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15-19 August 2021 - Exe SC

Noble Marine West Country Boat Repairs RS200 National Championships 2021

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Day 1 Sun 15th August

The Noble Marine West Country Boat Repairs RS200 National Championships 2021 started in epic fashion. Lyme Bay did not disappoint, testing the fleet with big rollers, short chop and a range of wind strengths.

The first race got away cleanly and the 120 boats were already making big splits across the course. Exmouth born and raised, Lee Sydenham and son Max (1540), were quick out the blocks and led the pack on the left-hand side. Ian Martin/Chris Catt (1603) and Arran Holman/Toby Lewis (1611) were already battling between themselves on the right; and eventually crossed the port approachers. The downwind was super patchy and avoiding the lulls was key to a good leg but hooking in to the huge squall down the right was key to a GREAT leg. James Peters and Maddy Anderson (1675), our 2019 Champions, put on a real showcase of surfing and marginal planing to recover from a poor first windward leg. However, they ultimately couldn't catch the two at the front who fought all the way to the finish, where Ian and Chris took the win.

Breeze was up for the second race and pressure had filled across the course, making it much more boat speed focussed. Arran and Toby came in from the right, James and Maddy up the middle, and Charlie and I (1609) came from the left. Positions changed regularly downwind as we looked for pressure. The three boats settled in for a long hike off out to the right where Charlie put both the other crews to shame and we rolled over Arran and Toby. Unfortunately, whilst Charlie was doing her job excellently, her helm let Arran and Toby tack and get bow forward. After a nice shift they had the lead at the mark. James and Maddy had an issue with their kite tack giving us two boats a helpful head start for the final leg. Maddy finished her foredeck bimbling and they set their sights on catching us up. Sailing low and without missing a wave, they soaked inside as Arran and I sent it to the left; sacrificing our depth for speed and the possibility of rolling one another. Some well-placed positioning gybes saw James neutralise Arran’s attacks and take the win.

Everyone is buzzing about today’s awesome conditions and can’t wait to see what the rest of the week has in store. Exe truly is a beautiful sailing venue and club house; I hope we are treated to a few more great sunsets on their balcony

Tommy Darling

 Daily Prize Winners

Race 1 Winners, Selden Trophy: Ian Martin and Chris Catt

Race 2 Winners, Hyde Sails Decanter: James Peters and Maddy Anderson

Overnight leaders, yellow bibs: James Peters and Maddy Anderson

2nd overall, blue bibs: Arran Holman and Toby Lewis

3rd overall, red bibs: Tommy and Charlie Darling

4th overall: Edd Whitehead and Anna Horackova

1st silver: William Caiger and Caitlin Morley

1st Bronze, Fernhurst Books award: Ben Swyer and Ella Vincent

Duckhams: Torrin Blazeby and Simon Hamment - you'll have to ask them why!

Photos: Tom Hurley. email tom.hurley@me.com to purchase high res images.  Gallery here

Link to Results

 Day 2 - Monday 16th August

Day Two of the Noble Marine West Country Boat Repairs RS200 National Championships 2021 provided another brilliant day of racing, with cooler north-west winds bringing gusts of 16-20 knots and choppy waters.

The first race of the day brought a new set of winners to the front when a big left shift came down the first beat. Brenden Lynch / Ellen Clark (1510) started first round the pathfinder and then capitalised on this to lead all the way round. They took the win ahead of Aaron Holman/ Toby Lewis (1611), with Rory Odell/ Henry Jameson (1680) following closely in third.

The breeze remained gusty and shifty for the second race of the day. Pathfinder Tommy and Charlie Darling (1609) sailed quickly across the fleet, leaving a number of boats late to the start. Rounding the windward mark, Issac Marsh / Fresh Abenstern (1069) gybed across taking a gust down the left side of the downwind and extended on the fleet a comfortable distance. Issac and Fresh maintained their pole position around the course, giving us another new set of winners, with Hamish Walker / Emma Hivey (1702) in second and James Peters / Maddy Anderson (1675) in third.

Following on from Sunday’s Quiz Night led by dynamic duo Morgan Peach and Will Ward, the fleet warmed up their vocals to get on the mic for Monday night’s Karaoke.

Climbing into 1st place overall,  Aaron Holman / Toby Lewis (Clapham Model Yacht Club) are at the top spot leading into Day Three. James Peters / Maddy Anderson (HISC) have slipped to second and staying in the red bibs in 3rd are Tommy / Charlie Darling (HISC).

Winning Rooster RS necksleeves for the 1st silver placed boat not having already received a prize this week were Brendan Lynch and Ellen Clark, with John Wilson and Laura Glover winning the Fernhurst Books bronze fleet prize.

