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Gul Sprint Championships Rutland SC

  • Fab new RS300 at 2016 Dinghy Show
Photo courtesy of Martin Hollinghead, for more see:

The Gul Sprint Champs is a fresh new idea - a series of quick-start, short races, where several of the diverse RS fleets can sail on the same course, fleet by fleet.   The idea was run as a trial in November 2006, and was such a success that a 2007 date at the superbly-organised Rutland SC was booked immediately.


Easter weekend saw the 2007 event, and, whilst the wind gods weren't playing on Saturday, this left the fleets and race team with enough energy to fit in 11 dynamic races for each fleet on Sunday  with hardly a breath between.   Under glorious sunshine the wind slowly filled from 8 knots for the first race to a superb 14-18 knots in the afternoon. Beat, reach, run, reach, beat, reach, run - All in approximately 12 minutes, with 5 minutes before the next start - some of us felt we were getting far too old for such an aerobic challenge!


The RS200s and RS800s were split into two fleets so there was a maximum of 10 boats on a start line. The five races in the morning were a qualifying series with no discard using formula one style scoring system. The top five from each fleet went into a gold final in the afternoon with silver finals run at the sametime. The 300s/400s/500s had one fleet and all 11 races counted. For the RS500s this was their first multi fleet RS event.


A special mention much go to Ralph Tingle and his superb race team who ran 66 starts (and finishes) without so much as a hiccough.


How the fleets saw it …..


RS200s – Pete Vincent, Bristol Corinthian YC

How did the weekend go for you?

A/        Results wise the weekend did not go well. We were very slow out of the blocks in the first two races not score any points in these races and ended up not qualifying for the gold final. Sailing conditions on Sunday were just great, glorious sunshine and lovely breeze in the afternoon; it was such fun sailing.

What did you think of the format?

A/        Format was awesome; it was such a different event from the normal open meeting. Small fleets, short courses, rapid turn arounds. It made you think in a very different way. I would not like to do this every week but would love to see more events of this type. Big thanks to a very flexible thinking and efficient team who did a great job.

RS300s – Tim Keen, Sheffield Viking SC


How did the weekend go for you?

A/  It was an interesting weekend - with no sailing on Saturday we had a packed
day of racing on the Sunday.    Before we started, one of my mainsheet blocks broke
so I was down to a 2-1 mainsheet system for the morning’s five races. I was
lucky because it was not that windy and I was able to fix it before the
afternoon racing.  I really enjoyed the event good racing and good
socializing and it was good to win for the second time.   

What did you think of the format?

A/  The sprint format that was planned for the weekend would have been good but
with only racing Sunday its was intense and challenging on the fitness (which
is not a bad thing!)


RS400 – Heather Chipperfield, Lymington Town SC


How the weekend went

A/  It was exhausting; I am definitely getting too old for this!  No, really, rapid turnarounds and loads of other fleets to watch.   Best racing we’ve done for ages. Only time for a quick slurp of water before the 3 minute countdown started for the next race.   No time to worry about the race just gone, straight on to the next one.


What do you think of the format?

A/  A great idea, excellent to have something different to normal and always great to have lots of the RS fleets sailing and socialising together.  It was like the early RS days …   Great manoevering and starting practice for the start of the season.


RS500 – Barbara Smith, Delph and Yorkshire Dales Sailing Clubs


How the weekend went

A/  The first RS event in the 500 and on Rutland Water - a big water and steady wind to look forward to.  We weren't too sure how well we were sailing the 5 since there aren't enough around yet to sail against but we liked the idea of a series of short sprints - at least we'd get to practise our starts!  The race team made the right decision not to sail on the Saturday due to light wind but this left us with 11 or 12 races to complete on the Sunday.  We got off to an early start.  In the 5 races before lunch we sailed consistently in the 4 boat fleet  - four seconds and a fourth (following a spectacular capsize).  After lunch we either sailed better or the others made more mistakes and we were placed first overall.  I was quite exhausted after 11 races, running high on adrenaline, but really enjoyed the day.


A/   What I think of the sprint format

A fantastic way to race - I much prefer short races.  The race signals were easy to understand and the timing was superb so that there was very little waiting around between races.  We all agreed that it is simply the best format for maximum buzz and fun.  Those who didn't come missed a great event.



RS800 – Alastair & Penny Shires, Stokes Bay SC


How did it go

A/  A fantastic weekend all round.    No wind on Saturday, but the Rutland race team certainly made the best of Sunday with 11 exciting races and barely a moment to draw breath between each one.  A lot of fun, close racing and bloody hard work!  Our advice, make it a date for next year.


The Sprint Format

A/   The whole concept puts huge pressure on the race officer and his team to be well organised and lay the right course.  Rutland provided an excellent race officer and team who did an outstanding job to make the whole event a success.

RS 300 Single Series     Sail   R1   R2   R3   R4   R5   R6   R7   R8   R9   R10   R11   R12   R13   R14   R15   R16 Total Posn
Pos Pts Helm Crew Club No Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts Pos Pts pts  
1 3 Tim Keen     328 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 2 2 1 3 1 3 2 2   0   0   0   0   0 31 1
2 2   Alex Lomas     369 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 1 3 2 2 2 2 1 3   0   0   0   0   0 24 2
3 1   Stephen Pates     478 3 1 3 1 3 1 3 1   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0 4 3
4 0   Tony Mitchell     918   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0   0 0 4
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