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Magic Marine Inland Championship

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RS400 Magic Marine Inland Championship, Grafham Water SC 8-9 October 2016


The RS400 fleet descended on Grafham Water Sailing Club for the penultimate event of the championship series, the Magic Marine Inland Championship. Memories of the warm and sunny Summer Nationals and Europeans were quickly banished by a chilly Northerly breeze with a side offering of drizzle at arrival.  This soon cleared in time to rig and make the crucial hikers/Winter suit decision and launch onto a gusty and shifty race course, this was going to be a day for calm heads and clear thinking!


PRO Peter Saxton laid a long windward/leeward course and got the first start away bang on time and at the first attempt.  Jon Heissig and crew Nicky Griffin set the pace, leading practically gun-to-gun leaving the fight for the minor placings to everyone else.  In the end it was the Leigh and Lowton crews of Richard Catchpole/Gary Coop and Dave Exley/Mark Lunn who found a way through to 2nd and 3rd.


The second race started in slightly more wind and once again it was Jon and Nicky in front at the top mark.  However, in close pursuit this time was Bartley based Sam Knight and Sam Pickering, and it was this pair who found a sizeable gust to sweep them into the lead downwind.  Behind the front two it was a tight battle for placings, with several boats taking up the running before Chris Pickle and Matt Sharman eventually pulled through to take 3rd.  In the battle for the bullet Jon/Nicky got the better of the shifts on the last upwind leg, taking another well-deserved win.


Having peaked in the second race, the breeze was now becoming increasing light and fluky.  This showed as team Heissig/Griffin were caught on the wrong side of a long shift, leaving them in a fight in the mid-field.  This time it was the northern duo of Dave/Mark and Chris/Matt who took up the running, Dave and Mark building a good lead to take the race with another crew, Ben Robertson and Karen Baldwin coming home in third.  Overnight, it was anybodies to take with Dave/Mark and Jon/Nicky on joint points in the lead and the next 9 boats within 10 point of each other.


The majority of the fleet took advantage of the excellent Grafham catering with a meal at the club, followed by a one or two (or three, four, five and six) drinks before retiring.  The more hardcore were to be seen attending the local Wheatsheaf pub and not returning for several hours!


Sunday dawned bright and breezy, with many chilly campers able to hear the wind whistling through the masts in the early morning.  Come race time the wind had abated somewhat, but was still a touch more than the day before allowing some fun on the downwind legs!  Clearly the two lead boats had over-indulged the night before, as they posted their discard results allowing someone else a crack at a race win.  Taking full advantage of this was Caroline Downing with crew Jason McDonnell, racing away from the rest to take an easy bullet, showing great speed in the fluctuating breeze.  Chris and Matt once again were 2nd, with the Sams pulling through for 3rd.


Having cleared their heads, Dave and Mark found their groove for the penultimate race.  They were completely untroubled from start to finish leaving Chris and Matt to take another second and Jon and Nicky in third. It was these three boats that were going to be fighting in the last race for the title.  Jon/Nicky and Dave/Mark had the two bullets apiece, but Chris/Matt were putting together a remarkable string of top three results.  Would this consistency pay off?


Straight from the go in the last race, it was clear it was going to be tight in this winner takes all final bout.  Coming to the end of the second lap, Chris/Matt and Dave/Mark were battling for the lead, and Jon/Nicky had recovered from a bad start to just sneak inside Sam/Sam at the leeward gate for third. Somehow they found a way up the last beat to split the two Northern boats, with Chris/Matt in the lead and Dave/Mark now in third.  Manoeuvres and counter manoeuvres were carried out all the way to the bottom gate, but no-one could find a way though the other. Therefore Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman finally scored a first, taking the inland Championship title with it.  Dave Exley and Mark Lunn had done enough to secure second therefore leaving third for Jon Heissig and Nicky Griffin.  These three had been a class above the rest of the fleet for the whole weekend; there was a ten point gap from third back to Sam Knight and Sam Pickering leading the rest in fourth.


Chris echoed the thoughts of the RS400 fleet in his speech, thanking Grafham for their excellent race management and hosting, both on and off the water.  Racing was started promptly and efficiently every time, with fantastic courses and good long races.  On-shore the catering was top-drawer and welcoming, with the Full English breakfast much appreciated by many after a cold night of camping.  Thanks to the Old Salt Loft for their great customised event prizes of boat bit bags and wine bags.  You can order your own personalised RS400 kit at the RS400 Class Association shop here


Next up on the Magic Marine Championship Circuit is the End of Seasons at Rutland SC 5-6 November.  The Southern Tour finishes on 22nd October at Oxford SC.