 Daily Prize Winners:

Race 3 Winners, Southern Sailboats Rose Bowl: Brendan Lynch and Ellen Clark

Race 4 Winners, Yachts & Yachting Trophy: Isaac Marsh and Fresh Abendstern

Overnight leaders, yellow bibs: Arran Holman and Toby Lewis

2nd overall, blue bibs: James Peters and Maddy Anderson

3rd overall, red bibs: Tommy and Charlie Darling

4th overall: Hamish and Emma Hivey

1st silver not receiving a prize already: Brendan Lynch and Ellen Clark

1st Bronze not receiving a prize already, Fernhurst Books award: John Wilosn and Laura Glover

Duckhams: Morgan Peach, £120 in taxi 'fares' to go 1 mile, ouch!!

Photos: Tom Hurley. email tom.hurley@me.com to purchase high res images.  Gallery here

Link to PROVISIONAL results

Phoebe Warren

 Day 3 - Tuesday 17th August

Day Three of the Noble Marine West Country Boat Repairs RS200 National Championships 2021 was another thrilling day on the water. The north-west winds resulted in a cool start to the day, but the sun was not far behind. The wind varied between 12 and 20 knots.

The first race of the day provided shifty and gusty conditions. Reigning champions James Peters/Maddy Anderson took the bullet, followed by Martin Wrigley/Will Ward and Rob Henderson/ Mat Currell.

Following a lull, the wind returned for the second race. Pathfinders Arran Holman/Toby Lewis were victorious, followed by Edd Whitehead/Anna Horackova and Morgan Peach/Amy Sparks.

Going into Day 4, Arran/Toby are still at the top, with James/Maddy in second and Rob/Mat in third.

Following a great day on the water, the dance floor is being prepped, and the animals are just waking up at the farm…

 Daily Prize Winners:

Race 5 Winners, Be Min Today .com Jug: James Peters and Maddy Anderson

Race 6 Winners, Yachts & Yachting Trophy: Arran Holman and Toby Lewis

Overnight leaders, yellow bibs: Arran Holman and Toby Lewis

2nd overall, blue bibs: James Peters and Maddy Anderson

3rd overall, red bibs: Rob Henderson and Matt Currell

4th overall: Tommy and Charlie Darling

1st silver not receiving a prize already: Harry Chatterton and Aatron Chadwick

1st Bronze not receiving a prize already, Fernhurst Books award: James Morson and Fiona Harrington

Duckhams: Not yet awarded!

Photos: Tom Hurley. email tom.hurley@me.com to purchase high res images.  Gallery here

More day 3 photos from Dave Littlefield to follow soon

Link to Results

Bethan Matthew

Day 4 - Wednesday 18th August

Day 4 started a little slower than the last few days with a few sore heads in the boat park after an absolutely huge party the night before. A massive thank you has to go out to Pete Vincent, from West Country Boat Repairs for sponsoring the night and event and putting on such a good band for us all, making last night one of the big RS200 socials to remember.

The first race was a big game of banging the right and holding on. Scott Wallis and Emma Baker managed to bring home the win from James and Jess Hammett in 2nd and Marcus Tressler and Faye Chatterton in 3rd.

In the second race the breeze built and came back to the right. Ian Martin and Chris Catt managed to hold onto 1st after a big clawback from James Peters and Maddy Anderson in 2nd and Arran Holman and Toby Lewis in 3rd.

Today has certainly been a moving day and the fleet is ready for one final day tomorrow to see who can bring home the title.

Daily Prize Winners:

Race 7 Winners, Gul Wooden Boat Trophy: James and Jes Hammett

Race 8 Winners, Purple Marine Trophy: Ian Martin and Chris Catt

Overnight leaders, yellow bibs: James Peters and Maddy Anderson

2nd overall, blue bibs: Arran Holman and Toby Lewis

3rd overall, red bibs: Rory Odell and Henry Jameson

4th overall: Edd Whitehead and Anna Horackova

1st silver not receiving a prize already: Ben Hutton-Penman and Niamh Davies

1st Bronze not receiving a prize already: Andrew Wishart and Iona Deacon

Duckhams: Not yet awarded!

Photos: Tom Hurley. email tom.hurley@me.com to purchase high res images.  Gallery here

More photos from Dave Littlefield to follow soon

Link to Results

Will Ward

Final Day and Overall Report

The final day of the Championships kept with many of the themes of the week: Excellent race and shore management by the Exe SC volunteer team. Although the fleet was held ashore for an hour or so to await a promising forecast, sailors were encouraged to get boats to the beach to ensure the best chance of getting racing ASAP. This became obvious as the fleet short-tacked out the channel against the tide – quite a sight for beach goers.

