38 RS Aeros arrived at Northampton SC with the promise of some good fresh breezes throughout the weekend. The field was stacked with an RS Aero World Champion, a UK National Champion and two RS Aerocup Italian Champions. Gusts and shifts were the key factor on the race course and some clever risk management was required to try to be in the right place and direction for as much as possible of the time. As the breeze freshened to around 25kns the fleet had an exciting time on the downwind P course with its mix of blast reaching and more technical running.
The RS Aero 5 fleet was dominated by youth duo William Caiger (Sevenoaks School) and Ned Stattersfield (Wells Next To The Sea) with William ultimately taking all the bullets and Ned closing out the 2nds. Top Lady in 3rd was Jackie Craven (Yorkshire Dales).
The RS Aero fleet saw 29 boats on the start line and some intense racing throughout the fleet. Fergus Barnham (Snettisham Beach) opened up with two wins before Peter Barton (Lymington Town) and Steve Cockerill (Stokes Bay) fought back with a win apiece in the afternoon. On Sunday Fergus clinched the deal with a 1,2 to add the RS Aero 7 Inlands to the GP14 Inlands he won earlier this year, and laying down his marker in advance of next year’s RS Aero World Championship in Weymouth at the RS Games in August.
Steve’s 1st in the final race put him one point up on Peter for 2nd overall. Local speedster Anthony ‘Chunky’ York (Northampton) took 4th overall with a couple of 2nds on his score sheet. Top Youth (U19) was Noah Rees (Torpoint Mosquito) in 7th overall who scored a 4th in race 1 and top Lady was Sarah Cockerill (Stokes Bay). Skillfully winning page 2 on the score sheet and a Magic Marine neoprene bobble hat was Nick Craven (Yorkshire Dales)!
With the breeze up all weekend only a hardened squad of macho RS Aero 9 sailors stuck with the big rig. UK Nationals runner up Chris Larr (Northampton) out paced the recent RS Aerocup Champ Liam Willis (Lymington Town) for the title with Matt Thursfield (RYA) rounding out the top three.
Magic Marine provided a generous supply of prize vouchers enabling everyone to go shopping to prepare for the winter ahead! Many thanks to Northampton Sailing Club for being great hosts with great food, racing, organisation and opening the bar for us on Friday too!
Next up in the UK are the RS Aero End of Seasons. With the event planned for the 11/12th Nov at Queen Mary just cancelled due to lack of water the RS Aeros are seeking a new venue for a one day End of Season event that weekend – so save the date! Keep a close eye on the class website http://www.rsaerosailing.org/index.asp and facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/rsaeroclass/ for more details on that soon.
Image: Anthony York