RS100, RS200, RS400, RS500, RS700
YC Carnac, Brittany | 26/05/2018 - 29/05/2018
Reports for each fleet below or to come:
Carnac; what’s not to like. As ever, we had a range of lovely sailing conditions and the usual welcoming hospitality from our hosts.
This time around, as the RS100 Europeans are at WPNSA as part of the RS games in August (don’t miss it, entry is still open), we shared a course with the 400s and 200s. Much intense peering into the distance ensued, trying to work out which way up the beat worked best for the 400s, who started before us. Top tip - learn their spinny colours. Top tip 2; watching the 200 leaders battle to the finish can be quite exciting too.
Reluctance to hold racing during some impressive thunder and lightning meant day 1 was reduced to only one race, held once the skies cleared and sun came out. In a light-weather affair, the class dieters reaped the benefits of their winter’s self-denial, with Steven Lee setting out his stall with the bullet and Mark Harrison second.
Day 2 transpired to be weed-dodging day, with more distance to be gained and lost from that than opportunities presented by the steady sea-breeze. Mark Harrison was notable for his absence near the front of the fleet; his skin-tone was allegedly greener than some of the pesky sea-weed (although many other colours and textures of weed were available. New event-within-an-event idea - “sea-weed top-trumps“). The consequence was a two way battle at the front between Steve and Clive Eplett, with your correspondent finally breaking Steve’s run of wins in the last race of the day despite the 400 and 100 fleets converging for their last lap, our second. Stress, what stress? Simon Geyman made the most of the situation to garner a couple of well-earned thirds.
Day 3 and the wind was up, the sun was out. This is what we came for (well that and the moules, and wine, and beer and, and, and). Clive was first at the windward mark, just (benefits of not going on a diet?) but was on the port lay-line, so had to cross in front of Steve, ceding the lead. Mark was benefiting from over 12 hours sleep and also snuck by Clive on the top fetch and that was how it stayed, although the sailing was a joy none-the-less. Mostyn Evans found the conditions to his liking too with the first of 3 fourths in the day, often heading Mark, but never quite holding it to the end. Race 2 and Mark had clearly shot his bolt, but there was no stopping Steve again, or Clive in second. In the final race of the day, it all came right for Simon who led comfortably. Until a combination of approaching 400s and a nervy gybe resulted in a swim. We all groaned for him. Clive was closer to Steve in this one and the last run was weird, the us two leading 100s trying not to mess up the race of the two leading 400s that we each met, respectively, at the windward mark, but simultaneously trying to get each other to gybe into the wrong place and get slowed by them. Those 400s were doing the same thing for us. Consequence; not a lot really.
This all left the podium places certain with a day to spare, Steve with all bullets bar one, Clive in second and Mark third.
On day 4, we all launched regardless, but the wind was not co-operating and racing was ultimately canned. Simon was fourth overall and Mostyn won the Mounts Bay club-mates battle for fifth.
Next 100 event is the Summers at Parkstone - as it stands we are the second largest fleet, so come and join the fun, if you’ve yet to commit. Still no word on the hoped-for participation of the scarlett-pimpernel that is Neal Freeman though.
Twenty RS200’s arrived in Carnac ready for four days of fun on and off the water. Late entries from both Matt Mee/Emma Norris and the on-form team (fresh from victory at Parkstone) Alistair Norris/Helen Summersgill ensured that the racing at the top was as hot as ever.
A thundery start to day one had many concerned for the safety of the competitors, but the fleet were launched after a short delay. Hamish Walker/Emma Clarke came out of the blocks fast lane holding out left in an ultra-light wind first race. They kept the fleet behind them to take the race win and stamp some authority down early on.
A change of conditions on day two made way for a more stable onshore breeze, and a brilliant day of racing followed. Matt Mee/Emma Norris took the win in the first race of the day, but the class act were Andy Brown and Alex Sutcliffe who won the second race and got a second in the third race taking the overnight lead. James Peters/Emily Anderson continued their consistent string of results to take the second spot overnight.
Clouds cleared on day three making way for a strong and stable westerly breeze straight over the Quiberon peninsular. James Peters/Emily Anderson took the win in the first race followed by a second in the second race. Meanwhile Maria Stanley/Alan Roberts had been improving race by race and won the second race convincingly. Hamish Walker/Emma Clarke had been consistent following their win in the first race of the regatta and continued their good form to take the win in the final race of the day. In doing so they also took the overall lead from James Peters/Emily Anderson on countback, with Maria Stanley/Alan Roberts completing the podium.
Overnight positions were to be the final results with no wind on the Tuesday. Congratulations to Hamish Walker and Emma Clarke on a hard fought victory, where any of the top four had the opportunity to take the win going into the final race.
For the RS400 Eurocup event, the fleet joined 5 other RS classes at the popular venue of YC Carnac, Brittany.
