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21/08/2014
Volvo Noble Marine National Championships

    RS800 National Champion’s Match Report


    The RS800 fleet returned to Plymouth Harbour ten years after it first hosted the National Championships to celebrate the class’s 15th year anniversary.  Much has changed with the class since 2004 – the new shaped deck layout and new square topped mainsail being the most noticeable, but much has remained the same, with the class as ultra competitive as ever with over 10 boats boasting national and world championship winning crews. 

     

    Day 1


    A quick fire day of two races to get the crews warmed up.  Racing was held in the harbour with three laps of a 15 gusting 20 knot breeze.  Beats were well over a mile long which meant mastery of both the shifts and of raw boat speed were required.  The usual suspects hit the top of the podium, Saxton, Littlejohn and Wincer/Date excelling, chalking up a couple of counters, to end the day with 4 points each.  The McEwen’s looked well poised for a consistent week, notching up two 4ths that would see them sit on the final podium spot overnight.

    Other pre-regatta favourites Hivey/Mather chalked up a bullet and a 12th, not bad for a newly formed team given the conditions; the question everyone wanted to know was whether the 12th would be the norm for the rest of the week or was it the bullet...

     

    Day 2


    With the crews now ready for the first full day of 3 races, the wind again blew through heavier than forecast.  Too heavy for the committee boat to weigh anchor out in the bay, so the battlefield once more would be inside the breakwater.  With the North Westerly coming in over the town and gusts of 100%, all bets were off with regards to a favoured side and most sailors would return to the bar with stories of both left and right paying.  The fleet was tightly compacted in all three races today, few boats holding the lead for more than a lap, but the successful boats were those that had a simple game plan in mind: long tack first upwind, bold calls downwind to stay in the gusts and never think that the race is won or lost.  Shone/Tattersall revealed their tactics by later claiming a 9 gybe run kept them in the same patch of wind all the way from the spreader mark to the gate thus gaining them their highest finish of the day. 

     

    Team greenmarine.co.uk, Halhead/Jagger and team Singleton all relished the conditions in the competitive environment of the fleet posting top tens to finish the day with the 4th, 6th and 8th best points totals respectively. 

    Up front, earlier questioning had been answered: Hivey/Mather were in regatta winning form with the lowest point score on the day.  Saxton/Littlejohn also picked up two counters in the three races and were starting to put in a tidy score line themselves – a pattern was beginning to form, marred only by Phillips/Crocker who after a shocker of a day one were starting to light the touch paper, finishing the day with two bullets, but surely they were too far behind to catch up?

     

    Day 3


    The sea sailors got their way.  Out to the bay we raced today for three more races.  The sun was shining but a cold f3 was blowing from the SE rather that the forecast NE.  Swells of 3 feet or so were rolling in, which saw the crews trying to catch a glimpse of the centre boards during the pre-race downwind warm ups. 

    Upwind speed was hard to find in these conditions, the call was to go for height in the light and bow down in the gusts but when to make these changes was to make or break ones result in such toughly fought racing. 

    Once more the gusts were rolling in, but with right favouring (in this author’s opinion), tactics were straight forward:  look for the tack out after the start at all costs, clear your lane, get into your fast mode and stay there.

    After the second race the wind swung to NE and built to 15knots.  After sparring all day the top four boats overall had finished within three points of each other in each race and were all in contention.  The third race was to prove critical for the championships and so is worthy of brief description:

     Rounding the bottom marks commencing the second of three laps Boatman/Brown lead Hivey/Mather and Phillips/Crocker, in positions 4-6, just in touch with the leaders of Lovering/Vidal.  Sensing right was paying, all three rounded the right hand mark, and had one thing on their mind: speed.  First to fall was Boatman/Brown who saw a knot in the kite halyard ruin his chances of a top 5 result.  Next up it was Hivey/Mather who with weed on the board had been reeled in by Phillips/Crocker who with the bit between the teeth kept up the same forward momentum downwind, blasting into 3rd behind the uncharacteristically quiet Date/Wincer and Lovering/Vidal who were still 50m in front.  At the bottom marks Date/Wincer went left searching for breeze, Phillips/Crocker went right which gave Lovering a call to make.  Playing it safe, they covered their rivals Date/Wincer which gave Phillips/Crocker the window they had been looking for to sneak the bullet.  Critical was the point margin to the chasing contenders who posted a 5th (Hivey), 11th (Saxton) and 6th (Boatman), what had looked like an odds on top two after day one, was now a top three.

    Lovering/Vidal won the day with 8 points in the three races.  Watson/Watkins nailed it too, posting three top tens, doing their series no harm in the process.  Phillips/Crocker had turned an 8 point deficit to Day 2 leaders Saxton/Littlejohn into a 4 point margin ahead, with Hivey/Mather 1 point further back.  All three knew a lead as slender as that could evaporate in one poor performance – it was game on.  Date/Wincer were stuck fighting in the pack behind; 2014 would see a new RS800 National Champion, who would step up?

