The lack of wind didn’t take away from the competitiveness of the RS200 SEAS Open at Island Barn Reservoir sailing club.
The Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club RS200 SEAS open took place on Saturday 17th October. With very light winds the club were worried that the turn out may be low. But, much to the delight of the race officer and home sailors 22 boats turned up. With full Covid secure procedures in place the duty team quickly got everyone up onto the reservoir in time for the open air briefing. Given the social distancing and forecast for the wind to drop later in the day all the helms and crews agreed to skip the lunch break and run 4 back to back races.
The race officer set the standard windward leeward course and the fleet headed to the far side of the reservoir ready for the first race. As the countdown neared the 1 minute from the start all the boats fought for prime position on the race line. The sequence finished and the race had started with the fleet getting away first time. The boats saying on starboard took advantage of the breeze to the west of the reservoir and made it to the windward mark first. As they rounded the spreader marks they launched their spinnakers and headed back down the reservoir. In the light wind the race officer comfortably got 3 laps in. David Jessop and Sophie Mear got their day off to a great start by taking the win, followed by Ian and Chris Martin with Chris Catt and Roz McGrane taking third spot.
As the day continued the helms and crews battled on the water using all their skills to keep the boats moving as fast as possible in the light winds. The race officer and his team did an amazing job of adjusting the course as the wind moved towards the west. The racing was tight, twice seeing half the fleet jostling for position around the final mark on the short reach to the finish line. Every race saw a different boat win, there was not going to be a runaway winner so it was going to be all down to the final race.
With the wind dropping picking the right course was critical to the final race. Those helms not spotting the holes in the wind paid dearly as they came to a stop and lost places to the boats following the breeze. David and Sophie ended the day as they started with a win in the final race, but it wasn’t enough to take the day’s win and they finished as overall 3rd place. First place in the overall results went to Ian and Chris Martin with a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the counted races. Chris and Roz took the overall second place with a consistent performance of 3rd, 2nd and 2nd .
Island Barn’s Andy Barnett and Jo Llyod were the best placed home boat with a strong 3rd place in the final race giving them 7th place in the overall standings.
1st - Ian and Chris Marting (Oxford SC)
2nd - Chris Catt and RozMcGrane (Netley SC)
3rd - David Jessop and Sophie Mear (Hayling Island SC)
The day ended much as it had started with a Covid secure packing up and an outdoor prize giving. Race Officer Mike Jones and Commodore Nick Marley thanked everyone for following the clubs social distancing rules, tight racing on the water and for the work of all the volunteers to make such a great day.
Here is a selection of photo, taken by Gavin Hayhurst, from the day,
see More Photos