United Kingdom

RS Fat Face Racing Circuit Hayling Island SC

The final Fat Face RS600 circuit event of the season took place at Hayling Island on 10th – 11th September. An uninspiring forecast meant entries were slightly down on the usual numbers, and most people were expecting to watch large amounts of cricket as the weekend went on. However after a short postponement on Saturday all the races were completed with a minimum of fuss, thanks to some very efficient race organisation by the host club. Saturday’s racing was sailed in a force 2, and the first race saw Charlie Roome getting the best of the start and leading around the windward mark, with Fred Merchant and Ian Marshall his nearest challengers. Conditions turned light up the second beat allowing the front 3 to bunch up. Marshall chose the correct side of the beat to take the lead, with Roome dropping to second and Merchant staying third. These positions remained the same till the finish, with Dave Acres a credible fourth in his first circuit event. The second race saw some interesting start line antics on behalf of some of the competitors, but Marshall and Paul Smalley sailed intelligent first beats to head the fleet, before Marshall decided to bear off at the windward mark and take the fleet with him on the wrong course, letting Roome through with Andy Hewitt his nearest challenger. Roome held on to win, with Smalley and Marshall showing the speed that has put them at the front of the circuit this year to recover to 2nd and 3rd. The final race saw the same pattern repeated, with Roome taking an early lead, pursued by Smalley. Going around the final leeward mark on the last reach, it appeared Roome had done enough, but Smalley gradually clawed his way past, only to hit the finish boat in the tide, handing the race back to Roome. This meant Roome lead overnight, with Marshall securing another 3rd to be 2nd going into the second day. Sunday dawned breezier and with most of the fleet nursing large hangovers, but these were soon lost as Jon Powell read the tactics right up the 1st beat to take a lead whilst the main contenders were watching each other on the other side of the beat. Marshall was in hot pursuit and took the lead which he held to the finish, with Smalley taking another second place and Powell holding on to 3rd. The points at the top were becoming steadily closer, and in race 5 Smalley got the start bias right and assumed a commanding lead, which he held until Marshall hit the right hand side of the 2nd beat to take the lead. Fred Merchant was in the leading group but lost out as he went left with Smalley. The finishing order was Marshall, Smalley and Roome holding Merchant off to take 3rd. Going into the final race Marshall stayed close to Roome in the pre start, knowing a victory for Roome was the only thing that could deny him the event. Having got ahead early in the first beat, he assumed a close cover, letting Smalley once again take the lead. Powell and Merchant were also in the hunt, with Marshall looking secure as Roome lost ground and places down the run. However Roome tacked off early up the 2nd beat, and was rewarded with a large shift (large being the operative word!), which meant when he tacked back on the port layline Smalley had to tack to cover, with his lead eroded to around 2 boat lengths. The rest of the fleet who had been vying for second were now relegated to the hunt for 3rd, and the battle was on to see if Roome could overtake Smalley on the final 3 reaches and take the event. However Smalley held on to break his run of 2nds, with Roome finishing second and Powell taking 3rd. All this meant that Marshall, Roome and Smalley all finished on 9 points, showing their close finish at the nationals a week previously was no fluke. However Marshall’s 3 wins gave him the event, with Roome’s 2 victories giving him 2nd ahead of Smalley. Once again the 600 fleet has provided some very close racing, and so the inlands in a few weeks time are one to watch out for, with some tight racing throughout the fleet expected.
1 47 RS600 979 Ian Marshall RAFSA 1.0 3.0 3.0 1.0 1.0 4.0 9.0 2 50 RS600 893 Charlie Roome HISC 2.0 1.0 1.0 4.0 3.0 2.0 9.0 3 41 RS600 9 Paul Smalley CVLSC 5.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.0 1.0 9.0 4 48 RS600 763 Fred Merchant LDC 3.0 5.0 4.0 5.0 4.0 6.0 21.0 5 46 RS600 954 Jon Powell Porchester 6.0 6.0 6.0 3.0 5.0 3.0 23.0 6 44 RS600 910 Dave Acres ESSC 4.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 6.0 5.0 24.0 7 43 RS600 918 Tony Mitchell Oxford 10.0 DNF 10.0 7.0 8.0 7.0 42.0 8 42 RS600 703 Ken Potts GFSC 8.0 8.0 7.0 DNC DNC DNC 47.0 9 45 RS600 808 John Tappznden Holland on sea 9.0 7.0 8.0 DNC DNC DNC 48.0 10 51 RS600 618 Andrew Hewitt Weston SC 7.0 9.0 9.0 DNC DNC DNC 49.0 11 49 RS600 756 Richard Mayo Weston SC DNC DNF DNC DNC 7.0 DNC 55.0
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