By Sam Knight

Photos thanks to Tim Olin


RS800 Magic Marine Inland Championship, Grafham Water SC 8-9 October 2016


The 2016 RS800 Magic Marine Inland Championships were sailed at Grafham Water Sailing Club over the weekend of 8th and 9th October.


A puffy North Easterly breeze ranging in strength from 12 to 17 knots greeted the fleet of 18 boats on Saturday morning as Race Officer, Peter Saxton, got the first of three races under way bang on schedule.  With the ‘U’ flag deployed from the outset, it was clear he wasn’t in the mood for any nonsense either from the RS800s or from the RS400s, also contesting their Inland Championships and sharing the same course.  First victims of the no-nonsense approach were Andrew Blundell and Jane Turner in race one.  The warning must have been effective as there were to be no more DSQs or recalls for the RS800s for the rest of the weekend.


Avoiding the slower moving and higher pointing RS400s in the shifty and gusty conditions would provide an additional challenge for the RS800s.  With guest rock star, Roz McGrane, at the front, James “Uzi” Hughes led most of the first race only to make a mistake right at the end, allowing the boats of Tim Saxton / Fiona Hampshire and the recently returned, Ella & James Moreland through to take first and second respectively.


A nasty incident in the second race saw ‘Uzi’ (now known as Captain Calamity) and Roz collide heavily with an unsighted RS400 putting James in hospital with some cracked ribs, a damaged lung and bruised liver and ego.  Credit to Roz, whose quick thinking and calm conduct prevented what could have been an even worse situation.  Their abandoned and upturned boat in the middle of the race course left another obstacle to avoid.


Races 2 and 3 were won by Tim Saxton and Fiona Hampshire whose ability to continually apply pressure, then capitalise on the resulting mistakes to snatch race wins was beginning to become a pattern.  Ella and James were second in race 2, having seemingly lost none of their skills during their year-long sabbatical from the RS800 while Ella recovered from a knee operation.  Second in race 3 were the on-form team of Ralph and Sophie Singleton, also fully recovered from their incident-packed day 2 of the Nationals in August.


After an evening of re-fuelling on the excellent food provided by the club and a few beers, Sunday dawned bright and sunny and with a slightly stronger breeze gusting from 13 to 20 knots from the North.


Enjoying the slightly fresher conditions, race 4 was won by the hard-charging Andy and Ally Jeffries followed home by Chris “Wolfgang” Feibusch and Nick “Fritz” Jerkins (their sail has a German flag on it rather than the Union flag!) with Tim and Fiona in third.  It was all about heads out of the boat to spot the breeze downwind and to navigate through and around the RS400s.  Race 5 saw the same three boats at the front, this time with Tim and Fiona taking the win and with it the Championship, followed by Chris Feibusch and Nick Jerkins once again in second, and Andy and Ally in third.


Race 6 would see four boats battle it out for the final two places on the podium.  Andy and Ally had a comfortable lead on the final run meaning overall second was all but sewn up, which left a scrap behind between Chris/Nick, Ella/James and Ralph/Sophie for third.  Tim and Fiona rounded the final windward mark in second and next round would be Ralph/Sophie closely followed by Ella/James and Chris/Nick a short distance behind.  With the breeze now a little softer and single wiring downwind, Chris and Nick opted to roll the dice and gybe-set away from the other two. They sailed into increasing pressure and gybed late to find themselves trapezing on the knots with main inside out to lay the final leeward mark.  As they approached they were just able to call starboard on Ralph and Sophie who were wallowing in a band of lighter pressure, gybe inside and cross the line third in dramatic style to take that final spot on the podium.


Notably absent at the event and giving someone else a chance this year, were 2016 National and European Champions, Luke and Emma McEwen, who were busy representing the class at the Endeavour Trophy, Champion of Champions event.  Contested in RS200s for the second year, they were last heard asking round if anyone had any idea what “toestraps” were for as they look nothing like the toe loops on the RS800 and for some reason mounted inside the boat.  All very curious.  They eventually discovered they were for something known as “hiking”, but apparently this left them still none the wiser.


Big thanks to Race Officer Peter Saxton and all the team at Grafham Water Sailing Club for an excellent and impeccably organised weekend and of course, to Clare Sargent, our incredible and effervescent RS Association Secretary.  Thanks to the Old Salt Loft for their great customised event prizes of boat bit bags and wine bags.  You can order your own personalised RS800 kit at the RS800 Class Association shop here


Thank you also to everyone involved in getting Captain Calamity safely and quickly off to hospital. Best wishes from the fleet to Uzi for a quick recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on the water and in the bar soon.


