Noble Marine Allen RS300 National Championships at Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy – Overall
by Dave Acres & Paul Watson 4 Aug 23:55 PDT
24-27 July 2022
Noble Marine Allen RS300 National Championships at Weymouth (part of the RS Games) © Phil Jackson / Digital Sailing
Day Three (by Dave Acres)
So today was supposed to be light but it sure wasn’t. With everyone’s legs hurting from the last two days we needed a day off but that wasn’t to be.
Race one saw Charlie South the cheeky overnight leader head off for the first reach mark thinking it was the windward mark so that left him a little out of sorts and gave some of the older folk a chance. Pete Mackin played a blinder downwind to take the win ahead of Dave Acres and Paul Watson.
Race two saw the pin end pay and a battle ensued between Acres (with little legs) and South and Watson with unsportingly long limbs and slightly better physiques. Acres couldn’t match the pace upwind and Watson pulled ahead to win with South second and Steve Bolland showing some of his blistering pace downwind in his new lightweight form to come third. That got Bolland all excited for the next race which sadly led to him being over on the start. The heavyweights powered upwind but some of the lighter folk like Harry McVicar showed their downwind finesse on some lovely waves. Mackin was also quick again and the end of the day saw Watson win again, with South second, Mackin third and Acres fourth. That moved Watson into first overnight with South a point behind and Acres sliding four points behind South in third. Last day tomorrow leaves it all to play for with much lighter wind forecast.
Day Four (by Dave Acres)
With Paul Watson, Charlie South and Dave Acres on 10, 11 and 15 points respectively going into the last day, it was going to be tense with two final races to complete. The race officer built the tension and held everyone ashore until due to the sea breeze kicked in and once the 180 odd RS Fevas had launched we were off.
With pin end bias Acres, Chris Hatton and Harry McVicar got away and tacked across the fleet to work the right hand side. This paid off, with Chris Hatton leading all the way round the top mark with Acres in second. It was finally a day for the light weights to shine and Hatton led all the way. Acres just managed to hold onto 2nd with McVicar pushing him hard ahead of Steve Bolland. But where were Watson and South? Both had shockers.
The final race saw Acres and Watson going left. When Watson tacked off Acres followed and watched as confusion ensued between Watson on Port and Ben Hepenstall on Starboard. Watson thought Ben was going to let him cross but that wasn’t the case and Ben had to crash tack to avoid a collision. By the time Watson had done his turn he was at the back of the fleet and doubting he could do better than his next worst discard, which was a 5th when he retired. All he could do was pray that South didn’t win and Acres didn’t come 3rd or better. Both were up there at the windward mark but neither could see the next mark due to a wall of RS Fevas sitting on the reach merrily chatting to their coaches in between races. Acres ended up sailing a bit high to get through them and McVicar slipped through to leeward. Bolland was right up there but sadly found out that he had crossed the line at the start (again), and with the black flag rule in force he had to pull out. McVicar fought his way past South to finish 1st and Peter Mackin was 3rd with Hatton 4th. That left Acres with a 5th, which wasn’t good enough and Watson was crowned Champion on 21 pts, South second on 22 and Acres 3rd on 23pts. Thanks to the many RS Games sponsors especially Noble Marine, Allen, RS Sailing, Rooster, Fernhurst Books and Selden who provided all the prizes, fizz and free pastries as well as to all those involved in running a great event. Find all the results, the prize winner list and photos here: https://www.rs300.org/index.asp?fleet=RS300&pg=results-detail&evid=4018
Day Four (by Paul Watson)
The stage was set, Paul had a tiny lead and needed one good race to seal the deal. Charlie needed to beat him if he had that good race, and Dave shouldn’t cause much concern. So, onto the final day…
The wind was not playing ball first thing giving the fleet plenty of time to drink too much coffee, eat as many free pastries as possible and generally try to stay motivated to go drifting. Eventually the race team made the terrible (correct) decision to go sailing and we launched in about 6 knots.
