Hayling Island RS800 Development Day 23rd October 2022
A slightly terrifying forecast of biblical levels of rain and 30 knot boomers did not deter six RS800s from coming together for the latest RS800 Development Day at HISC on Sunday 23rd October. A small weather window had been forecasted which provided a glimmer of hope but few expected the glorious conditions experienced. Despite being woken in the morning by thunder and driving to the club in a wall of water, we were actually blessed by perfect 10-14 knot winds and blazing sunshine for the sailing. The weather gods clearly indicated that RS800 Development Days are a noble and honourable cause by keeping the storm at bay.
Things kicked off with a quick briefing where we gathered primarily to eat Anna Prescott’s ‘Breakfast’ Flapjacks. I’m going to put it out there early and suggest that this baked element should definitely become a regular feature of all future development days. Oaty goodness aside, the general plan was to join in the club racing before splitting off to do some more focussed training as a group.
Not only were we spoiled by the unexpectedly glorious weather, but with our own rib / camera boat we were able to keep the group together and the session productive. It also provided a hugely motivating incentive to not muck up on film (you can check out the footage on our new YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHx6YnUmwqM). Ian Brooks, left abandoned by long term helm Martin Orton, ably drove the rib with the help of father and son team Keston and George Williams doing the camera work. On the day in general Keston commented, “For once the forecast was right, despite setting off in a heavy rainstorm, by the time George and I got to HISC the sun was coming out and a gentle breeze had set in. Unfortunately due to a knee operation I was out of action, so volunteered to man the RIB with Ian and George. George and I are new to the RS800 and therefore spending time with Ian in the RIB was a great opportunity to get some pointers from a pro! Seeing rig set-ups, trapeze angles and kite drops from a few metres astern was really useful for us. It was also a great day to meet the amazingly friendly and welcoming sailors that make up the RS800 fleet. We’re really looking forward to joining everyone on the water for the next event in November.”
The club race saw Ben Whaley and Hugh Shone reach the top mark with Rob Gullan and Tom Morris just inside. Tracey Covell and Rob Baddeley were in hot pursuit in third. The boys from Swanage (Ben and Hugh) rolled over the top of Rob and Tom only to give the lead away after spending too much time patting themselves on the back for their sweet hoist. They then consolidated their fall from grace with a couple of off camera capsizes (thank god). Meanwhile Rob and Tom powered off into the distance. Joe Bradley and Henry Jameson looked slick as they pulled through into 2nd. The battle for third was a close fought affair between Tracey and Rob, and Bryan Ormond and Anna Prescott meaning that white kites clinched the top four spots.
Class Co-Chair Tom Morris has had a pretty stellar sailing year, most recently helming team RS800 to victory at this year’s Endeavour Trophy. However today Tom found himself at the front of the boat with Rob: “For the HISC development day I jumped to the front of the boat. I don’t really mind if I am crewing or helming, a day on the water is always great and the development days offer the perfect opportunity to sail with different people, change set-up and generally learn new skills. I find it’s refreshing to do both roles in the boat and I think long term it makes you a better helm if you have first-hand appreciation of the crew's role. I always crewed when I was in 29ers and the techniques are near identical to what a 29er crew would have, so although I was rusty, it felt quite familiar."
Following the race the group broke away to do some long tuning runs. The huge downwind against the tide was a particular highlight as boats jostled for the puffs, perfecting their gybes in the process. On the long way back uphill teams started to get a whiff of the roast being cooked up in the clubhouse and succumbed. After three hours of high quality sailing some serious refuelling was needed! Gathered together in the club house we pigged out on the wonderful food served up by the club and any leftover space was then filled with Anna’s ‘Lunchtime’ Flapjacks. It really is great to have a flapjack chaser for every meal. Things were wrapped up to a crescendo of thunder and lightning as day turned to night and the promised storm rolled in with vengeance.
All in all it was a wonderful day of RS800 sailing and socialising. It’s great to see some new faces along with the regulars. Josh Poat (HISC RS800 Club Captain) also reminded us all that of course we’ll be back in June next year for the Summer Champs. Can’t wait!
So what’s going on before the end of the year? How can you get involved? Don’t worry there is a lot to get your teeth into...
- Harken RS End of Season Regatta @ Rutland 5-6 November. The last RS800 Rooster National Tour event of the year and some serious fun at the social. Enter here: https://www.rs800.org/championships/index.asp?pg=enter&subsect=79&eid=2256
- Development Day @ Queen Mary SC 20 November. Another chance to come and join the fleet for some informal racing and training. Email Hugh Shone on [email protected] if you are interested in coming along.
- Garda Webinar 23 November. Putting this on to help people prepare for Garda Europeans next year (it's going to be epic by the way). Head to the RS800 Facebook Group to sign up to the Webinar.
- Development Day @ Datchet 3-4 December (Racing as Part of Datchet Flyer). Email Hugh Shone on [email protected] if you are interested in coming along. You will also need to enter here for the racing: https://enter.sailracer.org/eventsites/new.asp?eventid=224528
- Heavy Wind Sailing Webinar 14 December. Tired of sticking it in? Want to learn how to safety gybe? Head to the RS800 Facebook Group to sign up to the Webinar.
Did you know we also have a class WhatsApp group to help people sort helms, crews, lifts to events and discuss all things RS800? If you'd like to be added to this please email [email protected].
Report by Hugh Shone