United Kingdom

08/09/2016
Volvo Noble Marine National Championship

    CONGRATULATIONS TO STEVE BOLLAND

    2016 RS300 NATIONAL CHAMPION!

     

    Sailing photos thanks to Mike Rice

     

    RS300 Nationals – Runners & Riders – The Verdict

     

    The RS300 Nationals is done and dusted for another year and we enjoyed a fantastic welcome from Exe SC. The forecast before the event wasn’t wrong and the event was predominantly a breezy affair. But then it always is – the last light wind event was in, like, 2007. The wind was up, the waves were up but was our crystal ball-gazing prior to the event also up to the mark?

     

    Team Trophy

     

    Prediction

    Hykeham won the team trophy last year with an impressive result from their fledgling fleet. They will start as favourites again this year, particularly as otherwise-strong contenders from Emsworth, Sheffield Viking, Lymington and Prestwick have all failed to enter a full team. That leaves newbies of Stewartby and Warsash to take up the challenge. Warsash have the sea-sailing experience, Stewartby have greater RS300 experience.  Hykeham have the talent. Enough said.

     

    Verdict

    Home run! As expected Hykeham had the talent – but only after Martin Hutchings of Warsash failed to turn up on day one. Close one that!

     

    Junior

     

    Prediction

    This could be a tough one – tough to find a competitor, that is.  Like the retirement age, the limit keeps going up.  Anyone under 30 could be in with a chance here.

     

    Verdict

    Strike one! We should have known Harry McVicar was going to win this. He’s had an RS300 since he was 14 and he’s still only in his early 20s – an unbeatable combination of youth AND experience.

     

    Apprentice

     

    Prediction

    With the fleet boasting more virgins than Essex, some of the newcomers are already going too quickly for the old hands' liking; this could be a very close call. Paul Watson from Bowmoor has already put in some impressive performances during the Grand Prix season as well as putting Matt “Mr Consistent” Jenkins in his place at Abersoch. Even newer-comer Nick Bubb, with an impressive nautical CV, looks quick already, but his downfall could be buying Declan’s old boat. If the choppy is sloppy watch out for Robby Jonesy. Dark horse could be Iain Horlock from the home club, current Supernova champion and has the local knowledge. On the downside, he’s never sat in an RS300 before.

     

    Verdict

    Homer again! Everyone mentioned finished comfortably in the gold fleet. In the end it was close but our crystal-ball gazing is up to the mark. Iain Horlock did exceptionally well in a borrowed boat that had to be reconstructed on the day before the event started and he showed a remarkable lack of wobbliness, but then he’s a very good sailor, damn him. Just pipped Paul Watson in his leaky boat who was top 10 in every race.

     

    Fidelis

     

    Prediction

    Basically goes to one of the old hands who's had a shocker during the week. Could be anyone.

     

    Verdict

    It was Richard Le Mare this year. Actually not such a shocker, finishing 8th overall, but don’t tell him that.

     

     

    So to the main event, in no particular order apart from starting with the top 2 from the last 4 years.

     

    544 – Dave ‘Windy’ Acres – The Emsworth Express

     

    Prediction

    Taking the defence of his title far too seriously - new boat, attended more Grand Prix events this year than collectively ever, even spotted drinking shandy…..You know Windy never makes mistakes but perhaps after the Southerns the unflappable has started to flap.

     

    Verdict

    Unfortunately couldn’t make it due to a family illness. Sorely missed, if only for his drinking capability, and hopefully back next year.

     

    411 - Steve Bolland – The Wessex Wizard

     

    Prediction

    Wizard with gaffer tape that is, which largely holds his boat together. Been down at Exe practising so much no longer needs a SatNav to find it. Apparently the local constabulary still have an outstanding warrant out on Steve from his last two nationals at Exe which could hinder his bid to regain the title.

     

    Verdict

    Perhaps not such a wizard after all, losing his mast on the first day. Subsequently managed to evade the Fuzz, borrow a mast and survive the penultimate night’s drinking and late-night kebab to record a record-breaking 7th title. Has promised a more regimented maintenance programme next year but then he’s promised that before and his boat still looks like a shed.

     

    476 - Steve Sallis – The Hykeham Hurricane

     

    Prediction

    Newly appointed fleet Mr Consistent, looking for a hat-trick in the lightweight category and will spearhead Hykeham’s challenge to retain the team trophy.

     

    Verdict

    Are we good or what? 100% correct. I’m buying a lottery ticket tomorrow. Also took his speed up a notch to push Wizard all the way on the final day to record 2nd place, despite a dicky rudder.