The penultimate race got under way on a much more compact course than the previous few days making the racing much tighter. The fleet was led round by light wind specialist Chris Hatton who had clearly made the correct decision earlier in the week to save some energy for later in the regatta. Chris sailed well to take his first RS300 championship race win, closely followed by Dave (oh dear!) and Harry. While this was all happening championship leader Paul had decided to start on the third row of the starting line and struggled to get anywhere from there. Fortunately for him Charlie had done the same thing.
The final race. Paul still ideally needs a good result, Charlie needs to win and Dave, assuming neither of them did well, needs a 2nd.
Paul started towards the pin end, going fast with clean wind off the line. Dave and Charlie also had decent starts both in clean wind closer to the middle of the line. Charlie tacked early favoring the right, Dave seemed to want to continue and Paul tacked to hedge his bets up the middle, in doing so bearing off to duck Dave’s transom and then sail completely in the way of Ben Heppenstall who crash tacked (sorry again) , Paul ended up stalled trying to avoid a windward capsize…
Paul could now only watch as both Dave and Charlie sailed away in opposite directions. Charlie arrived at the windward mark first closely followed by Steve, Harry, Peter and Dave. They were all greeted by about 50 RS Fevas, who for some reason had chosen the top reach of our race course as the perfect place for a between race coaching session. Some shouting happened.
By the bottom mark Steve had managed to slip past Charlie to take the lead only to be informed that he was OCS and his day was over. Not ideal for him, even less ideal for Paul who was currently cruising round in about 13th. Paul subsequently retired and had a long lonely sail back to the slipway, unable to control the outcome at the front of the fleet where Charlie was still fighting for a final race win. Some racing must have then happened as when the fleet returned to the slipway Paul was informed that Harry had taken the final race of the championship, Charlie 2nd, Peter 3rd.
So, with the scores now final, Paul Watson clung on to take his first National Championship title. Charlie South earned an impressive 2nd at his first RS300 nationals and Dave Acres a 3rd. And the top three were only separated by two points.
More importantly there was some great racing throughout the fleet, some even better socials and more than one comment by impressed youth sailors about the color of Rich Le Mare’s vinyl wrapped decks.
Thank you to our great sponsors Noble Marine, Allen, RS Sailing, Rooster and Fernhurst Books. Thanks to WPNSA for hosting us so well. And special thanks to Paul Kimmens our Race Officer and his race team for working so hard to provide such great racing.
|1||528||Paul Watson||Llanfairfechan SC||Gold||4||2||5||1||2||3||1||1||‑12||(RET)||19|
|2||520||Charlie South||Stokes Bay SC||Gold||1||1||7||4||1||‑8||2||2||‑9||2||20|
|3||544||David Acres||Emsworth SC||Gold||2||3||1||‑5||3||2||4||4||2||‑5||21|
|4||556||Peter Mackin||Stokes Bay SC||Gold||5||5||‑6||2||4||1||‑6||3||5||3||28|
|5||523||Harry McVicar||Draycote Water SC||Gold||‑6||4||3||3||‑5||4||5||5||3||1||28|
|6||411||Steve Bolland||Bristol Corinthian YC||Gold||3||6||2||6||6||5||3||(DNC)||4||(UFD)||35|
|7||348||Chris Hatton||Lymington Town SC||Gold||7||9||4||10||(DNC)||7||‑11||7||1||4||49|
|8||457||Sam Davy||Hykeham SC||Silver||‑11||8||8||7||7||6||7||6||‑11||8||57|
|9||347||William Homewood||Lymington Town SC||Silver||9||‑11||10||‑13||11||10||10||11||7||6||74|
|10||351||Rob Ford||Alton Water SC||Silver||10||10||‑13||‑11||9||9||8||9||10||11||76|
|11||519||Tom Moore||Shropshire SC||Silver||‑12||‑12||12||12||10||12||9||10||6||7||78|
|12||5||Richard Le Mare||Castle Cove SC||Gold||8||7||11||8||8||(DNC)||(DNC)||DNC||13||9||79|
|13||395||Ben Heppenstall||Whitefriars SC||Silver||‑13||‑13||9||9||12||11||12||8||8||10||79|
|14||422||Alastair Wood||Shropshire SC||Silver||(DNC)||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||DNC||13||13||12||DNC||DNC||113|