. Nevertheless 5 RS300s joined around 60 other RS dinghies at the Summer regatta.
Racing for the Saturday was duly called off at the 1130hrs briefing with wind as per the forecast, kicking off the first race of the weekend. To the bar. Dave Acres won, refusing to adhere to any “no drinks before 12 o’clock” nonsense, then went home in the knowledge that Sunday’s forecast would be better spent not sailing.
Then there were four…
The fleet disbanded for Saturday afternoon, and reconvened for Heather Chipperfield’s leaving party later that evening to witness the RS400s and RS800s dodgy “dancing” to DJ George’s drumming. The RS300 fleet kept it civilised: Paul Watson being the first to bed having spent the afternoon trying out all the pubs on Lymington high street, Mark Cooper on kids’ time, and Harry McVicar and Ben Green barely making midnight.
Back to five!
Saturday morning saw the arrival of a new 5 th man in Mark Newton and another “as forecast” breeze of about 6-8knts. We would also be beating into the tide all day, making the inshore line mandatory, provided the weed and shallows were avoided.
Race one saw the fleet head off to the shore as far as they dared, with lightweights Harry and Mark N leading the way and Mark C getting the better of Ben and Paul. At the gybe mark, Harry created a bit of excitement by going the wrong way for a bit, and Mark N followed him (blind leading blind etc) allowing Mark C to catch back up, but the lightweights got away again upwind. Ben had an unfortunate encounter with a bank of weed on the second beat sending him back behind Paul. Ben then called it a day to go and move house.
Back to four…
In race two, Mark C ventured closest to the shore to take the first beat. Harry managed to glide by on the run, which by this point were just drifting down on the tide, Mark N sat in 3 rd , and Paul W had a nightmare race before calling it a day to drive back to Anglesey.
Just three left
The third race was particularly unexciting, with Harry leading, Mark C following and Mark N getting a bit caught up with some RS400s at the leeward mark dropping him to third.
With those three races, Harry had won the weekend just as the sea breeze kicked in to give a steady 10-12knts for the final race. Just as well, as Mark C trucked away upwind whilst Harry and Mark N were hanging on by their toenails, and worked hard downwind to keep the gap, taking the final win.
This gave a final order of Harry, Mark C, Mark N, Paul, and Ben of those who sailed. Apparently Dave Acres also beat Rich Le Mare, presumably for his Bar-bullet on Saturday, and being in the right country.
So whilst the wind didn’t play much ball, the sun shone all weekend and Lymington Town SC were great hosts for all the fleets, giving plenty to enjoy for everyone who came.
Thanks to Lymington Town SC and their volunteers for putting on the event (and post-race doughnuts!). Thanks to Rooster, Harken and RS Sailing for sponsoring the event and the prizes. And finally best wishes to Heather in her future endeavours!
Report by Harry McVicar