     

    328 - Tim Keen – The Yorkshire Yoda

     

    Prediction

    Short in stature he is. Desperately seeking his first championship win; with 2 of last year’s top 5 AWOL is this Tim’s big chance?  Will he overcome the big 2 or will he be the Wenger of the North?  Perhaps pending fatherhood will provide the maturity needed to mount a serious challenge.

     

    Verdict

    Tim, Tim, Tim – what went wrong? Good first and last day but an absolute shocker on the Saturday – a bit like Arsenal in February.  Next year… there’s always next year, but will require a new striker and centreback. Perhaps actual fatherhood will provide the maturity needed to mount a serious challenge next year.

     

    524 - Matt 'The Major' Sargent – The Royal Artillery Rocket

     

    Prediction

    Recently promoted so now a Lieutenant Colonel and recently back from a tour of duty and rapidly catching up on his sailing, having already been spotted in Weymouth doing the 2000 Nationals. Needs the wind to be up so probably rubbing his hands in glee already, plus the sand in Devon will be nicer than that in the desert.

     

    Verdict

    The sand was better but gear failure (another dicky rudder) and an OCS didn’t help. Went well in the windy stuff on the first and last days as expected.

     

    555 - Richard LeMare - The Mauve Missile

     

    Prediction

    Hot footing from his epic ‘Round the Island in a 300’ trip, Rich has certainly put time in the boat as preparation. Will it pay off?  Will he have recovered? Will anyone care?

     

    Verdict

    Boat is as mauve as ever, or is that violet? No, definitely mauve, or purple. Picked up the fidelis trophy for being loyal. And, no, we didn’t care.

     

    500 - Pete Ellis – The Stewartby Shaft

     

    Prediction

    Getting more consistent and faster each year, or are the rest of us just getting slower?  If he can forget about his day job of singlehandedly building Crossrail and get into holiday mode he could have his best ever result. If.

     

    Verdict

    Won a bottle of his own fizz on the first day for his first ever Nationals race win. Quite possibly his last as well.

     

    518 – Luke Pepper – The Lincoln Lightning

     

    Prediction

    ‘I am your father, Luke’ said Luke’s father once. Great improvement last year, can it be sustained into 2016? Has improved his heavy-weather skills to complement his status as a light-air flyer. Has absolutely the best automated system for getting his boat off the top of his camper. Always draws a crowd hoping something will break and worth a prize in its own right.

     

    Verdict

    Still going better in the lighter stuff so work still required on his pie-eating capabilities. Perhaps Lightning and Hurricane (is this some sort of throwback to Gladiators?) should start a reverse fitness club at Hykeham to increase body mass ahead of next year.

     

    481 - Martin Harrison – The Fishbourne Flyer

     

    Prediction

    When Squibs become just too exciting for Martin, he escapes the Isle of Wight on some sort of prison break to show us his 300 pedigree. All too infrequent visitor at events, but quick and will be there or thereabouts, especially if it blows - despite only being 5' 6".

     

    Verdict

    It blew, and he went well, despite only being 5’6”.  Electric upwind but threw away a potential race win by making a navigational error.  Bet he’ll pay more attention at briefings in future. 3rd.

     

    337 - Paul Watson – The Bowmoor Bullet

     

    Prediction

    Another destined for a top 10 at his first Nationals, but will he survive the evening entertainment?

     

    Verdict

    Top 6!  A bit of a lightweight when it came to the entertainment though, leaving early most nights.  Don’t think we didn’t notice.  We’ll be looking for an improvement on evening activities at the Inlands.

     

    523 – Harry McVicar – The Draycote Degenerate

     

    Prediction

    New house, new career, new dream of winning the Nationals. Has the ability, just needs to hold it all together – a sensible young man so won’t be distracted by excessive late-night drinking.

     

    Verdict

    Leader after the first day. But what was that about being sensible? Tried to drink Bolland under the table on the last night but lacks the body mass and years of experience Bolly has. Results went south as a result. 5th.

     

    414 – Iain Horlock – The Supernova Shed

     

    Prediction

    Could be quick. Could be really quick. Playing on home turf so should know the way round but might find it a struggle to fit his 7 foot frame under the boom. We hope so anyway.

     

    Verdict

    Was quick, really quick at times counting a string of podium places. Impressive in the windy stuff when even the veterans were having difficulty downwind. Prefers a steadier ride though so we may not see him again. 4th.

    480 – Rob Jones – The Warsash Warrior I

     

    Prediction

    Bought Dave Acre's championship winning boat hoping for an easy ride to the podium. After a tough introduction to the class, started to show promise at the Southerns in that sloppy Solent chop. Part of the new Warsash posse; likely to be one of the last out of the bar.

