United Kingdom

Volvo RS600 UK National Championships

  • RS600 National Championships
  • RS600 National Championships
  • RS600 National Championships

RS600 Nationals day 1
I travelled down to Stokes Bay SC on Wednesday hoping to get some sneaky practice in but the wind didn't play so I had a gentle drift around for an hour or so.Thursday dawned with a bit more wind, about 10 knots.

Race one got away without mishap despite the strong tide pushing us across the line. Matt Holden led from the start and held it all the way around to take the first win. Anthony York (Chunky) was hot on his tail and Pete Nelson finished third.  New face Sam Barker showed some good speed and would have had a podium place but for a capsize on the leeward mark.The tactics were to keep right up the beat in the tide and then hug the shore downwind judging when to gybe off into pressure but more tide.

Race 2 and the fleet split up the first beat. A wind shift saw the left hand side pay big dividends for a change and Chris Tilbrook leads round the windward mark followed closely by Chunky and Sam. Chunky and Sam stay inshore out of the tide on the run and overtake Chris.  The final positions remain unchanged even after some close racing.Overall after day one it is Chunky first, Matt second and Pete third.

RS600 Nationals Day 2
Race 3
A healthy force four was on the water for the start of race 3. First start was a bit messy with some of us not even present and Alan Goule has a close shave with the committee boat. After everyone settles down at the top mark it's Pete around first followed by Matt and Chunky with Sam and John Powell not far behind.
Downwind everyone fancies going right but the wind is lighter on the inside. As I was so far behind I went lefty and came in behind Chunky at the leeward mark ahead of Sam and John. Everyone then settles down but it is all very tight with no room for error. 2 laps of close racing later it ends Pete, Matt, Chunky and Chris 4th.

Race 4
Matt was late to the start and almost becomes the second victim of the committee boat as he tacks off onto port. Chris, Chunky and Sam go hard left but when they get to the windward mark it clearly hasn't paid with around six boat crossing in front. The wind is increasing up to around 18 knots and is taking its toll as people start to fall in. We have caught up with the 300s which add a whole new dimension to keeping out of trouble. The same people find their way to the top half of the fleet and over the line it's Matt, Pete, Chunky and then John Charles grabs a 4th.

Race 5
Due to a large number of 300s being upside down and the waves getting a bit on the large size we are sent in. After about 40 minutes we get back out again to start the last race of the day. The starts are getting very reserved in the 600 class but there was a black flag up all the same, we think this must have been for the 300s. Up the first beat Pete and Chunky go up the middle, Chris went hard left and Matt goes right. At the top mark it's Chunky round first then Pete, Matt, John and Dan Saltmarsh.  On the second downwind leg Matt drops it in leaving Chris in third but after dropping down to seventh Matt then sails on a mission and gets back to third place.Overall Chunky and Matt are tied in first place with Pete third and Chris fourth.Tonight we have a curry and quiz to look forward to. So far a really good event, tomorrow's forecast is for more wind!

I am pleased to report the quiz was won by members of the RS600 fleet despite a pro quiz team entering.

Day 3

Race 6

Today started grey and wet with very light winds, but starts to increase for the first race. Out of the start Matt goes out to the right hand side, Chris Tilbrook and Chunky (Anthony York) go out to the left hand side along with Pete Nelson who then decides to stay int he middle.

At the top mark its Matt followed by Pete, Chunky, Chris and John Charles.  Down wind everyone seems to be favouring the right hand side, Matt opens up a safe lead leaving the other 4 to fight it out, in the middle of the fleet there are lots of place changes.  On the final downwind leg its Matt with a good lead and Chunky, Pete and John are still close together.  Chris Tillbrook tries an attack from the left hand side which seemed to have more wind but fell in on the gybe, The race finishes with Matt, Chunky, Pete then John Charles it must have been a photo finish for the mid fleet as there were 6 or 7 boats over lapping for the finish.

Race 7

Anthony York is off and running with a good lead to the windward mark. the rest of the fleet are all close together, Chris and Matt fight it out along the reach for second place, Chunky Gybes first followed by Matt, Chris then Pete.

