GUL RS200 Inland Championships
On the 10-11 October an incredible 103 RS200s including the odd Olympic squad members looking for large fleet practice gathered at Grafham Water for the 2009 GUL RS200 Inland Championships. National champions Geoff Carveth/Emma Clarke were absent, away winning the Endeavour Trophy (Geoff’s 5th victory in the event, only the second time a lady has won the Endeavour), so the field was left open for a new champion to be crowned.
Due to the number of entrants, racing took place in flights, with one flight of 25 boats racing the other 3 flights twice. The weather gods had also been informed that lots of people were coming along, and laid on a steady 12-14 knots from the West on Saturday with a stronger (and, it definitely felt) colder 16 – 23 knots from the Southwest going Northwest on Sunday.
Saturday’s racing saw two stand out performances. Andy/Jill Peters showed that their recent win at the Cherub inlands was no fluke to record a mightily impressively 1,1,3 score line and take the over night lead. The second performance of the day came from the reunited paring of
Sunday morning saw the fleet wake to the pitter patter of rain on tents and a collective groan of hangover pain following Saturday night’s party and national circuit prize giving. However, the sun soon started to come out and the fleet launched promptly for races 4-6.
Robbie Burns/Vicky Simpson showed the results of a quiet Saturday dinner for 2 in the Wheatsheaf and at least 5 cigarettes per race (don’t you mean per start!) to be star performers on Sunday with a 1,1,3 scoreline, which was enough to give them 3rd overall in the event. However, a battle royal was going on between the Peters and Saxton/Macgregor for top spot. The Peters came off worst when their two flights met, finishing 4th to Saxton/Macgregor’s 3rd in race 4 and then, in race 5, found their 2nd was bettered with Saxton/Mcgregor taking a timely first bullet of the weekend. Going into race 6, both were tied on points. Saxton/Macgregor finished with a 2nd but the Peters luck ran out and, following a few collisions and bad corner banging ideas, they retired, taking 2nd overall and leaving Saxton/Macgregor the victors.
Wayne/Deb Fletcher dominated the silver fleet, finishing an impressive 8th overall – surely promotion beckons for these two! Behind them came John Teague/Louise Fisher in 2nd and Christian Humphrey/Noelle Vidal in 3rd.
The bronze fleet was wrapped up by Ben Palmer/Rosie Sibthorp, with Sam Maxfield/Katie Restall 2nd and Emma Johnson/Justin Deal 3rd.
Many thanks go to Grafham Water SC for laying on such a great event and GUL for helping with sponsorship. That’s the last big event of what had been another epic year for the RS200s. It all starts again next year, 2010, with the Winters in February – so time to start training now!