     

    Verdict

    It was sloppy, and that was just the kebab. A string of good results that we largely put down to the boat.

     

    527 - Ian Clark – The Warsash Warrior II

     

    Prediction

    Watch out for this one - he'd shop his own mum for a good finish.  Warsash again and almost certainly the last to leave the bar.

     

    Verdict

    Not only the last out of the bar but also first into the kebab shop. Mum’s safe for another year.

     

    317 - Martin Hutchings – The Warsash Warrior III

     

    Prediction

    Untested final part of the Warsash team. But could have the pedigree to spring a surprise. The biggest surprise at the moment is that he’s still looking for somewhere to stay.

     

    Verdict

    Found somewhere to stay. Although untested, showed excellent staying power and put in some good results after missing the first day. That day cost Warsash the team prize though. Just saying.

     

    490 – Alistair 'Storky' McClaughlin – The Prestwick Pitbull

     

    Prediction

    Having recently won the FD Nationals will be full of confidence for the 300s. Let’s face it, if you can depower an FD you can depower anything. Will still be hoping for the light-end of the wind range though so may have to wait another year.

     

    Verdict

    God, can this man eat!  Despite this the Pitbull still went better in the lighter stuff, including a race win to his name. In fact he was so far ahead in that race we thought he was in a different race altogether. He was certainly in a different league. Part one of the newly-named Boatyard at Prestwick who provided all and sundry with spare parts all week.

     

    336 - Mark Taylor – The Ayrshire Athlete

     

    Prediction

    Having recently won the FD Nationals with Storky, will be full of confidence for the 300s. No trapeze though which may slow him a bit. Also no genoa or kite. Or Storky. Will improve on his recent Nationals results though.

     

    Verdict

    Definitely going better, even considering he gave all his good kit out to the rest of the fleet as part of his burgeoning Boatyard business. Could have turned a tidy profit if he’d charged for it, mostly from me. I guess a pint or two would be in order at the Inlands before I hand the mast back.

     

    341 - Nick Bubb – The Lymington Layabout I

     

    Prediction

    Could probably make a barn door with a mast go quick. As previously mentioned, top tip for the apprentice trophy so long as he masters those tricky downhill sleigh rides. Will his triathlete wife have got him fit enough to compete with the likes of Windy Acres? Probably not.

     

    Verdict

    Perhaps needs to join the current Mrs B on some of those training runs.  Enjoyed life back in a dinghy though and will only get quicker. Picked up a wooden spoon trophy during the week as expected. Some things never change.

     

    313 - Ben Green – The Lymington Layabout II

     

    Prediction

    The oldest boat in the fleet, but only just – a couple of others must have been built the following day. Boat age is no barrier to speed in the 300 fleet though and his ‘never say die’ attitude will hold him in good stead should the breeze get really frightening.

     

    Verdict

    The breeze did get frightening and put in some good results proving that Ben is no slouch. Really, what is that beard all about? Finished every race and getting quicker all the time.

     

    422 – Alastair 'Woody' Wood – The Gravesend Greyhound

     

    Prediction

    Will he take over as Chairman from Wizard and Shaft? That’s all we need to know.

     

    Verdict

    Partial result. On the committee.

     

    342 - Ian Hopkins – The Southport Streak

     

    Prediction

    Not seen since breaking his mast at last year’s Nationals. It was sailable, honest! Hoping to keep his kit in one piece this year and finish all the races. Just don’t get in a round with him – that’s all.

     

    Verdict

    There’s some karma here somewhere. It was Bolly’s suggestion to go racing last year when the Streak broke his mast. Bolly’s mast went over the front this year. Both occasions were sailable though, honest.

     

    318 - Gary Morris & Ben Deacon – The A Rig Arrows

     

    Prediction

    It will be good to see two of the flatter A rigs at the champs this year. Could well be very quick if the forecast is right. Will anyone else follow suit with the smaller rig as their bodies give up?

     

    Verdict

    Did Deacon actually buy the right rig? He looks way too big for the A-rig he uses. Despite this apparent disparity actually went better in the lighter winds on day 3. Ditto Gary. Is there some magic going on here?

     

    321 - Stuart Woodger – The Devon Dynamo

     

    Prediction

    ‘Look what you could have won’! One for the oldies, that. First introduction to the 300 circuit racing was the slaloms - tough gig that one - will probably do less tacks and gybes in the whole champs and expected to find his feet. The only guy heading North to attend the Nationals.

     

    Verdict

    Whoa!  Where did that 2nd in race 4 come from?  Was almost as far ahead as Storky in that race.  I would have been far happier for him had I not started just to windward of him in that one. Some other good results too in his first champs.

