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Kit Guide

The Summer - Sailing from Start to Finish......

By 2nd October 2020
My Dad says some older sailors may get the title reference to a book he has lost - I didn't get it either!
Its been a great Summer holidays so far! Starting at Garda, then Stokes Bay Sailing Club Cadet Week - Over 90 kids sailing! Followed by the Topper 5.3 Nationals and then lastly HISC Youth Week and my 1st races in a Laser 4.7
Charlie Lake Garda 47158

The Worlds where great fun & A LONG WAY AWAY! When we arrived (11:30pm at night 25hrs after leaving West Sussex) we were lost and tired and it was 37 degrees outside! A night in a 5 star hotel on the lake edge put things right after some negotiation on the price! (Thanks Dad!)

To keep it short I loved the Worlds, my results were up and down and I came away with a mid fleet result overall in the Silver fleet - happy enough with the result all things considered. The Rooster kit kept me comfortable in the non British weather - HOT with fresh WARM water!! The Rooster Rash Vest kept the sun off for swimming and the Rooster Classic Hikers were a must with the Rooster AeroMesh Visor so you could see in the bright sun! If you get a chance to go to Garda; go for the Pizza and Gelato alone!

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We arrived back in the UK at 3am Sunday Morning - Stokes Bay Cadet Week kicked off Monday! I was SO pleased it was blowing dogs off of chains for two days - REST!!! Except Grace had us on assault courses and paddling Toppers across the local pond! When the wind eased later in the week we had some great races and some World Class training from Stokes Bay Sailing Club's local experts. A great week!!!

So the 5.3 Nationals - the Saturday was practice day which didn't start well with my tiller extension joint snapping. Luckily Team Rooster's "Mr Fix It" (Jake Bowhay) was at hand with tools!

Day two was races 1 to 3. The wind was good and steady, I was in Yellow fleet with my friend Oli King so we could do our split tacks line check routines. I came out the block well with a 16th and 21st, though race three was a disappointing 37th that became too familiar! Got an ice cream back at the beach from Mum then back home with the Kirks and their puppy Lola! Bed by 8pm.

Day three - in the routine - check flights, briefing, forecast, now-cast and meet Rory (Southern Zone Coach) for briefing. In the same flight as Oli again which is great as we can follow our pre-start checks. Bit lighter winds and hounded by those late 30's results mixed with a couple of good 'uns. Hit a Jellyfish down wind - my Dad didn't believe that it jumped out and capsized me! Gold fleet might be a challenge now specially with the forecast! Will we get out sailing?

Day Four - follow routine - no need for a now-cast as sea is white! When we got out later in the day I made the most of it as I knew I needed a good result! Watched the 1st flight go, and watched their progress and went for it - great day - best result at a Nationals so far, 7th!! Not enough for Gold but put me at the top end of Silver!

First day of the Championships and it's windy - my weather and I'm excited! Oli made GOLD fleet (really pleased for him) so no pre-start partner. Pre-Launch routine done. New pre-start routine - watch the first start and learn - done. Pushed the line sag and went hard up the beats. Came out with two 3rd's and an 8th! Cant believe it as I go home after checking the score board TOP OF SILVER - I'm really happy - pasta and bed by 8pm

Second day of Championships - getting better at catching my Topper Ducks at the morning prize giving! Follow my routines - now-cast looking good, windy! Get my best result so far, a 2nd with a 4th! There was a bit of drama in the last race when I got out of the boat at the windward mark as the toe-strap broke! lost me a few places and I was desperate to know if the 9th was going to hit me hard! Score board gave me bad news - knocked to 3rd BUT 9th is my discard and 1 more duck to come - can't be too bad!

Third day - my heart sank LIGHT WINDS. The now-cast was FLAT CALM and even worse Dad was on a rib! The day got worse - pulled a 40th and 32nd and all I could see was Vicky Cowan at the front again! I loved the sailing but couldn't get off the line in these races - something to work on in light winds! Sailing in I was proud of my week but thought I'd dropped too many - Rory came over and gave encouragement - how bad could it be discarding today's sailing (someone said I could have stayed in bed!) and counting my 9th from yesterday? I dared not think!

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Well - I WON - my competition scored big too and Vicky didn't quite squeeze me out either!!!!! I was SO excited about the prize giving BUT remembered to thank TEAM ROOSTER! With Jake getting prizes too Team Rooster where well represented! So I won 1st Silver, 1st Sailing age 12 (previous winners include Giles Scott) and 1st male in the Silver - over the moon!! Thanks Rooster for all the great kit - I wore my Rooster Poly Pro Legs all week to keep the Jelly Fish off - should be added to their list of uses!!
Full report on the Topper Nationals here.

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And then last week I stepped out of the Topper and into my Dad's Laser with a 4.7 rig on board and a replica sail purchased from Rooster! I've sailed the laser loads but never a 4.7 or raced. I really enjoyed it and in a mixed handicap fleet I did OK picking up a trip to A&E when I was knocked out on day 1 and then a third overall.

A really fun week! If you're looking to step away from the Topper come along next year so we can get more 4.7's out!!!

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Next stop Rutland I hope, and back to the Topper again!
Charlie South 381

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