The scene was set. The title was on the line with James and Maddy (1675) and Arran and Toby (1611) tied on points. Behind them the regatta was a high-scorer with any one of 5 boats capable of rounding off the podium. With such tight racing throughout the fleet and race wins going to 6 different boats already and encouraging signs for those further down the rankings after earlier struggles, fortunes were liable to change for all teams.

The course was set (accurately and quickly as usual) and Silver fleet supremos Harry Chatterton and Aaron Chadwick (1673) opened the gate. The new breeze was yet to settle into any discernible pattern and there was a significant swell, so the first beat was an incredibly tight affair – one bad tack could cost 50+ places come the windward mark. Downwind was just as tetchy, with lighter teams now planing, it was all about surfing the waves – great stuff!

As we all know by now, James and Maddy are the masters of doing the right thing at the right time. They went fast, sailed short distances and with that won race 9. Given existing discards and races won this sewed the Championships up with one race to go. Defending a title is something few have an opportunity to do, however it is said to be harder than winning the first. They are a class act and the dynasty continues!

Behind them Edd Whitehead & Anna Horackova (1626), Hamish Walker & Emma Hivey (1702) and James & Jess Hammet (880) continued their marches up the charts with Arran & Toby pulling through to 5th.

 The breeze freshened up nicely for the final race of the Championships. The wind went right and your author (629) started early out the gate, so we’ll keep this one brief. This race was a beauty nonetheless; big waves with good puffs and decisions to make downwind with regards to mode and direction.  Arran & Toby cemented their 2nd place overall with an impressive bullet. They have proven to be a dangerous combination: Arran is one of the form sailors in the country this year and Toby brings years of winning experience. Hamish & Emma showed their RS200 nous with a 5th to secure 3rd overall. I can’t remember a nationals they haven’t done something similar! This year was particularly noteworthy with Emma fairly under the weather.

Harry & Aaron will forever be banished from the Silver fleet. Their results improved fairly relentlessly throughout and we look forward to seeing that continue. Young William Caiger & Caitlin Morley (1432) were 2nd Silver fleet boat and Brendan Lynch & Ellen Clark (1510) were great a great advert for the RS 200 class coming 3rd in Silver fleet overall, registering a race win in R3 and smiling throughout.

Another boat from East Lothian headed up the bronze fleet – John Wilson and Laura Glover (1642) were becoming a familiar sight in the top 20 by the end of the week. Ben Swyer & Ella Vincent (796) and Andrew Wishart & Iona Deacon (785) were 2nd and 3rd in the bronze division.

As always, a good number of the British Sailing Team came to see what all the fuss was about. Freya Black & Chris Thomas (1012) were first lady helm, another team with an upward trajectory in their scorecard.

The author saw first hand how dangerously quick Rory Odell and Henry Jameson (1680) were going. 1st overall in the All Youths prize, the boys sailed out of their skin and into the top 10 overall. James Hammett (sailing with sister Jess in 880) was first Youth helm in 8th overall while Anna Horackova was 1st youth crew in 7th overall.

Lee and Max Sydenham (1540) won the Family Boat prize and we look forward to perhaps seeing another Sydenham-powered boat on the water soon!

The Endeavour Prize was not easily won this year, with many teams seeing the challenging conditions earlier in the week put pay to their chances. Locals Sophie Raven and Cerys Morgan (817) showed their mettle to win.

Local strength continued where Exeter University came out on top of the others. We look forward to welcoming ever more student sailors along to RS 200 events.

A great strength of the fleet is how bought-in everyone is to the buddy prize and helping each other along. Teams are parked next to each other in the boat park and thrown into the competitive cauldron of a quiz at the beginning of the week, so bonds are built and experiences shared. The Chickens of Flynn Davies & Holly Dabson, Harry Chatterton & Aaron Chadwick and Ben Swyer & Ella Vincent showed the rest a clean pair of heels on the racecourse.

It has to be mentioned that despite incredibly tight racing throughout the fleet, behavior on the water was exemplary all week. Turns were done, protests were brought forward and despite good and bad periods throughout the regatta (nobody was safe!), it feels more deserved when the contest is fair and done in good spirit.

Roll on 2022 at Hayling Island SC – As winners of the Club Prize this time round they’ll be keen to put on a show!

Particular thanks must go to Chairman Will Taylor, Secretary Sally Campbell and the committee, who put so much unseen work into delivering one of the most seamless and rewarding events of the year.

Similarly our event sponsors Noble Marine, Rooster and West Country Boat Repairs were superb.
The staff and volunteers at Exe Sailing Club (there are too many individual stars to list!) really went above and beyond this week. The efficiency and good humour throughout were exemplary and we were genuinely sad to have to leave.


Thank you all.

Rob Henderson

Championship prize winners

Final Results