     

    417 - Dan Treloar – The IT Irritant

     

    Prediction

    Returns to the Nationals for the third time. Bound to take the AGM minutes and have more gadgets and gizmos than anybody else. Results tend to be directly proportional to alcohol intake.

     

    Verdict

    Overall wooden spoon winner for bashing his boat on the only day racing was cancelled. Probably should have seen that coming. Still waiting for the AGM minutes.

     

    515 - John Peters – The Hykeham Hawk

     

    Prediction

    Welcome return for the old man - well we think it is - records don't go that far back. Capt Sallis will be keen to ensure John plays his part for Hykeham in retaining the team trophy

     

    Verdict

    John and the current Mrs P were staying at my B&B. Possibly not Mr.P’s best ever event, but he and the Mrs enjoyed themselves immensely as far as I could tell. The pink toast option (don’t ask) at the B&B always raised a giggle.

     

    479 - Julian Gunnell - The Bedfordshire Beast

     

    Prediction

    Lured into the 300 from Phantoms by Shaft. Straight into his first Nationals and keen to make an impression - any impression will do.

     

    Verdict

    Actually not such a bad impression. Top 10 in one race and some other goodies too.

     

    373 - Rich Hargreaves – The Stewartby Star

     

    Prediction

    Another ex-Phantomer debuting to make a strong team from Stewartby. Good light to medium wind operator, but bemoans the "athleticism" of some others in a breeze. He clearly hasn’t seen many of us.

     

    Verdict

    Very consistent, actually going a bit better in the rougher stuff than the lighter. Mr Athletic now.

     

    The full version of Old Bolland’s Almanac 2017 will be in the shops before Christmas.

     

    By Steve Bolland

     

    Days 2, 3 & 4

     

    Day 2

     

    The forecast for more wind on day 2 of the Nationals was spot on and Race Officer Phil Morrison called off racing before the fleet headed out into the bay. Nevertheless, as we were all kitted up and ready to go over half of the fleet headed out into the estuary for some impromptu racing amongst the moorings. Low-key it may have been but there was still no quarter asked or given and Dan Treloar spent the afternoon fixing his boat as a result and won the wooden spoon for his efforts!

     

    Day 3

     

    So to Saturday and the prospect of four races to start to catch up on the schedule of races.  The forecast was to build as the day progressed and this proved to be spot on.  Race 3 was run in sub 10 knot conditions with the occasional shift.  An added dimension was the sizeable swell which was running contrary to the wind direction which allowed some upwind surfing as the wind increased.  Steve Sallis (Hykeham) took this race, using his upwind speed to pip Steve Bolland (Bristol Corinthian) who had briefly poked his nose in front on the first run.  Third place went to Iain Horlock from the host club, going particularly well in a borrowed boat.

     

    The wind was up and down like an elevator for race 4 and there were some rather big shifts thrown in for good measure – fantastic if you judged them right (or got lucky), not so amusing otherwise.  Alistair ‘Storky’ McLaughlin (Prestwick) did a horizon job in this race, making the rest of us look like the amateurs we are.  Stuart Woodger (Plymouth) also impressed in second and Sallis, Harry McVicar (Draycote Water) and Martin Harrison (Royal Victoria) were also going well but the chief beneficiary of the quirky wind was Bolland who went from seventh to third on the last beat by dint of an incredible piece of tactical wizardry (or luck as the rest of the fleet saw it).

     

    Races 5 and 6 were both won by Bolland as the wind increased to fully-powered up conditions and the wind steadied in direction meaning the racing no longer required as much brain power.  Sallis continued his tilt at the title with two more good results, matched by Paul Watson (Bowmoor) and Harrison.

     

    Day 4

     

    So, going into the final day and the prospect of a further four races, Bolland led Sallis by eight points who led McVicar by another eight.  However, as the fleet launched there was barely a breath of wind and light-air flyers Sallis and McVicar must has been positively salivating at the thought.

    However, after a short postponement drifting around the committee boat a band of wind could be seen approaching from seaward.  In the space of less than 10 minutes we had 15 knots, increasing as the day wore on, and massive waves.  Now it was Bolland who was salivating, or was that the remnants of last night’s kebab?  Whatever, Bolland had his pecker up and won all four races, piling on the coals downwind to maximum effect.  Unfortunately for Sallis, his frame is more tuned to less robust conditions and as the wind increased his results score went in the same direction.  They were all good scores though and he held on the second overall ahead of Harrison who was going especially quickly upwind and who had a storming last day.

     

    Also throwing in some top results were Iain Horlock, especially impressive in his first week of RS300 sailing (probably his last too) who managed to stay upright and record two second places, and Tim Keen also having a better day after his shocker the day before.

