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RS200 Sprint Championships - Rutland
By George Yeoman
It was a massively breezy weekend for the Sprints at Rutland which seemed to put off a few people so a small but perfectly formed group of 200's arrived to 20-30 knots.
The format for the sprints means that the fleet is split into 4 flights who rotate around and race each other with no discards. Six, 25 minute, races were planned each day, however Sunday was looking increasingly unlikely with gusts of 40 knots expected. It was hard work with lots of short sharp gusts dropping in over the finger of land in the middle of the lake. It meant that we really had to focus on easing the jib in each of them so as not to get knocked sideways which was obviously working well as we raced away upwind ensuring that we got to the top mark in good positions and at the half way point we had a score line of 2-1-1.
By this point the splashy 2 sail reaches, the 4 degree water and the hard work in the breeze meant people started to make mistakes. Only 3 of the 13 boat fleet did not go for a swim which luckily enough included us. Even though we had stayed upright, the cold was taking effect and starting to sap energy out of arms and hiking muscles. This made the last 3 races very hard and whilst we beat our nearest rivals in the next flight, they went on to win their last 2 races which left us on equal points over night with us 2nd on count back from number of wins.
The Sunday was, as expected, a blow out. We arrived to find 25 knots gusting 30 already, with the breeze expecting to build and this led to the RO to take the decision to stop the racing where it stood. This meant that even with a scoreline of 2-1-1-2-2-1 we were runners up at the championship. A good start to the season showing we can handle ourselves in a breeze. Onward and upwards!
George & Soph