United Kingdom

02/10/2004
GUL National Inland Championships Draycote Water SC

Eighteen RS 600s joined the two home boats at Draycote to contest the 2004 Gul Inland Championships. Saturday Race 1 The OOD laid a trapezoidal course and set six laps for the first race. The gusty, shifting breeze made for interesting racing with many place changes, particularly on the beats and runs. Alex Knight led early on with Paul Smalley, Charlie Roome, Dave Nunn, Matt Connor and Richard Leech in the pursuing group. Although the race was eventually shortened to five laps, this still proved too many for some with Dave Nunn and Matt Connor wiping out in spectacular fashion after the top reach on lap 4. Matt?s recovery from this mishap was short lived however, as his mast fell down at the end of the next leg. Alex Knight surrendered his lead to local sailor 'Smalley Paul' who took the win followed by Alex, with another local, Charlie Roome in 3rd and Richard Leech in 4th. Saturday Race 2 With no clear favoured side up the first beat, the fleet was still tightly bunched at the first mark in race 2. After the first reach the leading pack split either side of the run and Ian Marshall sailed down the middle on a huge gust to lead round the next mark. Charlie Roome threatened for a couple of laps, but fell in on a gybe and dropped to 6th. After this Marshall went on to win comfortably with Rob Chaplin taking 2nd, followed by Paul Smalley and Richard Leech in 3rd and 4th respectively. Saturday Race 3 The breeze came up for the third race and Richard Leech sailed higher and faster upwind to clinch the win from Jamie Mawson, with Matt Connor keeping his mast up to finish 3rd just ahead of Ian Marshall who was making a late charge. This left the overall positions very close with Richard Leech the overnight leader from Paul Smalley and Ian Marshall, both only one point behind. Sunday Race 4 Day two dawned with the breeze building and the prospect of gale force winds from the south later in the day. Richard Leech and Paul Smalley came off the start sailing fast on starboard, and when they eventually tacked onto port, both cleared the fleet and sailed into the leading positions. Paul Smalley surged into the lead on the run only to throw it all away with a costly capsize that saw him slip into 6th. Richard Leech gratefully assumed control and in spite of late challenges from Jamie Mawson and Ian Marshall, he went on to win from these two with Rob Chaplin a distant 4th. Sunday Race 5 This race saw a change in fortunes at the front of the fleet with Richard Leech having a ?shocker? to finish in 12th after a poor start. Jamie Mawson confirmed his challenge for the title with a well deserved win in difficult conditions. Ian Marshall recovered from an indifferent first beat to take 2nd just ahead of Rob Chaplin and Paul Smalley. This made the overall situation extremely close with at least 4 people in with a chance of victory, so it was all to play for in the last race. Sunday Race 6 Charlie Roome shot off the start line in race 6 and just kept going on starboard until he hit the layline. This paid handsomely and his port tack approach to the first mark saw him in a commanding lead from Rob Chaplin and Jamie Mawson, with Richard Leech and Paul Smalley in chasing group. In the blustery conditions the fleet concertina?d one way then the other and Charlie?s seemingly unassailable lead evaporated. Now under pressure a fatal capsize allowed Rob Chaplin through to snatch victory on the last lap and become one of the five different race winners. Having righted, Roome held 2nd with Mawson in 3rd. Richard Leech just held onto 4th by half a foredeck length from the fast closing Ian Marshall who had made up 50 yards on the last reach. This was the crucial result which confirmed Richard as Inland Champion, but only on a countback as he was tied on points with 2nd placed Jamie Mawson. Only one point behind in 3rd was Ian Marshall with Rob Chaplin a further 2 points away in 4th. If Marshall had managed to pip Leech, then Mawson would have been champion from Marshall with Leech 3rd. After some extremely competitive close racing Richard Leech, who was sailing one of the oldest boats in the fleet, takes the title back to Grafham. The merit award for the most improved newcomer went to John Charles who finished in a creditable 12th place overall. Thanks go to our sponsors Gul International and the host club Draycote Water Sailing Club for an excellent event enjoyed by all. Ian Marshall

Pos Sail No Helm Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts Notes
1 637 Leech Richard Grafham Water 4 4 1 1 12 4 14  
2 861 Mawson Jamie Pennine 6 7 2 2 1 3 14  
3 979 Marshall Ian RAFSA/Oxford 5 1 4 3 2 5 15  
4 930 Chaplin Rob Queen Mary 8 2 7 4 3 1 17  
5 901/9 Smalley Paul Univ Warwick 1 3 6 6 4 6 20  
6 893 Roome C Draycote Water/Univ Warwick 3 6 5 5 10 2 21  
7 777 Knight Alex Chew Valley SC 2 5 11 9 5 7 28  
8 984 Heissig Andy Lymington Town 7 8 9 10 6 DNS 40  
9 826 Nunn D I Datchet Water 10 15 8 8 8 9 43  
10 879 Conner Matt   DNS 13 3 12 13 10 51  
11 920 Lord Fred Porchester 11 11 12 11 7 DNS 52  
12 702 Charles John Stowe SC 13 12 DNF 7 11 13 56  
13 811 Lilley Richard Lymington Town 9 10 10 14 DNS DNS 64  
14 900 Wyatt A BCYC DNF 16 13 15 9 12 65  
15 649 Anderson Shaun RAFSA/Oxford DNS 9 14 16 DNF 11 71  
16 904 Gaunt Richard Pennine DNF 18 DNS 13 14 8 74  
17 921 Bower D RAFSA Brize Norton 14 DNS DNS 17 15 14 81  
18 653 Hancox Wayne Bartly 12 14 15 DNS DNS DNS 83  
19 694 Wattterson A Blithfield SC DNF 17 DNS DNS DNS DNS 101  
20 868 Collins East Molesey SC DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS DNS 105  
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