     

    As expected, Exe SC lived up to its reputation for friendliness and efficiency – many thanks to the enormous effort put in by the large number of volunteers.  Also, major thanks to main sponsors Volvo and Noble Marine, plus the Boatyard at Beer and Geeta’s Foods.

     

    Prize categories

     

    Master – Pete Ellis (Stewarby Water)

    Fidelis – Richard Le Mare (Bartley)

    Apprentice – Iain Horlock (Exe)

    Lightweight – Steve Sallis (Hykeham)

    Youngster – Harry McVicar (Draycote Water)

    Silver Division – Stuart Woodger (Pymouth)

    Best Improver – Richard Le Mare

    Wooden Spoon - Dan Treloar

    Team Trophy - Hykeham SC

     

    By Steve Bolland

     

    Up on Y&Y here

     

    Day Three

     

    It was a full on day of racing today with four back to back.  See the results below.


    It will be an early start tomorrow to try to get the final three races in.

    No day three race report yet because it is party night with great live music from local band FAB.  

    National's Day One coverage up on Blue Sheets here

    Day Two

     

    No formal championship racing today due to excessive breeze but fun harbour racing and boat repairs instead.  Then AGM and beer.  

    Fingers crossed for amenable weather tomorrow!

    Day One

     

    The forecast for the four days of the event has been changing on a daily basis over the last week so it really should have come as no surprise when the weather, itself, couldn’t make its mind up what it wanted to do on day one. The day dawned brilliantly sunny, much better than the fog of the day before, but with not a breath of wind. However it picked up nicely as the morning progressed and there were some meaty-looking gusts coming through by midday.

     

    Out on the race track conditions looked superb – sunshine, 16-17 knots and just fantastic waves. However, the weather had one last trick up its sleeve; as race one progressed it soon became apparent that the breeze was up and down and moving left and right quite dramatically. This resulted in four boats - Martin Harrison (Royal Victoria), Ian Clark (Warsash), Harry McVicar (Draycote Water) and Richard LeMare (Bartley) - being miles clear of the fleet by the end of just the first beat as they picked up a nice lift off the beach.

     

    There was a bit of compression when two of the leaders went to the wrong leeward mark and further compression when a big lefty at the end of the second beat brought a few more boats into play.  By the end, Steve Bolland (Bristol Corinthian) took the gun from McVicar, LeMare and Steve Sallis (Hykeham).

    As we sat around for the second race to start the breeze went up a notch and Bolland noticed a new crack in his mast where one shouldn’t be.  Would it last the race?

     

    If the wind was up, at least it had steadied down in direction so the beats were less of a minefield. The reaches and run continued to be superb.  Bolland led at the first mark and had opened up a bit of a gap as he approached the leeward mark for the first time.  This is when his mast basically said, ‘That’s it, I’m done mate’ and, in a splintering of carbon, went over the side.  Pete Ellis (Stewartby) went by with a foolish grin on his face, closely followed by Iain Horlock (Exe).

     

    As the breeze continued to rise there were quite a few more breakages (no more masts thankfully) and at the finish Ellis held on the win from Horlock, Tim Keen (Sheffield Viking) and young McVicar.

    Champagne moment of the day (and a bottle of fizz to celebrate) goes to Ellis for his first ever championship race win.  There were quite a few wooden spoon contenders but Martin Harrison edged it by throwing away a race-winning position in race one by heading to the wrong mark.  Bad luck, mate – sailing instructions are a wonderful thing if you read them.

     

    Leader after day one, and picking up a foil cover courtesy of The Boat Yard at Beer, is Harry McVicar.

    More wind forecast tomorrow? Will everyone have fixed their boats in time? Will we sail at all?

     

    By Steve Bolland

     

    Up on Y&Y here

     

    See the results below

    Super photos thanks to Mike Rice

     

    Runners & Riders

     

    The medium range forecast for the Volvo Noble Marine RS300 Nationals at Exe SC from 8-11 September looks frightening, which throws up all sorts of questions… Just how big will those waves be? Who’ll hold it together downwind? Will we sail at all? With crystal ball firmly in hand, let’s see what the future may hold.

     

    Team Trophy

     

    Hykeham won the team trophy last year with an impressive result from their fledgling fleet. They will start as favourites again this year, particularly as otherwise-strong contenders from Emsworth, Sheffield Viking, Lymington and Prestwick have all failed to enter a full team. That leaves newbies of Stewartby and Warsash to take up the challenge. Warsash have the sea-sailing experience, Stewartby have greater RS300-experience. Hykeham have the talent. Enough said.

