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Gul Inland Championships

    RS500 Gul Inland Championship at Grafham WSC 11-12 Oct 14


    Report by Peter Curtis.

    Photos by Ela Miller: Peter Curtis and Sophie Jones with their beautiful trophy.


    Seven RS500s made the trip to Grafham Water SC for the weekend of 11/12 October, despite the rather dodgy forecast of light winds on Saturday, and even lighter on Sunday.  The race team decided to go for four races on Saturday, instead of the scheduled three, in case Sunday didn't turn up – which turned out to be a wise decision.  We were sharing a start line with the RS100s which made the starts more interesting; your correspondent had no idea they could stuff so high off the line, although it seemed awfully slow!


    Race 1, shifty and light.  The 600s and 300s before us had gone right, but a slight shift and variable pressure saw the fleet split.  Peter Curtis and Sophie Jones went left but were the first to track back to the right.  Jane Olive and Chris Tuckett kept going left and looked good for a while, but ultimately were buried.  Phil and Tamsin Highfield went right early and came out just ahead of Curtis/Jones.  The run was rather one sided with little opportunity to make or lose tactically – just concentrate on soaking as deep as possible.  Curtis/Jones had the better of the second beat and started the final run with a decent lead, which they held to the finish.  Dave Houghton and John Symonds showed unexpected downwind speed to challenge the Highfields, but ultimately came third.


    Race 2, shifty and not quite so light at the start (but it didn't last).  A distinct port bias on the line saw a bit of a scrum at the pin, and Curtis/Jones found out about the 100s ability to sail unfeasibly high.  Olive/Tuckett had the best of the start and pulled out a decent lead up the middle of the track before heading right, followed by most of the fleet.  Curtis/Jones, having been completely buried on the start, held on left and were rewarded with both pressure and a lift into the mark.  Houghton/Symonds were second at the top mark, followed by the Highfields and Olive/Tuckett.  This was a three lap race and by the windward mark on the last lap Olive/Tuckett had moved up to within striking distance of Curtis/Jones.  The final run had more pressure out to the right, but Curtis/Jones broke first, thinking they were at the lay line, and sailed into a big hole.  Easy win for Olive/Tuckett as the breeze stayed with them.  The Highfields took third.


    Race 3, shifty and so light the RO abandoned the start with 30s to go.  By the time it filled in again it had improved to shifty and with occasional promise of having to both sit up.  Olive/Tuckett seemed to have mastered the conditions now and took the lead early on, followed by Houghton/Symonds, with Curtis/Jones trying not to get dropped.  On the second run Olive/Tuckett became confused whether it was a two or three lap race, and how many have we done anyway?  The safe option was to go through the finish line, but with no finish gun they quickly dropped the kite and set off again.  Houghton/Symonds trustingly followed them, and Curtis/Jones, who did successfully count to two (!) found themselves rounding the bottom mark with a slight advantage.  This was increased up the last beat for a relatively comfortable win.  Olive/Tuckett lost a further place up the beat, possibly not being in the best frame of mind, for fourth.


    Race 4, shifty and with a thunderstorm around us, so there was a possibility of something exciting happening.  Houghton/Symonds were just first round the top mark, followed by Curtis/Jones and Olive/Tuckett as the wind started to build.  Jane gybed immediately as the wind swung and suddenly it was a full on, flat out reach straight for the lee mark, with her in pole position.  Curtis/Jones just got the advantage of Houghton/Symonds and then it was a drag race of tight reach and tight kite reach for a lap and a half.  The final run saw the wind ease and back a bit so we were back to soaking.  Olive/Tuckett nearly let Curtis/Jones through while discussing how many laps they had done, but saw the danger just in time and held on for the win.  A good day's racing, but Sunday dawned still, and although we all knew wind was on the way there was not enough and the RO abandoned at 12.00.  So Peter and Sophie retained the trophy, with Jane and Chris second and Dave and John third.

    RS500 Gul Inland Championship Grafham WSC 11-12 Oct 14

    RS500 Fleet

    Sailed: 4, Discards: 1, To count: 3, Entries: 7, Scoring system: GWSC Open Meeting (1 course/PY/3 starts)
    Rank Fleet Ranking SailNo HelmName CrewName Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Nett Notes
    1st RS500   659 Peter Curtis Sophie Jones Island Barn Reservoir SC 1 -2 1 2 6 4  
    2nd RS500   727 Jane Olive Chris Tuckett Netley and Norfolk -5 1 4 1 11 6  
    3rd RS500   795 David Houghton Johnn Symonds Great Yarmouth & Gorleston SC 3 -4 2 3 12 8  
    4th RS500   665 Philip Highfield   Great Yarmouth & Gorleston SC 2 3 3 -4 12 8  
    5th RS500   748 Anna Zmura Keith Sykes Great Yarmouth & Gorleston SC 4 5 -6 5 20 14  
    6th RS500   826 Michael Clapp Tim Williams Datchet Water SC -7 7 5 6 25 18  
    7th RS500   565 Will Pook Alex Cole Netley SC 6 6 -7 7 26 19