     

    Day 4


    Two races to play for on the final day, with light f2s from the South favouring the pond sailors of Saxton/Littlejon, Phillips/Crocker, but the bay conditions favouring the ever consistent Hivey/Mather.   

    Previous National Champions Fitzjohn/Allin took the lead today posting two untouchable bullets pulling them up into 5th overall.  Another similarly confident day was sailed by Barker/Moore who fired one of the oldest boats in the fleet to two 4th places and a clear victory in the youth prize overall – there will be more to come from this team in the future.  The silver fleet was wrapped up by the new pairing of Humphreys and Cartwright who having knocked in a 3rd place in race 4, finished overall 18th, posting 11 & 14. 

    Upfront, the damage was done in the first race of the day.  Despite clawing back to 3rd on a shortened course, Hivey/Mather leaked another point to Phillips/Crocker who finished 2nd.  Saxton/Littlejohn  posted a 9th, undone by a covering tack from Phillips/Crocker on the first leg pushing them  to the wrong side of the breeze.  Hivey now needed to finish in the top 3 with Phillips outside the top 8th to win overall.  That wasn’t to be.  Locked together prestart, the boats both accelerated off the line into the top 3.  Hivey got through Phillips downwind but got caught out upwind to finish behind Phillips in third. 

     

    New Champions, Phillips/Crocker were delighted with their performance over the week, coming from behind on day 1 to sail consistently for the remainder of the regatta. 

     

    Thanks must go to the Plymouth Youth Sailing Team and the Mount Batten Centre, the sponsors Noble Marine and Volvo and to RS for supporting such an exciting event and the class. 

     

    By Roger Phillips

     

    Other prize winners:

     

    First nationals, completed all races and youngest crew: Edward and Jack Napolitano

    1st youth helm and crew: Sam Barker and Stu Moore

    1st lady crew: Emma McEwen

    1st silver helm and crew: Matt Humphreys and Amy Cartwright

    1st master helm: Andy Jeffries

     

    Photos by Tom Gruitt / www.tom-gruitt.co.uk

    Prize giving photos thanks to Grace Jones.

     

    DAY THREE

     

    Great day's on the water: 3 races in good wind and fun waves.  Great evening ashore: BBQ with music from fabulous singer Celine.

     

    DAY TWO

     

    Sailors off on Barbican pub crawl in one piece costumes after a shifty day on the water.

     

    Great photos by Tom Gruitt / www.tom-gruitt.co.uk

     

    DAY ONE


    The Volvo Noble Marine RS800 National Championships kicked off today in Plymouth with a warm welcome from the Mount Batten Centre and a feisty force 4-5 with sparkling sunshine.

    With at least five boats realistically capable of winning the Championships, plus a few dark horses, it was all to play for on the first two-race day.  The course inside Plymouth Sound started from just under Jennycliff in a building south-westerly sea breeze. 

     

    The first race got away cleanly despite a strong starboard bias to the line.  Boats that took the tidal advantage on the left along the cliffs came out strongly at the windward mark, led by Dave Hivey and John Mather, with Seb Baucutt and Alex Farrall chasing hard.  After a lively run many followed the leaders up the left again, but the cliff course cost them dearly as the middle-right paid big dividends.  Despite this, pretty much everyone went left on the final beat so the huge right shift didn’t change many places at the front, with Hivey/Mather holding a big lead, followed by European Champions Tim Saxton and Sam Littlejohn just ahead of reigning National Champions James Date and Toby Wincer.

     

    A long wait in cloud and lighter winds followed while the Brittany Ferry sailed through the course.  Right on cue the wind and sunshine returned for the second start, but by then the tide had also turned, so right started to pay big-time upwind.  Boats with messy starts tacked off right and found themselves smelling of roses at the windward mark.  However leading out of the left side were Matt Chapman and Will Rogers, closely followed by their buddy team mates Luke and Emma McEwen, salvaging their race from the right.  Date/Wincer rounded just behind and showed off their legendary speed in the breeze to build up a convincing lead to the finish.  Many of the rest who went left overstood, not realising the windward mark had moved between races. 

     

    On the final run the building wind challenged many of the sailors including Richard Lovering and Olivier Vidal, who by this time had pulled through to second place but broke their bowsprit at the final gybe.  This left Saxton/Littlejohn to clinch second after a blinding last beat, while James Green and Jamie Trewick rolled several boats downwind to take a well-deserved third.

     

    Pasties and pasta in the dinghy park were well received after the great day’s sailing, followed by a hearty curry and pud to restore us for a big three-race day tomorrow.