     

    Junior

     

    This could be a tough one – tough to find a competitor, that is. Like the retirement age, the limit keeps going up. Anyone under 30 could be in with a chance here.

     

    Apprentice

     

    With the fleet boasting more virgins than Essex, some of the newcomers are already going too quickly for the old hands' liking; this could be a very close call. Paul Watson from Bowmoor has already put in some impressive performances during the Grand Prix season as well as putting Matt “Mr Consistent” Jenkins in his place at Abersoch. Even newer-comer Nick Bubb, with an impressive nautical CV, looks quick already, but his downfall could be buying Declan’s old boat. If the choppy is sloppy watch out for Robby Jonesy. Dark horse could be Iain Horlock from the home club, current Supernova champion and has the local knowledge. On the downside, he’s never sat in an RS300 before.

     

    Fidelis

     

    Basically goes to one of the old hands who's had a shocker during the week. Could be anyone.

     

    The Form

     

    So to the main event, in no particular order apart from starting with the top 2 from the last 4 years.

     

    544 – Dave ‘Windy’ Acres – The Emsworth Express

    Taking the defence of his title far too seriously - new boat, attended more Grand Prix events this year than collectively ever, even spotted drinking shandy…..You know Windy never makes mistakes but perhaps after the Southerns the unflappable has started to flap.

     

    411 - Steve Bolland – The Wessex Wizard

    Wizard with gaffer tape that is, which largely holds his boat together. Been down at Exe practising so much no longer needs a SatNav to find it. Apparently the local constabulary still have an outstanding warrant out on Steve from his last two nationals at Exe which could hinder his bid to regain the title.

     

    476 - Steve Sallis – The Hykeham Hurricane

    Newly appointed fleet Mr Consistent, looking for a hat-trick in the lightweight category and will spearhead Hykeham’s challenge to retain the team trophy.

     

    328 - Tim Keen – The Yorkshire Yoda

    Short in stature he is. Desperately seeking his first championship win; with 2 of last year’s top 5 AWOL is this Tim’s big chance? Will he overcome the big 2 or will he be the Wenger of the North? Perhaps pending fatherhood will provide the maturity needed to mount a serious challenge.

     

    524 - Matt 'The Major' Sargent – The Royal Artillery Rocket

    Recently promoted so now a Lieutenant Colonel and recently back from a tour of duty and rapidly catching up on his sailing, having already been spotted in Weymouth doing the 2000 Nationals. Needs the wind to be up so probably rubbing his hands in glee already, plus the sand in Devon will be nicer than that in the desert.

     

    555 - Richard LeMare - The Mauve Missile

    Hot footing from his epic ‘Round the Island in a 300’ trip, Rich has certainly put time in the boat as preparation. Will it pay off? Will he have recovered? Will anyone care?

     

    500 - Pete Ellis – The Stewartby Shaft

    Getting more consistent and faster each year, or are the rest of us just getting slower? If he can forget about his day job of singlehandedly building Crossrail and get into holiday mode he could have his best ever result. If.

     

    518 – Luke Pepper – The Lincoln Lightning

    ‘I am your father, Luke’ said Luke’s father once. Great improvement last year, can it be sustained into 2016? Has improved his heavy-weather skills to complement his status as a light-air flyer. Has absolutely the best automated system for getting his boat off the top of his camper. Always draws a crowd hoping something will break and worth a prize in its own right.

     

    481 - Martin Harrison – The Fishbourne Flyer

    When Squibs become just too exciting for Martin, he escapes the Isle of Wight on some sort of prison break to show us his RS300 pedigree. All too infrequent visitor at events, but quick and will be there or there abouts, especially if it blows - despite only being 5' 6".

     

    337 - Paul Watson – The Bowmoor Bullet

    Another destined for a top 10 at his first Nationals, but will he survive the evening entertainment?

     

    523 – Harry McVicar – The Draycote Degenerate

    New house, new career, new dream of winning the Nationals. Has the ability, just needs to hold it all together – a sensible young man so won’t be distracted by excessive late-night drinking.

     

    414 – Iain Horlock – The Supernova Shed

    Could be quick. Could be really quick. Playing on home turf so should know the way round but might find it a struggle to fit his 7 foot frame under the boom. We hope so anyway.

     

    480 – Rob Jones – The Warsash Warrior I

    Bought Dave Acre's championship winning boat hoping for an easy ride to the podium. After a tough introduction to the class, started to show promise at the Southerns in that sloppy Solent chop. Part of the new Warsash posse; likely to be one of the last out of the bar.

     

    527 - Ian Clark – The Warsash Warrior II

    Watch out for this one - he'd shop his own mum for a good finish. Warsash again and almost certainly the last to leave the bar.

