Congratulations to George Smith, Noble Marien Allen RS600 National Champion 2023 - the 3rd year in a row!
Smashing photos thank to Alice Crick
Y&Y report here
Noble Marie Allen RS600 Nationals, Stone SC - Day 1 Report
By George Smith, Jamie Mawson & Ian Montague
Day one of the 2023 Noble Marine and Allen Brothers-sponsored nationals dawned with a light breeze and a strong tide, as forecast, leading to a postponement. The fleet, well fed at lunch, launched into an 8-knot westerly breeze with an incoming tide. This dictated much of the theme of the day - don’t be early and generally go left.
Race one saw a relatively conservative start with a busy pin end. The left side of the course generally paid, and the top half of the fleet piled in from the port lay line. Tim Cutsforth rounded first, having benefited from the practice day on Thursday, chased by the Notts County boys, Jamie Mawson and Matt Potter, and local legend Ian Montague. As the race unfolded, Ian eventually overhauled Tim, and George Smith rounded out the top three.
Race two didn’t get away as planned. Neil Fulcher, our race officer had spoken too soon, suggesting the fleet were well behaved. After one general recall the fleet split between those that had learnt to go left and those tempted to the right. The top mark was a tight round between Jake and Ian Montague. The pack chased hard with the paying move getting out of the tide on the downwind. George eventually overhauled Ian, with Jake chasing hard for 3rd and Matt consistent in 4th.
Race three saw three further general recalls, forcing the race officer to lengthen the line, reduce the pin end bias and move onto an I flag. The fleet got away, again splitting between the pressure on the right and the promise of the left paying.
The left again paid as the tide quickly turned from slack to heading out to sea. Anyone on the right was caught out and apart from the Notts County boys who rounded clear ahead, most struggled to make the windward mark in a dying breeze. The rich got richer and the race got longer for those still struggling upwind. Jamie and Matt were clear ahead and finished almost in a different time zone. The rear third of the fleet were sensibly finished early. Little did they know, the onshore beers were named the ‘turning tide’, which was supremely apt. The middle of the fleet battled on and rounded the leeward mark to a strengthening outgoing tide. The line proved further away than it appeared, and the last leg took as long as the rest of the race to complete.
Thanks to go to Mike Izzat of Silverhook who kindly provided welcome goodies for the fleet as well as presenting a daily prize to Ian Montague who is our overnight leader.
Tomorrow is looking a tricky day to be a race officer with many eyes on the forecast and an already high scoring event leaving all to play for.
Days Two and Three Noble Marine Allen RS600 2023 National Championship at Stone SC
Day two of the Noble Marine Allen Brothers 2023 RS600 Nationals started with a promising early breeze, however this quickly disappeared. A long wait ensued, with the start time of 11am soon a distant memory as the wind followed a cycle of filling in and dying. By 2:30pm there was talk of abandoning for the day, but eventually, after the ‘post-race’ ice creams were dished out, the fleet launched into a building sea breeze at 3pm.
Incredibly, all three scheduled races were completed, with the final race in planing conditions. With some big shifts coming off the land, picking the right side was crucial with the fleet often splitting and lots of different faces making an appearance at the front.
Jamie Mawson took the first race, with George Smith second and Grand Master Ian Marshall in third. Jamie continued his winning streak in race two, chased by Tim Cutsforth and a rapidly-improving Mike Iszatt. Mike showed the fleet a clean pair of heels to take race three, followed by George and Tim.
The fleet arrived back just after 6pm, giving just enough time for a quick scrub up before the excellent championship dinner provided by the club, and entertainment from a local magician. Going into the final day, it was all to play for with George and Jamie tied on points and any of the top five theoretically able to snatch victory.
Day three dawned with a lighter than expected breeze and palpable tension in the boat park as the leading helms did their maths. Although it appeared to be a two-horse race between defending champion George Smith and inland champion Jamie Mawson, both sailors had (they hoped) used up their discards and with those behind carrying big scores ahead of the second discard, the event was still wide open.
After a few delays, several recalls and much patience from the race committee, while the wind settled down, race seven started in a nice trapezing breeze.
Jamie made his intentions clear by taking an early lead and the heavily favoured committee boat end, and with George down in the pack having missed the massive right shift. George made an excellent last minute choice to tack immediately after the final leeward mark and took advantage of a late windshift and tide to hit the pin end of the line, resulting in almost a photo finish with Jamie at the committee boat end. With the increasingly consistent Mike Iszatt in third, the championship was clearly going to go to the wire.
For the final race a very excited, Will Russell rounded first with Jamie just ahead of George, but with the wind still swinging and increasing, George quickly powered into the lead. The breeze continued to build through the race with a strengthening flood tide. Ian Montague took second, closely followed by Mike. Jamie worked his way back to fourth meaning it was not immediately clear who had won overall.
In the end, consistency paid with George taking the title by one point. The event will be remembered for being the most closely contested in years, with four different race winners and the champion only winning two races, a testament to the depth of talent in the fleet. With several new boats now in the fleet, a wide range of ages from youth to over 65, and plans for a trip to Garda in 2024, the future looks bright for the RS600.
Many thanks to Noble Marine and Allen Brothers for their support, and all the volunteers at Stone SC who made the event such a success.
By Jamie Mawson