The second leg of this year’s Magic Marine RS700 circuit was held at Hayling Island Sailing Club 28-29 May 16. Throughout the preceding week, the weather forecasters had been unsure how many rainstorms the sailors would endure, but consistently predicted light Easterly winds on the Saturday and a stronger Northerly wind on the Sunday. Whilst the wind forecast was correct, surprisingly for a Bank Holiday weekend, the rain stayed away completely and the sailors basked in 2 glorious days of sunshine.
Day 1 – The RS700s sailed out to course ‘Bravo’ at the West end of the bay where they were to share a single course with the RS800s. The sun was shining and the there was a Force 2-3 easterly breeze with an associated light Sea State 2.
The first race – began in a steady F3 breeze with a heavily biased pin end start; Richard Wadsworth and Adam Golding made a clean breakaway on port tack to lead the pack for the duration of the race. Although Richard had a clear lead at the final windward rounding, Adam’s faster downwind speed and better lay-lines led to a photo finish with Richard narrowly taking the win.
The second race – was postponed mid start sequence when the wind died. After a 10 minute wait a 4-8kt wind gently filled in from the same direction and second race got underway. The first beat saw a sustained veering of the wind to a more Northerly direction which significantly favoured those who set off from the line on Starboard tack. Peter Purkiss and Ian Swann showed good speed out front throughout the race, but Adam (again) had a great final downwind leg and overtook Peter and Ian at the final gate to take the race win.
Third Race – with the wind remaining light and the sun blazing, those sailors that had dressed for the forecast rain starting to get a little hot and dehydrated! The third race began in similar conditions to the first, but the wind gradually dropped throughout the race. Peter and Ian were again at the head of the field, but this time were able to hold off the ever present Adam.
The sailors all deserved a cool beer on return to the club following a prolonged sail back in light wind against the tide!
Day 2 – The RS700s shared the same course again with the RS800s, but the conditions were much more exhilarating; a Northerly F3-5 with relatively flat water (for the wind strength) and sunshine!
The first race – In these stronger conditions everyone was fully powered up as they left the start line. With nobody beneath him, Peter footed-off and powered out ahead of the pack and despite his lack of height (to windward!) he easily tacked across the rest of the fleet to reach the windward mark first. Richard was close behind in second with Simon Letten in third. Throughout the race Richard and Simon overhauled Peter, with Richard narrowly holding off Simon at the final gate to take another close win.
The second race – Adam had clearly tinkered with his settings after the first race as he showed great speed off the line, closely followed by Simon and Peter. Simon dropped a gybe and Peter began a series of personal disasters to allow Richard through into second and Colin Dacey (now recovered from his first race broken kicker) into third place. Despite Simon chasing hard the running order remained the same with Adam leading by a significant margin
The final race – although it looked windy, many of the sailors had been running out of power at the top of the racecourse during the second race and therefore adjusted their set up for the third race. The final race began with a single recall. Believing it was him; Peter went back over the line and sailed up the right hand side of the course to the windward mark – this clearly worked in his favour as he popped out ahead of the fleet, followed closely by Ian, Simon, Adam and Richard. As Simon, Adam and Richard approached the leeward gate Simon and Adam conducted a synchronised capsize allowing Richard to sail around the flank to secure 3rd position. This is how it remained until the final windward mark where Ian capsized on his final tack and let Richard through. With Peter clear ahead Richard just held off Ian through the gate and across the finish line.
With such close racing throughout both days, nobody knew the final result until they were posted on the club noticeboard. It turned out that only 1 point separated the top 3 boats with Richard Wadsworth in first place on 10 points, and Peter Purkiss and Adam Golding tied on 11 points. On the day the race officer awarded Peter with 2nd place and Adam with 3rd place, however a later review of the results indicates that the resolution of the tie was incorrect as Adam had a better discard. Maybe we should just agree it was 2nd = !?
The weekend was a great success and I’d like to thank Hayling Island Sailing Club for their excellent hospitability and race coordination. A special thank you to our event sponsors: Volvo Cars and Magic Marine. For those of you who didn’t receive a Volvo XC60 for the weekend, I can confirm they are an awesome car.
I’ll post some Go-Pro footage of the racing on Facebook in the coming week and I look forward to seeing you all at events over the coming months.