     

    317 - Martin Hutchings – The Warsash Warrior III

    Untested final part of the Warsash team. But could have the pedigree to spring a surprise. The biggest surprise at the moment is that he’s still looking for somewhere to stay.

     

    490 – Alistair 'Storky' McClaughlin – The Prestwick Pitbull

    Having recently won the FD Nationals will be full of confidence for the RS300s. Let’s face it, if you can depower an FD you can depower anything. Will still be hoping for the light-end of the wind range though so may have to wait another year.

     

    336 - Mark Taylor – The Ayrshire Athlete

    Having recently won the FD Nationals with Storky, will be full of confidence for the RS300s. No trapeze though which may slow him a bit. Also no genoa or kite. Or Storky. Will improve on his recent Nationals results though.

     

    341 - Nick Bubb – The Lymington Layabout I

    Could probably make a barn door with a mast go quick. As previously mentioned, top tip for the apprentice trophy so long as he masters those tricky downhill sleigh rides. Will his triathlete wife have got him fit enough to compete with the likes of Windy Acres? Probably not.

     

    313 - Ben Green – The Lymington Layabout II

    The oldest boat in the fleet, but only just – a couple of others must have been built the following day. Boat age is no barrier to speed in the RS300 fleet though and his ‘never say die’ attitude will hold him in good stead should the breeze get really frightening.

     

    422 – Alastair 'Woody' Wood – The Gravesend Greyhound

    Will he take over as Chairman from Wizard and Shaft? That’s all we need to know.

     

    342 - Ian Hopkins – The Southport Streak

    Not seen since breaking his mast at last year’s Nationals. It was sailable, honest! Hoping to keep his kit in one piece this year and finish all the races. Just don’t get in a round with him – that’s all.

     

    318 - Gary Morris & Ben Deacon – The A Rig Arrows

    It will be good to see two of the flatter A rigs at the champs this year. Could well be very quick if the forecast is right. Will anyone else follow suit with the smaller rig as their bodies give up?

     

    321 - Stuart Woodger – The Devon Dynamo

    ‘Look what you could have won’! One for the oldies, that. First introduction to the RS300 circuit racing was the slaloms - tough gig that one - will probably do less tacks and gybes in the whole champs and expected to find his feet. The only guy heading North to attend the Nationals.

     

    417 - Dan Treloar – The IT Irritant

    Returns to the Nationals for the third time. Bound to take the AGM minutes and have more gadgets and gizmos than anybody else. Results tend to be directly proportional to alcohol intake.

     

    515 - John Peters – The Hykeham Hawk

    Welcome return for the old man - well we think it is - records don't go that far back. Capt Sallis will be keen to ensure John plays his part for Hykeham in retaining the team trophy

     

    479 - Julian Gunnell - The Bedfordshire Beast

    Lured into the RS300 from Phantoms by Shaft. Straight into his first Nationals and keen to make an impression - any impression will do.

     

    373 - Rich Hargreaves – The Stewartby Star

    Another ex-Phantomer debuting to make a strong team from Stewartby. Good light to medium wind operator, but bemoans the "athleticism" of some others in a breeze. He clearly hasn’t seen many of us.

     

    You can still enter at event registration and weekend entry is available. 

     

    Check in next week to see if it really was windy enough to blow your socks off and to see who disgraced themselves and why. We have daily wooden spoons to give out for this as well as daily fizz for those all-too-rare champagne moments.

     

    By Pete Ellis and Steve Bolland

    Volvo Noble Marine RS300 Nationals

    Exe Sailing Club

     

