47 RS200s turned up at Grafham Water SC over Valentines weekend for an event that nicely lived up to its title, with the fleet being met by almost sub zero temperatures and a chilly northerly breeze. Six races were fitted in over the two days on a race course that sometimes resembled a snakes and ladders board. As ever though, the cream eventually rose to the top.
Saturday’s racing was almost a Burghfield SC benefit, or perhaps a sign of the hard winter training that has been going on there. Race one saw Ian Sharps (gaining good man points for donning 3/4 hikers) & Ellie Martin score a solid victory while in race 3 Ellie’s parents, Caroline & Nick, showed a clean pair of heels to be first to the showers. In between, after a huge black cloud with what looked definitely like snow underneath it had passed just to the east of the lake, James Boyce/Sam Tozer took the bullet in race 2. Behind these winners, only James Peters/Alan Roberts and Dave & Jane Hivey could record a set of single digit scores and duly led overnight.
Sunday dawned feeling distinctly colder than Saturday, something that hadn’t seemed possible on Saturday. The racing was again unpredictable, with big shifts coming off Grafham’s northern shore. Peters/Roberts had no problems however to score a 2 and 1 to wrap up the event with a race to spare, handy really as they were black flagged in the final race. Top performer on the day was newcomer to the fleet (but past GP14 national and Fireball worlds champ) Matt Mee/Emma Norris, scoring a 5,5,1. James & Will Rusden were the days other race winners.
Overall, Peters/Roberts were comfortable winners, with the Hiveys in second and Mee/Norris third. Mention should also be made of Maria Stanley/Dyfig Mon and the Rusdens in 4th and 6th respectively, newcomers to the fleet from the 420 class and looking like they are going to be serious competitors for silverware this year.
The Silver division was won by Claire Walsh/Jasmine Husband just ahead of Matt Greenfield who showed his girlfriend a special Valentines Day by taking her sailing for their first 200 event on such a baltic weekend - style. The Bronze division was won by Emma Johnson and Penny Johnson by a narrow margin from the Corbys.
A big thank you goes to GWSC for running such a great event and getting the races turned round so quickly, much appreciated by the competitors.
So, after such an excellent start to the season, the next event is the opening round of the RS200 National Grand Prix at Datchet Water SC on 10/11 April 2010. Make sure your are there to join in the biggest two man dinghy racing scene in the country.