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By Ian Baillie
I had a good time at the RS300 Inlands last month. The great thing about the 300 is the people who sail them. It's like meeting up with a bunch of your best mates. The sailing is still taken seriously but no is going out to prove a point or do someone else in, so the sportsmanship and rule observance of the fleet is good to be a part of.
The first surprise at Draycote was that the tide was out and there were now shallows and an island to watch out for. More traditional was the shifty conditions on the Saturday. It was a light southerly and very hard to work out where to go. I felt it was better to work a side rather than go up the middle and my beats were usually quite gd. I did struggle downwind, there are no waves on reservoirs but mostly I was out of practice and didn't get it together.
Sunday was much better with a less shifty wind. My highlight was starting right on the pin in race 5 getting into the groove with a bit of windward heel and then crossing the fleet on the next shift. Pity it took me 5 races to get there though.
I ended 5th overall which was not bad for a sea sailor who likes a bit of breeze, hadn't done nearly enough practise and was far too slow downwind.
Congratulations to Steve Bolland who won after a last race decider although I was impressed with how many fast sailors there are in the 300 class these days.