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Kit Guide

A New Partnership

By David Jessop 2nd October 2020
In the build-up to the Nationals next week, this blog post comes from Sophie, who started sailing with me a few months ago following a chance encounter at Grafham Water and the discussion of her proposed new full-contact sport: "foiling moth team racing", which we concluded would be fatal for all concerned. Unperturbed by her apparent lack of concern for my safety, I proposed that we committed to doing the RS200 season together; we have since had a lot of fun, even winning a couple of smaller events along the way, and are now hoping to put in a good performance in Mounts Bay next week.
Snakes and Ladders at Weir Wood, with big gusts and sunshine Snakes and Ladders at Weir Wood, with big gusts and sunshine
David and I started sailing together in May after David moved back to Cambridge, and his previous crew Clare moved to Kenya. Our first event together was at Hayling, with turbulent wind spinning off the hot sand dunes testing and frustrating the fleet. After moving my toe straps inboard (a tip David learned from Steve Cockerill, and which any 200 crew who values their knees should copy) we started to settle into the boat together.
New Spinfast Halyard New Spinfast Halyard
A recurring problem we found was that the spinnaker hoist was seriously hard work, often costing us places at the top mark. We decided to take advantage of Rooster's new Spinfast™ - 4mm Spinnaker Halyard Line, and took out all of the unnecessary blocks, rope and elastic from inside the spinnaker pole, leaving just the single tack line. David has recently become obsessed with taking every extra gram off the boat. Moth sailors! Weir Wood was our first event to try out the new spinnaker setup and my new Rooster Pro Race Gloves. The spinnaker was so much easier to hoist, but the halyard could do with being a little shorter, so we cut it down to around 13m during the lunch time break, and have been trimming 10cm off it on each outing since. I was so glad to have my new gloves as it was a windy and shifty day, yet no blisters! The club released a great report from the open with some nice photos here...
Weir Wood again, thanks to Pete Clifton for the photos Weir Wood again; thanks to Pete Clifton for the photos
Parkstone gave us another opportunity to practice on the sea against most of the top RS200 sailors, so despite the poor forecast we made the long drive down to Poole. We were very glad we did as Saturday was spectacular, with blue skies, hot sun and a good 10-15kts resulting in three fantastic races, fast planing and sparkling waves. We found we were hitting the first beats pretty well, but mistakes downwind cost us places around the course. Sunday dawned looking extremely unpromising, so deciding not to sail we made the most of the time and did some further boat upgrades. Adding a continuous kicker and a couple of bits of bungee here and there, David is now threatening to take the righting lines off to counter the extra weight. Moth sailors!!
Ready for the RS200 and Moth Nationals: back-to-back championships! Ready for the RS200 and Moth Nationals: back-to-back championships!
Neither of us had river sailed in a few years which made Aldeburgh fun, with lots of crash tacks when the centreboard starts to stick in the mud testing everyone's boathandling. Again undeterred by a poor forecast, we were pleasantly surprised by 5-10kts, warm sunshine and a beautiful venue with a rather luxurious clubhouse. David and I seem to be getting into the swing of things together, and with Easy Tiger now double polished (my side is definitely shinier), we are looking forward to the nationals at Mounts Bay next week.

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