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13/04/2019
Totally Stoked

Never mind Game of Thrones... welcome to Stokes Bay for the second instalment of the RS800 Rooster National Tour!

Despite winter returning for the weekend, a mighty fleet of 22 RS 800s braved the cold south easterly wind and headed out into the angry jaws of the Solent for the first race on Saturday. As our start sequence got under way, a few unprepared boats were still scurrying from the shore as the fleet lined up with a touch of uncertainty as a host of new faces and unfamiliar sail numbers made it a line of unknown quantities.

However as the start gun went, normal service was quickly resumed, as the McEwen’s won all 3 races despite Hugh and Hannah’s valiant attempts to steal a race or two off them along with Cameron and Jake’s best efforts to try and spoil the show for both. Other bold attempts at throwing a tactical banana skin at the McEwen’s came from Ralph and Sophie in race 2 and Steve and Sarah Cockerill in race 3, but to no avail!

The mid fleet provided some of the tightest and most nip and tuck racing on the Saturday, with the new faces on the block including Robert Gullan and Calum Healey as well as George Smith and Alice Crick throwing constant curve balls at the more seasoned pros! The highlight performance was Robert and Calum getting a 4th in Race 3.

After a pretty tough day on the water, all the sailors retuned to shore to the excellent hospitality of Stokes Bay sailing club and later enjoyed the infamous Dan Vincent quiz which served up its fair share of .... and of course trifle!

Despite the earlier start time of 10:30 on the Sunday, all sailors arrived on time, some picking out mouldy bits of trifle from their hair, to be greeted by similar conditions to that of Saturday, with a decent force 4 breeze and a slightly more friendly tide.

Race 1 saw the only real mix up of the event, the McEwen’s leading around the top mark closely followed by Tim Gratton and Fiona Hampshire with Cameron and Jake snapping at both of their heels. On the final top mark, Cameron and Jake slipped past, and after an extremely stressful downwind leg for yours truly, managed to hold off the McEwen’s, giving  them their only blemish on an otherwise perfect score sheet.

By Race 2 the wind starting to spice up, and with it came a fierce chop thanks to the change in tide. Casualties started to pile up with boats capsizing at all points of the course. I for one took a dip at the first leeward mark along with other front of the fleet hopefuls, just behind the McEwen’s, where we sat and watched them disappear into the distance. My early bath meant that little more action can be reported, but my congratulations go out to all those that finished in a relatively dry state. The McEwen’s once again secured victory, with Hugh and Hannah in second, and Chris Dodd and Bryony Meakins, with a great performance in the big wind, close behind in 3rd.

With the wounds of battle starting to show amongst the fleet, the race committee decided to abandon race 3 and let the worn out sailors return to shore to indulge in some changing room banter on “whose pitch pole was the biggest?”

Once again a big thanks to SBSC, the race team who braved the cold, and of course to the shore and catering team who, as always made us feel very welcome! See you all at Hayling Island.

Cameron Moss

Full results are on the SBSC website HERE.

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