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Results / Bowmoor SC Open Bowmoor SC - 09/03/2024

Strong in number and in spirit - probably the best way to describe the enthusiastic band of 17 RS300 sailors that descended on Bowmoor SC for the first Rooster National Tour event of 2024. Plans for the weekend included 6 races and a promise of a hot lunch, evening curry, rugby, beer and games. What could possibly go wrong?

Saturday's races were sailed in pleasant sunshine with a less savoury easterly of 8-15 knots and evil wind shifts. The pin end was the place to start all day and a sweet spot had developed down the middle of the lake with the best compromise between wind shift and pressure. Overtaking was hard! Race one was a case of 'bring out your dead'. Some boats took a brief tumble on the first lap whilst some sailors got away with just a clumsily dropped mainsheet. Pete Mackin of Stokes Bay SC proved the least unlucky in Race 1, finishing ahead of Richard Hanby of Beaver SC and local sailor Matt Banbrook.

Race two included more tumbling around the race course. Clearly more practice is required. (It's a good job we've got some training events planned this year! check out RS300.org). Hanby made fewest mistakes and took a clear win ahead of Mackin and Banbrook. Rob Kennaugh finished 4th having adjusted to his shiny new sail!

Race three was a similar story just with names in a different order. Mackin finished ahead of Hanby and Kennaugh. This time though Luke South was a frequent disruptor to the leading pack, clearly fuelled by Bowmoor's excellent BBQ chicken wings.

It was in race 4 that the day's fumblings reached their crescendo. Whilst Matt Banbrook relaxed into a commanding lead that could only be briefly challenged by Kennaugh and Mackin, Will Powell endured a little bit of stress. Running by the bulrushes in his new-to-him, and spectacularly blue boat, Will could only watch as the two boats he was battling with capsized either side of him. Their bows converged in front of him like a carefully coordinated pincer maneuver. There was definitely a crunch and probably some swearing, but crucially the scoresheet claimed a couple of extra DNFs.

Back ashore and Team Bowmoor put the Rugby on TV and coordinated the largest order the local curry house had probably ever seen. More impressive was that the order arrived hot and correct! After Rich Le Mare added extra seasoning to his meal with beer and shards of glass, the motly crew set about draining the bar and making the most of eachother's incompetence at pool.

The excellent (and free!) breakfast baps didn't do much to distract from the lack of wind on Sunday morning. The day was likely to require much skill, patience, local knowledge and a lack of weight. Whilst Hanby had made a name for himself at the 2023 Nationals as a bit of a light wind legend, these were not traits that Mackin had in abundance.

Race 5 was a fantastically close affair between Hanby, Matt Pedlow and Toby Banbrook. Hanby took the lead on the final lap. The young Toby had put on a spectacular defence but was just overhauled by the more experienced pair - a great effort!

In the final race, Hanby shot off into the distance to claim the first event of 2024 as his own. Impressive pace and mastery of the seemingly random shifts made this a well deserved win! Mackin held on the 2nd overall, ahead of Rob Kennaugh in 3rd. Matt Banbrook scooped a youth prize and fellow local Toby Banbrook claimed the title of Mid Fleet Hero. Cheryl Wood finished 16th and claimed the weekend's Endeavour prize.

Thanks to Bowmoor SC for being excellent hosts and giving a masterclass in value for money. Would you believe that everything you've just read plus camping (but minus the excellent curry) was £25? Amazing.

Our series sponsor Rooster Sailing provided excellent prizes once again. Thanks to them for supporting this growing class! The class demo boat was in use all weekend and resulted in the purchase of another RS300 just 2 days later. There's never been a better time to join the RS300 class. Get in touch to try before you buy!

The 2024 tour moves on now to Rutland SC for the RS Sprints on 20-21 April and the spectacular RS 30th Anniversary Regatta at Hayling Island SC on 18-19 May. Entry for both events is already open and more info is available here. See you there! 

Have you seen the RS300 Season Preview vid yet?  You’ll find it on the RS300 website gallery here

Up on Y&Y here

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