The curtains have come down and the singing has finished at the RS200 Nationals for another year. Congratulations to James Peters and Jo Wright on their victory, and also to fellow Team Rooster sailors George Yeoman and Sophie Ormsby for a fantastic 2nd place.
A great time was had by all, the venue delivered on its promise and the fleet showed why this is the class to be in for close competitive racing and a lively social scene.
Easy Tiger! The Noah's Ark themed party midweek resulted in some disturbing costumes
We came into the event with a target of top 10, knowing that this would be a tough ask in such a quality fleet. We're therefore quite satisfied with finishing 15th, which is an improvement on last year's 18th place. More importantly for us we showed great consistency all week in a range of conditions, never finishing outside the top 20 (even when the slot gasket came off!).
Happy sailors at the end of regatta ball
"Big Wednesday" was as fantastic as promised, with three races in 25 kts and big waves. We were pleased with 6th in the third race, and less so with 17th and 15th in the first two. Our consistency did however allow us to take a few risks on the final Thursday, with the wind coming off the high shoreline and supplying some dramatic wind shifts. The flatter water and shifty breeze suited us better, but with a 10th in the first race, we were forced to be Pathfinder for the gate start in the next race. With the wind forecast to move dramatically left, and showing signs that it was about to do so, this was the last thing we wanted.
Often, being Pathfinder is a great advantage, as it gives you clear air and guarantees you a front row start. However, it limits your options as it forces you right at the beginning of the first beat. Unfortunately for us, this was the worst possible race to be Pathfinder, as the wind swung left by 40* shortly after we were released on the far right of the fleet, resulting in a windward mark rounding in the 60's. It was only because of the opportunities presented by this shifting wind that we were able to rescue the race and finish 16th, but we definitely felt robbed of the opportunity for a really good result in our best conditions.
The final race began in the new wind that had established itself from the SW. After a strong downwind leg that brought us into around 10th, we were plagued by another boat breakage: the spinnaker chute had pulled off the deck, trapping the sheets and preventing the kite from coming down. We were thus forced to retire - a disappointing end to an otherwise very enjoyable regatta!
The latest breakage - the next job!
Now to fix the broken bits, and wash all the sand out of the cleats/ blocks/ sails/ clothes/ shoes/hair/ teeth...