Next up is the final event of the RS800 Magic Marine Grand Prix: the End of Seasons at Rutland SC 5-6 November.  Online entry will be opening shortly.


By Chris Feibusch

Photos by Tim Olin


RS400 Fleet

Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Rating system: PY, Entries: 29, Scoring system: GWSC Open Meeting (1 course/PY/3 starts)
Rank Class Sail No Helm Crew Club PY R1
Total Nett Notes
1st RS400 703 Chris Pickles Matt Sharman Delph SC   (9.0) 3.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.0 19.0 10.0  
2nd RS400 1186 Dave Exley Mark Lunn Leigh & Lowton SC   3.0 4.0 1.0 (11.0) 1.0 3.0 23.0 12.0  
3rd RS400 1454 Jon Heissig Nicky Griffin Llangorse SC   1.0 1.0 6.0 (7.0) 3.0 2.0 20.0 13.0  
4th RS400 1202 Sam Knight Sam Pickering Bartley SC   6.0 2.0 (8.0) 3.0 8.0 4.0 31.0 23.0  
5th RS400 1396 Richard Catchpole Gary Coop Leigh & Lowton SC   2.0 (9.0) 7.0 5.0 4.0 6.0 33.0 24.0  
6th RS400 1414 Caroline Downing Jason McDonnell Bartley SC   (30.0 DSQ) 7.0 5.0 1.0 6.0 12.0 61.0 31.0  
7th RS400 1189 Steve Restall Chris Stubbs Downs SC   5.0 6.0 9.0 6.0 (17.0) 8.0 51.0 34.0  
8th RS400 1452 Howard Eeles Chris Bownes Bartley SC   11.0 5.0 4.0 4.0 11.0 (19.0) 54.0 35.0  
9th RS400 1017 Sean Cleary Annalise Nixon Oxford SC   8.0 (16.0) 10.0 10.0 7.0 5.0 56.0 40.0  
10th RS400 1161 Ben Robertson Karen Baldwin N/A   4.0 12.0 3.0 13.0 15.0 (30.0 DNC) 77.0 47.0  
11th RS400 1203 Richard Gray Jon Dyas QMSC   (16.0) 13.0 13.0 9.0 5.0 10.0 66.0 50.0  
12th RS400 1407 Hamish Gledhill Alistair Banks West Riding SC   13.0 (30.0 DNC) 12.0 8.0 10.0 7.0 80.0 50.0  
13th RS400 1131 Ben Williamson Charlie Ticehurst Welton SC   7.0 11.0 (16.0) 15.0 14.0 15.0 78.0 62.0  
14th RS400 1450 Wayne Hancox Adam Whitehouse Bartley SC   12.0 10.0 11.0 16.0 (20.0) 16.0 85.0 65.0  
15th RS400 564 Jacob Ainsworth Kayleigh Roberts South Shields SC   (18.0) 14.0 17.0 14.0 16.0 14.0 93.0 75.0  
16th RS400 1301 Mick Whitmore Sarah Whitmore Eastbourne Sovereign SC   19.0 20.0 (21.0) 21.0 12.0 9.0 102.0 81.0  
17th RS400 904 Grant Blake Jessica Barker Oxford SC   15.0 15.0 20.0 (23.0) 9.0 22.0 104.0 81.0  
18th RS400 1241 Ray Workman Robin Kirby RNSA   17.0 18.0 18.0 (20.0) 13.0 17.0 103.0 83.0  
19th RS400 1453 Stuart Halman Anna Walsh Leigh & Lowton SC   14.0 (23.0) 14.0 22.0 22.0 13.0 108.0 85.0  
20th RS400 1398 Sarah Allen Gavin Stanley QMSC   10.0 8.0 15.0 (30.0 DNC) 30.0 DNC 30.0 DNC 123.0 93.0  
21st RS400 1210 Mike Partridge Claire Davis HISC   (25.0) 19.0 22.0 17.0 25.0 20.0 128.0 103.0  
22nd RS400 1228 Andrew Johnson Simon Plant Grafham Water Sailing Club   21.0 22.0 25.0 18.0 18.0 (30.0 DNC) 134.0 104.0  
23rd RS400 1003 David Moore Bob Hodkinson Blithfield SC   20.0 17.0 23.0 25.0 21.0 (30.0 DNC) 136.0 106.0  
24th RS400 1392 Christopher Stanton Jules QMSC   23.0 24.0 19.0 (30.0 DNC) 23.0 18.0 137.0 107.0  
25th RS400 1380 Jon Willars Richard Brameld Welton SC   22.0 21.0 (24.0) 19.0 24.0 21.0 131.0 107.0  
26th RS400 1340 Sam Neal Alistair James Grafham Water Sailing Club   (30.0 DNC) 30.0 DNC 30.0 DNC 12.0 30.0 DSQ 11.0 143.0 113.0  
27th RS400 527 Andy Powell Steve Broom Warsash SC   27.0 26.0 27.0 24.0 19.0 (30.0 BFD) 153.0 123.0  
28th RS400 1092 Peter Cooke Alan Cooke Grafham Water Sailing Club   26.0 25.0 26.0 26.0 (30.0 DNC) 30.0 DNC 163.0 133.0  
29th RS400 1342 Max Tosetti Jenny Douglas QMSC   24.0 (30.0 DNC) 30.0 DNC 30.0 DNC 30.0 DNC 30.0 DNC 174.0 144.0  

