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09/11/2013
Crewsaver End of Season

  • EOS Champs 2013

The light wind and cold temperatures forecast kept many of those still holding fond memories of the excellent Nationals at Eastbourne away from Datchet Water sailing club for the end of seasons championships, but with prizes to be won and scores to be settled, the fleet of 20 forced their way through the seemingly never ending carpet of feva's that adjourned the slipway to the race course to be greeted with a light, changeable 3 knot breeze.
Practice sails of the first beat were wholly inconclusive, the wind too light to make a solid call, this was predicted to be a race of playing it by ear and looking out for Lady Luck.  It didn't take long for her to appear and wreek havoc with the fleet.  With 30seconds to go to the start, she swung the wind like a barn door left open in a storm, and it backed 30 degrees with no warning.  Hallhead and Jagger didn't need and invite, and off the pin, soared (as much as one can in 3knots) into the lead, charging towards the 2's and 1's that had started before us.  The rest of us floundered.  Ralph & Mike with Hugh and Hannah made the best of a bad situation and stuck close to the leaders heels, but in vein; the race was a skewed procession, ground only to be gained or lost by dodging the slower boats more artfully than your competitors.  The podium was held by blue spinnakers - the lady's favourite colour perhaps?
 
After an efficient course reset, and under the building, though still shifty 5 knot pressure, race two was underway.  Like charging thoroughbreds we thundered towards the top mark. Gains to be had by getting to the pressure first, sailing her flat and getting something, anything on that wire before those around you.  The tacks weren't quick or pretty but worth it if you could keep swinging from gust to gust.  By the top mark the 200's had been caught causing the 5knkt pressure to have all but evaporated in their lee.  John & James took advantage and down the perusing run launched into a seemingly unassailable lead.  Old shape sail, old hull and still showing those with all the gear, how it's done, and in doing so proving the 800 really is a boat that is competitive no matter how old it is.  Date & Wincer with Phillips & Crocker lead the charge to catch them but with only a lap to go it was time to stick or twist.  Naturally both chasers chanced their hand and twisted, trying to get out from the faultless loose cover that the leaders had casted.  By the mid-point of the beat  the two boats had split leaving John & James nothing but to sail their own race.  It worked and the lead was retained though had been halved.  Nothing was decided yet.  Rounding the mark John & James, laid the trap gybe setting and soon after gybing again leaving her directly downwind and a minute or so ahead of Phillips and Crocker.  Under the tactical vise grip, said pursuers crumbled.  Choosing to hoist from the play pen the fluorescent kite leapt out of the sock like a springbok on the savannah and then promptly straight under the bow.  Momentum, the race (and frankly their cool!) was lost - a well timed low flying plane hiding most profanities uttered (sailing being a family sport, this was probably for the best) With the newly crowned national champions breathing down their neck, this was definitely game, on. One gut busting hoist later the positions were just about retained.  Again Date & Wincer rolled the dice, gybing off,  they took the port side of the run and went hunting for breeze.  It was to be one gamble too far and they were now out of the running as 30seconds later the wind filled in for Phillips & Crocker who had kept a steady course on starboard, and what had looked like a full gone conclusion was now too tight to call.  Following a gybe on the layline to the finish, inches separated the pole of John & James on starboard and the after quarter of the port tacked boat as Phillips & Crocker crossed ahead, but with those margins, victories are decided;  The bullet to Phillips & Crocker, a well earned silver to John & James.   
 
That was as much 5knot action as we could take and the fleet of prize fighters returned to the shore for the evening.  At the top Hallhead and Phillips were trading blows with a 1,4 a piece.  Tucked in behind were Hannah & Hugh and Ralph & Mike but no-one was counting out the McEwens either having seen the performance they can put in on day two of an event.
 
As promised day two dawned windier, a fresh 10knots bouncing off the flat water and writhing anyway it fancied.  Race three passed without the drama of the day before.  All the top five boats hitting the ground running; flat boat, minimal tiller movement and keeping flow over the leech being the keys for this one.  Hallhead asserted his dominance, leading round the top mark, leaving Crocker & Phillips looking over their shoulders to hold on to second place.  Plain and simple: round one to the boys from Bristol.
 