     

    Report by Emma and Luke McEwen

    RS 700 and RS 800 National Championships 2014



















    Plymouth Youth Sailing



















    Results as of 15:59 on August 24, 2014



















    RS800 Fleet



















    Sailed: 10, Discards: 2, To count: 8, Entries: 33, Scoring system: Appendix A
    Rank Tally Fleet SailNo Club HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 Total Nett
    1st 13 800 1204 Emberton Park SC Roger Phillips Will Crocker -11 5 -9 1 1 3 5 1 2 2 40 20
    2nd 5 800 1211 RYA David Hivey John Mather 1 -12 2 -6 2 4 6 5 3 3 44 26
    3rd 3 800 1203 Graham Water SC Tim Saxton Sam Littlejohn 2 2 1 -14 3 2 9 11 9 -13 66 39
    4th 33 800 1138   Martin Boatman Andrew brown 7 8 6 5 5 1 4 6 -10 (34.0 RET) 86 42
    5th 29 800 1124   Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes Daniel Allin -13 10 11 -15 6 13 3 7 1 1 80 52
    6th 23 800 1187 Hayling Island Richard Lovering Olivier Vidal 8 6 -16 11 -18 5 1 2 15 5 87 53
    7th 34 800 1163 Beer SC James Green Jamie Trewick -15 3 3 9 4 11 2 -13 13 8 81 53
    8th 7 800 1129 Royal Lymington SC Luke McEwen Emma McEwen 4 4 8 12 8 8 -23 4 6 -20 97 54
    9th 1 800 1195 Port Dinorwic SC James Date Toby Wincer 3 1 18 8 7 9 (34.0 BFD) 3 8 (34.0 RET) 125 57
    10th 9 800 1212 Eastbourne Sovereign SC Andy Jeffries Allyson Jeffries 5 14 -20 4 14 7 11 9 -17 11 112 75
    11th 15 800 1154 Netley SC David Steed Louise Steed 9 9 15 7 -23 16 7 10 -18 6 120 79
    12th 11 800 1180   Tom Halhead Stu Jagger (34.0 RET) 13 4 2 12 -18 17 17 7 16 140 88
    13th 8 800 1014 RYA Matthew Chapman Will Rogers 12 7 5 16 15 12 -19 (34.0 BFD) 5 17 142 89
    14th 19 800 1133 Emsworth SC Hugh Watson Andy Watkins 10 16 14 -22 19 10 8 8 -20 7 134 92
    15th 17 800 1189 Castle Cove SC Hugh Shone Hannah Tattersall 6 15 -19 13 10 6 14 14 16 -18 131 94
    16th 26 800 1166 Datchet Water SC Ralph Singleton Sophie Singleton 16 -17 7 10 11 14 13 -22 14 9 133 94
    17th 16 800 983 Weston SC/Castle Cove SC Sam Barker Stu Moore 17 -23 13 20 13 -21 10 18 4 4 143 99
    18th 22 800 1200 Weston SC Matt Humphreys Amy Cartwright 18 -20 -22 3 9 19 12 20 11 14 148 106
    19th 25 800 1128 Essex YC Seb Baucutt Alex Farrall 14 11 -21 18 16 -22 21 15 19 12 169 126
    20th 21 800 1057 Nottinghamshire County SC Tom Jeffcoate Mark Hogan -22 (34.0 DNC) 17 21 20 17 15 19 12 10 187 131
    21st 32 800 1131 Emsworth Slipper SC Adam Cockerill Ben Hodges 21 -25 12 17 21 15 18 (34.0 BFD) 25 15 203 144
    22nd 31 800 1142 Itchenor SC Oli Woods Jane Turner 25 19 -28 19 17 20 16 12 -30 22 208 150
    23rd 27 800 868 Lancing SC Joel Walker Sarah Crossman (34.0 DNF) 18 10 26 22 -27 22 16 21 19 215 154
    24th 28 800 1010 Royal Torbay YC John Warburton James Clapham 20 22 -27 -27 24 25 24 21 22 23 235 181
    25th 4 800 834 Plymouth Youth Sailing Josh Ridley Jamie Johnson -28 21 23 24 25 23 20 25 -26 25 240 186
    26th 10 800 1087   Tim Palmer H Nelson 24 -26 25 23 26 26 25 24 -28 21 248 194
    27th 14 800 1045 Wilsonian SC Richard Smith Ellie Smith 23 24 (34.0 DNC) 25 (34.0 RET) 28 28 23 23 27 269 201
    28th 2 800 822   Simon Pryor Jamie Dawson 26 27 26 28 29 24 -30 26 27 -30 273 213
    29th 24 800 1099 Draycote Water SC Alistair Hodgson Rebecca Eno (34.0 DNC) -31 24 29 28 29 27 29 24 24 279 214
    30th 18 800 932 Brightlingsea SC Brian Allen Claire Allen 19 30 29 30 27 -31 26 27 -31 28 278 216
    31st 12 800 1194 Hayling Island SC Christopher Miles Julian Miles 27 28 -30 -32 30 30 29 30 29 29 294 232
    32nd 6 800 889 Snettisham Beach SC Edward Napolitano Jack Napolitano 29 29 31 -33 -32 32 32 28 32 31 309 244
    33rd 20 800 1015 Oxford SC Simon Payne Fenella Williams (34.0 DNC) (34.0 DNC) 34.0 DNC 31 31 33 31 34.0 DNC 33 26 321 253
                           


                               


                   


                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                                     
                   
                       
           
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
                         
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