    Results are final as of 17:00 on September 11, 2016

    Overall

    Sailed: 10, Discards: 2, To count: 8, Entries: 27, Scoring system: Appendix A
    Rank Sail No Helm Club Fleet R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 Total Nett
    1st 411 Steve Bolland Bristol Corinthian YC Gold 1.0 (28.0 DNF) 2.0 (3.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 40.0 9.0
    2nd 476 Steve Sallis Hykeham SC Gold 4.0 (28.0 DNF) 1.0 5.0 2.0 4.0 2.0 5.0 6.0 (8.0) 65.0 29.0
    3rd 481 Martin Harrison Royal Victoria YC Gold (11.0) 5.0 6.0 6.0 8.0 2.0 3.0 (10.0) 3.0 3.0 57.0 36.0
    4th 414 Iain Horlock Exe SC Gold (16.0) 2.0 3.0 10.0 6.0 (13.0) 7.0 2.0 2.0 9.0 70.0 41.0
    5th 523 Harry McVicar Draycote Water SC Gold 2.0 4.0 7.0 4.0 7.0 (8.0) (13.0) 7.0 7.0 4.0 63.0 42.0
    6th 337 Paul Watson Bowmoor SC Gold (9.0) (10.0) 4.0 7.0 3.0 3.0 6.0 9.0 8.0 5.0 64.0 45.0
    7th 480 Rob Jones Warsash SC Gold 8.0 7.0 5.0 8.0 4.0 6.0 5.0 3.0 (10.0) (28.0 DNC) 84.0 46.0
    8th 555 Richard Le Mare Bartley SC Gold 3.0 6.0 (22.0) 14.0 (25.0) 10.0 15.0 4.0 4.0 7.0 110.0 63.0
    9th 328 Tim Keen Sheffield Viking SC/Nefyn SC Gold 7.0 3.0 17.0 (24.0) (28.0 OCS) 21.0 4.0 8.0 9.0 2.0 123.0 71.0
    10th 524 Matt Sargent ASA Thorney Island SC Gold 5.0 (28.0 DNF) (28.0 OCS) 11.0 13.0 5.0 12.0 16.0 5.0 6.0 129.0 73.0
    11th 500 Pete Ellis Stewartby Water Sports Club Gold 12.0 1.0 12.0 12.0 10.0 (14.0) (18.0) 6.0 11.0 10.0 106.0 74.0
    12th 490 Alistair McLaughlin Prestwick SC Gold 10.0 (28.0 DNF) (28.0 OCS) 1.0 16.0 7.0 10.0 12.0 16.0 14.0 142.0 86.0
    13th 341 Nick Bubb Royal Lymington YC Gold 13.0 11.0 13.0 (18.0) 5.0 (24.0) 9.0 13.0 12.0 11.0 129.0 87.0
    14th 527 Ian Clark Warsash SC Gold 6.0 9.0 9.0 17.0 11.0 12.0 14.0 15.0 (28.0 RET) (28.0 DNC) 149.0 93.0
    15th 540 Luke Pepper Hykeham SC Gold (19.0) (17.0) 10.0 16.0 9.0 9.0 8.0 17.0 14.0 12.0 131.0 95.0
    16th 321 Stuart Woodger Plymouth SC Silver 18.0 15.0 8.0 2.0 15.0 17.0 (20.0) (26.0) 17.0 16.0 154.0 108.0
    17th 373 Richard Hargreaves Stewartby Water Sports Club Silver (17.0) 13.0 16.0 (22.0) 12.0 16.0 11.0 14.0 13.0 13.0 147.0 108.0
    18th 315 Ben Green Lymington Town SC Silver 14.0 8.0 18.0 (21.0) 18.0 11.0 16.0 (22.0) 15.0 18.0 161.0 118.0
    19th 336 Mark Taylor Prestwick SC Silver 15.0 12.0 (21.0) 19.0 (20.0) 20.0 17.0 20.0 19.0 15.0 178.0 137.0
    20th 417 Dan Treloar Stewartby Water Sports Club Silver 20.0 14.0 19.0 13.0 (21.0) 19.0 (23.0) 21.0 18.0 17.0 185.0 141.0
    21st 457 Ben Deacon Bawdsey Haven YC Silver (28.0 DNC) (28.0 DNC) 14.0 20.0 19.0 15.0 19.0 11.0 28.0 DNS 28.0 DNC 210.0 154.0
    22nd 422 Alastair Wood Bough Beech SC Silver 22.0 18.0 11.0 23.0 22.0 18.0 21.0 25.0 (28.0 DNS) (28.0 DNC) 216.0 160.0
    23rd 479 Julian Gunnell Stewartby Water Sports Club Silver 25.0 (28.0 DNF) 20.0 9.0 14.0 22.0 26.0 19.0 (28.0 RET) 28.0 DNC 219.0 163.0
    24th 342 Ian Hopkins Southport SC Silver 23.0 16.0 (25.0) (27.0) 17.0 23.0 24.0 23.0 21.0 20.0 219.0 167.0
    25th 317 Martin Hutchings Warsash SC Silver (28.0 DNC) (28.0 DNC) 15.0 25.0 24.0 25.0 22.0 18.0 20.0 19.0 224.0 168.0
    26th 318 Gary Morris South Cerney SC Silver 21.0 (28.0 DNF) 23.0 15.0 26.0 (28.0 RET) 25.0 24.0 28.0 DNS 28.0 DNC 246.0 190.0
    27th 515 John Peters Hykeham SC Silver 24.0 (28.0 DNF) 24.0 26.0 23.0 26.0 (28.0 RET) 28.0 DNS 28.0 DNS 28.0 DNC 263.0 207.0

     

     

    Sailwave Scoring Software 2.19.4
    www.sailwave.com