Round two commenced before the bell had even rung.  As the insurers were forced to look away the two over night leaders were left in a boat on boat embrace not seen since the days of topper based bumper cars.  The fleet fled the scene of the crime, crying murder and two minutes later so did the fighters, Phillips & Crocker's steed now sporting a chipped tooth smile on its bow and a solid last places as a consequence of the scrap.  Shone & Tattersall did what can only be described as a horizon job on the race leaving their competitors vanquished and in doing so reminding everyone that their series of results was coming together nicely.  The maths teacher was handing out a lesson on flat water flying!
 
Riled from the last race Phillips alongside the McEwens hit the line with speed and twin wired all the way to the gust filling in on the port side of the course.  Better speed and lane holding gave the McEwens a clear lead but with 1st place most definitely on the cards they tacked back to consolidate against the rest of the fleet.  Too early.  Phillips held the breeze for longer and made back the lost ground with interest tacking on the lay line and riding its last breathes all the way to the buoy. On the starboard side if the course it was a dogfight to find the wind and boats were locked in a battle of snakes and ladders for positioning, Ralph, Hugh and new boys Phil  & John fighting for every inch possible.  The trick being to call when to foot off and get planing or when to pinch and go for height.  The results stayed the same to the finish line.
 
With five races of the six down, it was all to play for and fine margins right through the fleet were making the difference in the fight for end of year bragging rights.  In summary however, whoever won out of Hallhead and Phillips would be the victor but with the (direct quote) “Massive” shadow of Hugh looming large a slip up could see either fall from their position.  All this under the watchful eye of the McEwans who with a score of 2,2,3 could smell blood on the water, don't say you weren't warned.
 
Predictably, with the bit between their teeth, Hugh & Hannah hit the horizon again.  Rounding mark one first and confident once in front, they tore down the run and didn’t look back.  They had done their part and with two 1st places on day 2 of their was no questioning their speed or consistency (even if their singing is pretty dodgey).  What would happen in the melee behind was the question.  The scene on the final lap were Hallhead in 3, Phillips & Crocker floundering back in 6, over 100m apart.  Reeling in 100m in one lap was too much, surely?  Half way up the beat there was a cross and the gap was down to 75m, still plenty, but the boats were now splitting sides of the course searching for the elusive gust that would make the difference.  Phillips & Crocker, hadn’t conceded just yet and at the top mark, the gap was down to 50m.   Another split downwind again, Phillips opting for the right & Hallhead opting for the left and the tactical advantage.  Tactical advantage, maybe, but the wind was missing and as the boats bore down on the final mark the 50m had vanished and the boats were level pegging, nose to nose, Hallhead on starboard and inside, Phillips with kite down and on port but with no gybe drop manoeuvre to complete, time to see who could hold nerve.  Inside at the mark Hallhead gybed, nailed the gust and with kite flying both sailors banged the wire, screaming off low on a tight reech, if they could make the committee boat, they would take the event title.  With Phillips and Crocker outside, Hallhead took one last look to confirm the situation but  over his back quarter only saw the boats lock horns physically for the second time of the day.  Throaty calls of “Protests” were hailed – had Phillips broken rule 18 and not given Hallhead sufficient room to round the mark, or Hallhead broken rule 11, Windward boat to give way?   This was too close to call.
 
Two soggy protest forms and one borrowed set of rule books later, the forms were submitted.  All that was left was for the committee to get the beers in and play the role of Roman emperors, sat on high in warm relaxing thrones away from the field of battle to determine the fate of these two hardened warriors.  In a clinical display Hallhead sold his story, and with clenched fists left the room victorious, muttering the words “never lost one yet”.  The crowd of fans had all left but the glory was still evident and an already tall man, stood taller and prouder.  Phillips could only shake hands and remind himself that revenge is a dish served cold - theres always next year.  An old 800 helm reminded him later “This is why we don’t do protests” – Dan Kilsby.
 
The overall scores saw Hugh and Hannah take second place by a point, the DSQ in race 6 relegating Phillips & Crocker to third.  The McEwans clawed back to 4th.  Solid results on day 2 saw Ralph and Mike take 5th and two new entries to the fleet were in 6th and 7th in the form of Phil & John and Martin and Andrew – ones to watch next year.
 
