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Kit Guide

Recent Events, Team Racing and RS 200's

By Matt Smith 2nd October 2020
I’ve had a great season this year with my results and improvements, since my last blog about the RS Tera World Championship where I placed third I have had a few more successes. Summer Race Weeks Notably I have competed in both the Royal Harwich Yacht Club Junior Week and Brightlingsea Sailing club’s Pyefleet Week. Both events were awesome fun, with competitive week-long series of races. My crew Issy and I managed to win in the RS Feva in both the events, the fast handicap and the cadet (junior) fleet respectively.
Feva planing in a decent breeze Feva planing in a decent breeze
My highlight of Pyefleet week was Big Wednesday, a massive all in handicap race in the middle of the week for all of the entrants. To mix things up I sailed dad’s RS 200 with my friend Max. We managed to get sixth overall, and first under 18's. We also beat Hannah Stodel and her crew of Olympians in their Brightlingsea One Design, as well as our previous Tera coach (Sorry Sarah!) in an RS 800. All in all they were both great weeks of really competitive racing.
Not a good Photo! ;) Big Wednesday Juniors Trophy (Not a good photo I know! ;) )
RS 200's More recently I had the opportunity to sail my dad’s 200 again, this time at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in Burnham with my friend Dylan. It was a really fun weekend against some very good sailors. On the first day there was a lightish breeze with lots of sunshine. Dylan and I had a great first race, sitting sixth at the last mark but managing to gain three places on the last beat to the finishing line. Our second race we managed to get a fourth, followed by another fourth in the next race. Consistency was the name of the game on the first day and we ended the day in third, one point ahead of our Feva coach Jon, who was fourth.
Hiking Hard Hiking Hard
However the second day was much windier, not good news for us as a very light team, however we hiked as hard as we could and managed to save the capsizing for the last race scoring a sixth, seventh and a tenth that we discarded. It was an awesome day though and flying downwind with the kite up was very fast and a lot of fun. With our not so good results on the second day we slipped down to finishe fifth overall, falling down past our coach who coped much better in the windier conditions.
High and Fast on the second day High and Fast on the second day
All in all it was a really great weekend with some very close racing and if this weekend is anything to go by then the RS 200 class is one of the friendliest classes I have ever sailed in. Photos are by Roger Mant, thanks to him. Thanks to Dylan for being such a great crew, Thanks to Di for my lunch and thanks to Carl for organising such a great event and thanks to mum and dad for the loan of the boat and the taxi service. Team Racing Last weekend I went to Oxford Sailing Club for the RYA Eric Twiname Junior Team Racing Nationals. What an amazing experience! I got to crew for my friend Harry in an RS Feva, Our team was predominately made of people who had just moved out of the RS Tera Pro. It was great to compete in such a different type of event, coming from a background of mainly fleet racing this was really new to me. I really liked the coming in to the shore in between races to speak to our team manager Steve who had watched our results and was telling us about what we had to do to qualify for the different divisions.
Team Huddle Team Huddle
We lost in the seventh race on the first day followed by a loss in the eleventh. Our first race was against the RS Tera Pro team, so it was a bunch of our mates that still sailed the Tera, so even though we lost to them (embarrassing!) it was great to see them. With three more losses that day to 'Sevenoaks’ School team', ‘Team Oppy’, and the ‘Sailing Assassins’, we finished with 14 wins out of 19. This meant that we were just out of qualifying for the Gold A league, however it put us at first in Gold B, We would then have a round of league racing to decide who went on to the semi finals. The next day we prepared for our league racing. As the first team in Gold B we still had a chance to qualify for the semis as the top three from gold A went through along with the first team in Gold B. This meant it almost worked into our favour as we would only have to face three of the teams that had beaten us again if we got through to the semi-finals. We completed all our league races and managed to win every one, as we had hoped, to place us at the top of Gold B meaning that we would qualify for the semis. However as we all lined up on the beach to launch for our semi final we heard the announcement that the race committee had decided to abandon as the wind was forecast to, and had started to, drop off. So quite disappointedly we de-rigged our Fevas and went to get changed. It was a real shame that the rest of the racing was called off as we had nothing to lose as now we had qualified we couldn’t drop any lower than fourth. The racing we did do was still really fun, and we have all said that we will be coming back next year to try our luck in the Youth category racing Fireflys. Thanks to Steve for all the work organising it. Also I have been practicing hard in my Laser, competing in Barts Bash and finishing sixth at my club, not bad for a first race and third sail I think. As well as all the sailing I have been doing I have also had the chance to get some coaching done, and have really enjoyed working with new Tera sailors as well as very competent and experienced ones. I am also working on some sessions with the Eastern Squad as well as doing my Power Boat Level 2 course so that I can do my Dinghy Instructors Course next year. Because of this I have chosen to invest in some gear for coaching, I chose the Pro coastal Jacket and the Pro Hi-fits, I haven't had a chance to use them yet but they look awesome, and I am now looking forward to some cold weather to try them in. Thats all for now. Happy Sailing! Matt Smith

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