It seems to have been a long time coming but the RG65 Nationals weekend finally came and participants descended on Gosport for what was forecast to be a hot and sunny weekend. Many took the opportunity to tune up on Friday in a good breeze with a number of boats launching for the very first time.
morning saw bright sunshine but a breeze of little more than 5 knots largely
easterly but with sufficient shifts to keep race Officer Chris Durant on his
toes and everyone de-camping to control from the South Bank where things kicked
off with the skippers briefing.
and visitors were welcomed to Gosport especially our friends from overseas, Belgian
Christel Cracco, Frenchman Gerard Chauvel, Swiss Tobi Laux and Martin Gray from
After a short rejig of the course Heat 1 B Seeding got the event under way and local knowledge seemed key as Nigel Brown swept to victory followed by Tobi Laux and Alex Cory. Heat 1A with John Tushingham not starting because of repair work, saw Phil Holliday home first from Peter Moore and Liz Tushingam.
Race 2 was
to set something of the tone as with the breeze holding pace but continuing to
shift, Graham Elliott showing a clean pair of heels to Tobi and by now the
recovered John Tushingham.
breeze fighting to move more southerly Graham took Race 3 from Mark Dicks and
Peter Moore (Nice new boat going well Peter!)
T and Graham, finishing Race 4 in that order gave a master class in tactical
close racing with Mark, Graham and John T ending the morning’s racing in Race 5
So to lunch
with the points still reasonably close.
Graham from John T, Mark, Alex, Peter M and Christel Cracco having
quietly sailed pretty consistently. At
this stage also worthy of note that there were 4 different designs in the top 6
boats. The lunch break also brought the
fleet back to the North Bank.
It had been
decided that the early post lunch races would be sailed conventionally for the
championship but would also be chosen for 3 races to count towards Bart’s Big
Little Boat Bash. Chris was trying to
keep the courses as consistent as possible in the still 4 – 6 knot range but
with the shifts seemingly moving inevitable more from the South.
course of Races 6 – 8, Martin Gray had clearly got the bit between his teeth
after a couple of relative stinkers earlier taking first in Race 6 and 7 and
second in Race 8 in his brand new Uno which he saw for the first time on Friday. Not surprising then that Martin also became
the fastest timed skipper over the 3 races.
A couple of
general recalls in race 8 led to 30.3 U Flag start but the inevitable urge to
avoid being flagged over the start line brought a 3 way tangle between John
Burgoine to windward of Phil and Graham.
Try as hard as they did to disentangle themselves, it was well over half
a minute before they were able to rejoin the race, and subsequently granted
Tobi took Race 8 from Martin, Mark and John. Race 9 saw Graham and Phil being promoted back up from B fleet to take second and third behind Tobi in A fleet. The afternoon continued with a little more settled breeze direction but the strength gradually falling away. Race 10 saw Graham win from Phil and Martin whilst Tobi took Race 11 from John, Martin, Clive Cokayne and Graham. This 5th place for Graham would be his second discard and the end of day 1 after 11 races showed Graham with a 12 point cushion over Martin (31), John (33) and Tobi (38).
started with bright blue skies although the very light breezes were coming from
everywhere, then falling away completely.
Ken led B fleet away getting a commanding lead only to hit a hole
towards the final windward mark and watch helplessly as the fleet gradually
hauled him in and overtook. After the
completion of the first heat, Chris called a postponement to try and get some
consistency showing in the breeze, although it was to be indicative of the
difficulties that would be faced throughout the day which would lead to several
went to Tobi, his second consecutive win and his fourth overall. Alex took Race 13 by the end of which
Graham’s lead still looked reasonably secure around the 10 point cushion mark
but there was less than 5 points covering 2nd to 4th
Martin, John and Tobi.
Race 14 and
virtually all thereafter suffered from really tricky shifts and swings in wind
speed but it still looked as if Graham could hold on, especially since at that
stage only 2 more races and the third discard would cut in.
for Martin and John in Race 15 meant the top three were bunching ever closer,
Tobi taking this one from Graham leaving Graham still clear but John and Tobi inseparable.
sailed with the third discard coming into play at the end of it. Mark took it from Tobi although a major swing
in the scores was about to take place with Graham discarding his 8th
place, John discarded the 11th from Race 15 but Tobi managed to get
a Race 3 15th place out of the reckoning. 10 points now covered the leading 3 boats but
they were forging further ahead of Martin, Alex, Mark and Christel.
With the breeze continuing to move more Southerly, the beats more directly across the lake became necessarily shorter. Christel started to make a move winning Race 17 from Tobi and John but Graham’s 7th place was enough to change the overall lead. Another win for Christel in race 18 closely followed by Tobi and John meant that it was getting closer than ever and as 3.45 approached, what would inevitably be the last race got under way. Martin led this one home, from Christel, John and Graham but could Tobi hold on to his slender lead.
was that Tobi’s 7th place was good enough for the event win with net
50, Graham was 2nd with net 54.2 and John third with net 57. Top 6 then all different designs.
Our thanks go to the Gosport club and members for putting on a great event and especially Chris Durant and his merry gang of helpers for keeping the racing ticking over. Stephen Ridgway, Paul Edwards, Richard Filer, Alan Butt, Nick and Christine Ward, John O’Brien, Mike Carter, Mervyn Cook, Tony Millis, Chris Judd, Robert Hobbs, Chris Moore, Trevor Cartwright, Phil Hampson and Tim Rees for their lakeside help, Sue Brown for keeping the kitchen stocked with drinks and cakes, and last but not least, John Smith for organising the event from start to finish. We look forward to our next visit to this great venue.
finishes with 2 questions, to which the answer to both was, if you were able to
be at the prize giving, emphatic No’s.
anyone, when considering the applause and acclaim from his fellow competitors,
been a more popular winner.
Q2 If you saw Tobi after the presentation, has anyone been more pleased with their performance and result. After 7 year’s trying he had at last won his first regatta in his home designed, home built and relatively old boat. Just goes to show that persistent time on the water pays off.
Pictures thanks to Sue Brown from Catsails – many more pictures on Sue’s Flickr Pages
Please note that any entry is only confirmed once payment is received.
For those that are interested the current entry list is as follows.
Mike Kemp Peter Baldwin Wayne Stobbs Phil Holliday Noel Donaldson Gerard Chauvel Martin Gray Nigel Brown Alan Watkinson John Brierley Graham Elliott Neil Westbrook Ralph Wilkinson Chris Forman Ken Binks Mark Dicks Clive Cokayne Christel Cracco Alex Cory Roger Dunklin John Tushingham Liz Tushingham Tobi Laux Colin Moss Trevor Binks Peter Moore