So that’s it for 2013.  A nationals & a Euros for Date & Wincer, an Inlands for Phillips & Crocker and an end of seasons for Hallhead & Jagger.  It’s now time to head off into the darkness of winter and choose either to lick our wounds and given a period of rest, hope 2014 will just be better or analyse, debrief, embrace the cold, train hard and comeback stronger.  Ad hoc training is planned at Datchet SC & Grafham / Rutland throughout the winter, get in touch with Heather for details, and there will also be a strong showing at the Bloody Mary and the Tiger Trophy; lets get the 800 class out there and represented!

1st RS800 1180 . Tom Halhead Stu Jagger
1.0 (4.0) 1.0 4.0 3.0 3.0 16.0 12.0
2nd RS800 1189 Castle Cove SC Hugh Shone Hannah Tattersall
3.0 (5.0) 4.0 1.0 4.0 1.0 18.0 13.0
3rd RS800 1204 Emberton park Roger Phillips Will Crocker
4.0 1.0 2.0 6.0 1.0 (23.0 DSQ) 37.0 14.0
4th RS800 1129 Royal Lymington YC Luke McEwen Emma McEwen
(9.0) 8.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 5.0 29.0 20.0
5th RS800 1166 Datchet Ralph Singleton Mike Chapman
2.0 11.0 5.0 (23.0 DNC) 6.0 6.0 53.0 30.0
6th RS800 1178 Draycote Water Phil Walker John Mather
12.0 6.0 (23.0 DNC) 3.0 5.0 4.0 53.0 30.0
7th RS800 1 RYA / Newcastle Uni Martin Boatman Andrew Brown
10.0 (14.0) 6.0 10.0 8.0 2.0 50.0 36.0
8th RS800 1010 Cardiff Yacht Club John Warburton James Clapham
7.0 2.0 12.0 (13.0) 12.0 8.0 54.0 41.0
9th RS800 1135 Warash Ella Mitchell James Morland
(15.0) 7.0 7.0 12.0 7.0 9.0 57.0 42.0
10th RS800 1154 Netley SC D Steed L Steed
11.0 (12.0) 11.0 5.0 9.0 7.0 55.0 43.0
11th RS800 1073 Bartley Sam Knight John Knight
5.0 9.0 13.0 11.0 13.0 (14.0) 65.0 51.0
12th RS800 1099 Draycote Water SC Alistiar Hodgson Charlotte Heffernan
13.0 10.0 9.0 9.0 14.0 (15.0) 70.0 55.0
13th RS800 982 WSC Aaron Smith Alec Rodgers
(23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 10.0 7.0 15.0 11.0 89.0 66.0
14th RS800 1148 Rickmansworth SC Steven Greaves Caroline Edwards
8.0 (17.0) 14.0 15.0 17.0 12.0 83.0 66.0
15th RS800 1045 DWSC Oliver Dewhurst Fennella Williams
(16.0) 13.0 16.0 14.0 10.0 13.0 82.0 66.0
16th RS800 1043 Rutland SC Christopher Dodd Bryony Meakins
14.0 15.0 (17.0) 8.0 16.0 16.0 86.0 69.0
17th RS800 1146 Chichester Yacht club Martin Orton Ian Brooks
(23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 8.0 23.0 DNF 11.0 10.0 98.0 75.0
18th RS800 1195 Port Dinorwic Sailing Club James Date Toby Wincer
6.0 3.0 (23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 101.0 78.0
19th RS800 1084 Netlet SC Matt Sheahan Ellie Sheahan
18.0 16.0 15.0 17.0 18.0 (23.0 DNC) 107.0 84.0
20th RS800 908 Datchet George Hodgson Simon Etter
17.0 18.0 (23.0 DNC) 16.0 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 120.0 97.0
21st RS800 1124 Queen Mary SC Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes Daniel Allin
(23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 138.0 115.0
21st RS800 1099 Draycote SC Alastair Hodgson Charlotte Hepperman
(23.0 DNC) 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 23.0 DNC 138.0 115.0
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