RS800 Fleet

Sailed: 6, Discards: 1, To count: 5, Entries: 18, Scoring system: GWSC Open Meeting (1 course/PY/3 starts)
Rank Class Sail No Helm Crew Club Rating R1
Total Nett Notes
1st RS800 1203 Tim Saxton Fiona Hampshire Grafham Water Sailing Club   1.0 1.0 1.0 (3.0) 1.0 2.0 9.0 6.0  
2nd RS800 1212 Andy Jefferies Allyson Jefferies Eastbourne Soverign SC   (6.0) 3.0 4.0 1.0 3.0 1.0 18.0 12.0  
3rd RS800 8 Chris Feibusch Nick Jankins HISC   (10.0) 6.0 3.0 2.0 2.0 3.0 26.0 16.0  
4th RS800 1166 Ralph Singleton Sophie Singleton Datchet Water SC   4.0 (8.0) 2.0 4.0 4.0 4.0 26.0 18.0  
5th RS800 1216 Ella Morland James Morland Warsash SC   2.0 2.0 (8.0) 6.0 7.0 5.0 30.0 22.0  
6th RS800 1195 Paul Jerkins Colin Hatton Eastbourne Sovereign SC   9.0 4.0 (10.0) 7.0 5.0 7.0 42.0 32.0  
7th RS800 1132 Laurie Fitzjohn-Sykes Ann Baptie Datchet Water SC   5.0 7.0 5.0 11.0 (15.0) 8.0 51.0 36.0  
8th RS800 1202 Andrew Blundell Jane Turner Warsash SC   (19.0 BFD) 9.0 6.0 5.0 6.0 10.0 55.0 36.0  
9th RS800 1146 Martin Orton Ian Brooks Chichester YC   8.0 5.0 11.0 9.0 (14.0) 9.0 56.0 42.0  
10th RS800 1144 Daniel Goodman Debbie Clark Datchet Water SC   7.0 (14.0) 9.0 10.0 11.0 6.0 57.0 43.0  
11th RS800 1224 Fred Lord Louise Gale Carsington SC   11.0 11.0 7.0 (14.0) 12.0 12.0 67.0 53.0  
12th RS800 1073 George Hand Ed Gibbons Brightlingsea SC   (15.0) 10.0 13.0 12.0 10.0 11.0 71.0 56.0  
13th RS800 1131 Becky Diamond Sophie Porteous HISC   12.0 13.0 12.0 13.0 13.0 (19.0 DNC) 82.0 63.0  
14th RS800 1154 Matthew Ponsford Olivia Winther HISC/CYC   14.0 12.0 (19.0 DNC) 19.0 RAF 8.0 14.0 86.0 67.0  
15th RS800 1043 Chris Dodd Bryony Meakins Rutland SC   (19.0 DNC) 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 8.0 9.0 13.0 87.0 68.0  
16th RS800 1221 James Hughes Roz McGrane Netley SC   3.0 (19.0 DNC) 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 98.0 79.0  
17th RS800 922 Ian Paterson Carol Paterson Grafham Water Sailing Club   13.0 15.0 14.0 (19.0 DNC) 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 99.0 80.0  
18th RS800 1077 Nigel Furness Joan Furness Datchet Water SC   (19.0 DNC) 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 19.0 DNC 114.0 95.0  



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