Race 8

The wind is still increasing throughout the day, Chunky, Pete and Chris sailed off but Matt soon catches up he has lots of pace and starts to get a good lead Chunky and Pete are very busy fighting it out, Chris sat it out waiting for something to go wrong but it all settled down and on the finish Matt takes another first, Chunky second and Pete third. Its still close at the top with only 1 point between Matt and Chunky only 2 more races to go.

After an evening of chilli and some loud music it was time to crack on with the final two

races of the nationals. The breeze is light and variable as we head out to the start line.

Off the line the fleet go to the left with some of us that had bad starts tacking off to the right side; at the windward mark its Matt with Pete close behind, then the rest of the pack giving chase and I arrive some time later with lots of work to do on the down hill. It's tricky racing for some of us where we may be thinking it was a game of snakes and ladders, especially when I worked up the fleet and got taken out by the windward mark. Never mind, I just carefully unravelled it from the wing which lead to a capsize but that didn't matter . Fortunately the breeze is off shore.

Race 9 goes to Matt, with Pete and Chunky following behind.


Off the start for the final race its a game of picking out the shifts and keeping in the breeze,

at the top mark its Sam in pole position with Pete Nelson. Pete Williams has got his nose up the front , Dan and the two Johns all give chase down the first reach, with me Chunky and Matt (who had a funny moment on a tack earlier) having a lot of work to do. It was hard work down wind looking for the gusts to get into. Sam hangs on tight to grab the last of the bullets, Pete is second , and Sam holds his nerve as me and Pete Williams close in at the bottom mark and gets a 3rd .


That brings it all to a close; well done Matt, this years champ.



Thanks to Stokes Bay Sailing Club for a Great ten out of ten races!


We would like to also like to thank Volvo for the sponsorship of the event


Volvo Car UK has been a long-term backer of sailing in the UK, and for the next 2 years are sponsoring the RS Class Association.


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Rank Sail No Helm Crew Club Race_1 Race_2 Race_3 Race_4 Race_5 Race_6 Race_7 Race_8 Race_9 Race_10 Nt Pts
1 963 Matthew Holden
Locks SC 1 (4) 2 1 3 1 2 1 2 (9) 13
2 985 Anthony York
Northampton SC 2 1 (3) 3 1 2 1 2 3 (6) 15
3 920 Peter Nelson
Northampton SC 3 (5) 1 2 2 3 (4) 3 1 2 17
4 630 Chris Tilbrook
Paignton SC (6) 3 4 5 4 5 3 4 (8) 4 32
5 702 John Charles
Leigh-on-Sea SC (7) (16/DNC) 5 4 7 4 5 5 7 7 44
6 960 Dan Saltmarsh
Blackwater SC 4 (8) 7 7 8 (9) 6 8 5 3 48
7 954 Jon Powell
Portchester SC 5 7 6 6 5 (8) (9) 7 6 8 50
8 861 Sam Barker
Castle Cove SC 8 2 8 (16/DNF) (16/DNC) 6 10 16/DNC 4 1 55
9 830 Peter Williams
Bough Beech SC (11) (11) 9 9 6 7 7 6 9 5 58
10 740 Nick Orman
Castle Cove SC 10 6 10 8 (16/DNC) 10 12 (16/DNF) 10 16/DNF 82
11 901 Alan Goule
Paignton SC (12) 9 (12) 10 10 12 11 9 11 10 82
12 697 Chris White
Restronguet SC 14 13 11 11 9 11 8 (16/DNC) (16/DNC) 16/DNC 93
13 703 Clare Hansell
Downs SC 13 12 (16/DNF) (16/DNF) 16/DNC 13 13 16/DNC 12 11 106
14 764 Pete Lloyd
Weymouth SC 9 10 (16/RAF) (16/DNC) 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 115
15 887 Jason McDonnell
Bartley SC (16/DNC) (16/DNC) 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 16/DNC 128
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