November 9, 2019
Twelve RS600s attended the RS End of Seasons sponsored by Volvo and Rooster at Rutland Sailing Club. It was a decent number considering the rugby world cup final and the forecast. The dismal performance of the England Team set the tone for a disappointing first day with no sailing due to high winds and then not enough time to run the two hour pursuit race after a postponement. All was not lost though as several went out for a blast, we got a free reusable cup from Volvo (not just any cup!) and a hat from Rooster so we were already taking home more than the rugby team.
Day two was the opposite end of the spectrum with light winds and four races planned. A big day as it was the first time the new “black sails” were up against the old. There seems to be a real buzz about the RS600 fleet at the moment with several sailors in the changing room from different fleets commenting on the increasing numbers, and saying they were on the look out to buy boats. Everyone said they loved the look of the new sail!
Race one saw shifty conditions and some close racing between the top three: Chris Haslam, Richard Smith and Jamie Mawson finishing in that order. They were too far in front for me to give any kind of commentary on their race after a poor choice up the beat sent me to 9th. All was not lost though as I got to witness the close race unfolding in front of me between Alistair Farman and Cliff Haslam who were in 6th and 7th place. Just about to cross the finish line and Cliff decided enough was enough taking on the Aussie win or swim attitude, going for broke but ended up talking to the fish after a collision sent them both into the drink and gained me two places.
The course was shortened for race two due to the dying wind. The reach mark in the first race had now become the windward mark. This threw half the fleet off. Richard Smith was looking to have a decent lead and went hard right with Simon Hibbert. It would have paid but they were sailing to a mark that wasn’t there and they didn’t sound too happy about it. Jamie Mawson pulled away to win the race followed by Chris Haslam and newcomer Luke Hardy who was beginning to show his potential finishing in third position.
Race three and thankfully the wind started to increase. Martyn Barrett was showing some pace with his new sail down the run – well balanced sat on the deck looked good. Luke Hardy took evasive action to stop me going underneath him and the result was Martyn talking to the fish. I was starting to get to grips with the new sail and it felt good. Jamie took the podium again for that race followed by Richard Smith, and Chris Haslam. Simon Hibbert was up to fifth but couldn’t take the pressure and went swimming much to my amusement. I’d got up to fourth in this race and thought time to stop messing about! I think my problem was trying to work out the colour of the lone RS300 that was following us around and where the rest of his fleet was? No doubt planning to join the real heroes of sailing in the RS600 fleet!
Race four and I had finally settled on the colour of vomit and managed to find my concentration. I was off the line next to Jamie and tacked away from the fleet hitting the right side which was looking to pay. I pulled away from the rest of the fleet and had a decent lead into lap two. Chris Haslam pulled some magic out of the hat he was wearing and made a comeback. Seemingly from nowhere he overtook me and started to pull away. It was all to play for between Jamie and Chris after Richard Smith decided to rip out his main jammer in a show of strength. Jamie was coming on strong and rolled me into the last gybe mark finishing second behind Chris.
Equal points but Chris took the trophy overall on count back using the old sail. Jamie was second with a new sail, Richard was third with an old sail and I was fourth with a new sail so it was a real mix.
I think the results went to show that the new sail design has really come good. No obvious advantage, but it’s certainly not slower and damn it looks good!
A great time to be in the RS600 fleet!
Thanks to Rutland SC for hosting us and to our RS600 National Tour sponsor Rooster for supporting us throughout the year.
We’d also like to say a massive thanks to our friends at Volvo for their support of the event! Volvo has a long-standing relationship with sailors via their continued support of British Sailing. Volvo’s partnership with RS Sailing means RS600 Class Association members can benefit from a generous discount on Volvo’s product range, as well as servicing, finance and accessories. Follow the link below to find out more! https://www.rssailing.com/volvo-rs-affinity-scheme/
Report by Alex Piggott