RS600 Rooster National Tour - Train and Race Weekend, Bough Beech SC
On Saturday 16th April a group of RS600 sailors arrived at Bough Beech hoping to gain some top tips from George the National Champion, we rigged, we played, we learnt. A revisited format of train and race that was put to good use with new-comers to the fleet enjoying a Saturday of light wind practice. The Saturday opened with rigging and static set up advice followed by light wind tacking and gybing practice. The key theme of the morning was keeping weight forward in the boat and momentum through the manoeuvres. Many were found to have their diamonds too slack and their shrouds either too raked or too upright, falling into the trap of defaulting at ‘3 holes down’ as was the standard.
The afternoon session, with more breeze consisted of several practice races. This time the focus was more on starting practice as well as mark rounding and maximising pressure whilst being able to change mode effectively. The day was finished off by a video de-brief in the club house with a few sore bodies reflecting on the learning points of the day.
After a day's training we all looked forward to a competitive day's racing on the Sunday, 7 RS600’s arrived at Bough Beech, the weather was not kind, with a light shifty South Easterly, the race officer set a port handed triangle. We were the first fleet to start, ahead of club racing. James O’Leary pulled off a cheeky port handed start but George Smith managed to arrive at the windward mark ahead of the fleet having stayed left. The wind shifted to the east positions remained the same as at the windward mark, 1st George Smith, 2nd Elliot Marks, 3rd Mike Iszatt. Heather Denbigh did not join us for the first race as she had some necessary boat maintenance to undertake (such as riveting the pintles back onto the rudder!).
Race 2 saw some close starting, we all tried to pull off a port handed start, I believe Mike was the most successful as George and myself were OCS and had to restart, George opted for the committee boat end and myself the pin end. Mike was first to the windward mark followed by George. Mike chose to mix it up with the club sailors but George and I went left which paid off, Mike seemed surprised that George and I were at the windward mark on lap two before him, positions did not change with George finishing first, myself second and Mike third. Paul Patrick was consistent to finish out the morning 4th. He then made his excuses and left for a flight to Scotland which he had delayed to attend the training.
Race 3 – After lunch the race officer decided on a change of course to a starboard triangle. A competitive start with everyone in the mix, no surprises George still managed to arrive at the windward mark first, followed by myself and Mike, after the gybe mark George and Mike had a battle going towards the leeward mark, allowing me to sail for the mark I was leading the fleet for half a leg but George and Mike soon piled on the pressure. The wind was filled with ‘holes and opportunities. Mike finding a good lead at times only to find himself in a tacking duel to the finish, with a near photo finish on the last tack to give him to final bullet. Will Russell sailed to his best result of the racing, coming in 4th, with Heather finishing in 5th.
A great weekend on the water, huge thank you to George for organising and his invaluable input to the training, to Bough Beech for hosting and to Rooster for their sponsorship of the event and the series.
Well done to Paul for winning the mid-fleet prize hero prize and Heather for the Endeavour prize, neck sleeves donated by Rooster sailing.
Make sure to get entered for the Rope4Boats Inland Champs at Grafham Water in May, and the Noble Marine Nationals before the discounted entry for the RS Games expires on 30th April!.
Here’s to a great summer of RS600 sailing
Photos: Sarah Seddon