The crews that came out early for an extended holiday were already enjoying sunshine & breeze, exploring the beautiful location on their bikes, frequenting the creperies and tucking into the local Breton cider by the time the fleets all gathered.
Thunderstorms and torrential rain greeted the fleet on the first day of the Championship so racing was postponed by an hour. Luckily the weather improved and an 8-knot north-easterly settled for the start. One race only in a gentle breeze, then back in before the lightning struck. After racing the sun came out to dry everyone's kit out nicely and we sat around socialising as the Yacht Club welcomed us all with free drinks and tasty snacks.
Day 2 of racing had a perfect forecast of F3 and sunshine. With a civilised start time of midday, the effects of the night before had time to clear and everyone had a bit more time to relax and settle in to their holidays. The fleet launched at low tide into slightly tricky waves breaking on the beach but all made it out OK. Very close racing throughout, but it was Howard Garbrother & Louise Hosken’s day. With 1, 1, 2 and discarding a 4th, they finished the day with a good lead.
Day 3 and, as the crews contemplated another light wind day in the boat park, the YC Carnac race teams headed to the course area, with confidence the SW sea breeze would fill in. Right on time, and as most of the crews were hosting their sails, the breeze swung 180 degrees and a building sea breeze saw the boats spinnakering to the start line. Carnac is blessed with a very reliable sea breeze and with a clear sky the clouds quickly started to form over the land.
What followed was champagne sailing day in 12-15kts and bring sunshine. The 400s had, possibly, the best racing of the season so far today; the sun was out, the breeze was prefect and the atmosphere ashore was full of fun, enthusiasm and banter. We also had some of the best race management that most of the fleet could remember and based on the experience of some of the sailors, that is some compliment to the team at YC Carnac. Day 3, and Jon Gorringe and Owain Hughes showed us all a clean pair of heels. However, they were U-flagged in 2 races, letting through the ever-consistent Jon Heissig & Nicky Griffin into first place, now counting 2, 1, 1 for the day.
Unfortunately, the last day proved a frustrating affair, for both the race team and the sailors but very sensibly the race team sent the fleet ashore, as the wind very slowly tracked right from NE to SW, as the day wore on.
So the final scores saw Jon Heissig and Nicky Griffin, yet again, lift the Eurocup Trophy, seeing off an extremely competitive fleet, to show themselves to be worthy champions. Howard & Louise were 2nd ,Steve Restall & Chris Stubbs 3rd and Mark Reddington, sailing in his favourite venue with Colin Staite, in an excellent 4th place.
The 400 fleet had a great time in Carnac and look forward to the Summer Champs at Parkstone and the RS Games, in August, where the battle will recommence.
RS500 Eurocup, YC Carnac : An international, mixed and motivated fleet!
Seven French, Dutch, Italian and Russian teams made the trip to Carnac to race in the RS500. Fewer boats compared to other classes, but a great atmosphere and a desire to do well marked the regatta.
Three boats battled hard to secure first place, sailing in constant contact: Michele Opizzi and Pietro Frazzica (ITA) finished first, Nicolas Honor and Olivia Maincent (FRA) were second and the women's team was Giulia Rossi and Adriana Campanella climb on the third step of the podium. At the foot of the podium are the Dutch Esther Hopmans and Berens Reno who made a great performance for their first regatta in France. Few boats in RS 500 (7 participants) but high quality regattas in a really friendly atmosphere!
Let's get loads of boats to the RS500 Worlds at the RS Games in August!
The RS700s returned to the sunny beaches of Carnac to sail in the idilic Quiberon Bay for the 2018 Eurocup Regatta, 26 – 30 May 18. The 14 UK travellers and 4 French sailors made up a strong fleet, with some extremely competitive racing; as demonstrated by the fact that there were 7 different race winners in an 8 race regatta!
With the competitors assembled, day one got underway with the race briefing and introduction to the race committee and judges. The RS700 fleet were slightly perplexed as to why there was a judging panel, as there hasn’t been a protest in living memory; favoring self regulation through ‘constructive gentlemanly discussion’ on the water (Theo!) or being invited to ‘fall on your sword’ after the race. At the brief the race committee explained that a storm was inbound and the first race would be postoned until it had passed. On cue, the thunderstorm began before the briefing had finished, and the competitors sheltered under the marquee as torrential rain engulfed the venue for over an hour. The rain cleared and the 6 fleets (RS700, RS100, RS200, RS400, RS500 and RS800) were released in a light but steady wind into the now sunny bay.
The first race saw a slight advantage handed to those heading up the left side of the racecourse, with Jerry Wales leading the charge in his new purple boat. After 2 laps Jerry had a comfortable lead over the chasing Mathieu Guihot and Colin Dacey as they headed across the bottom leg (from the outer loop) back to the committee boat . It soon became clear that reading the race instructions is quite important; as they had all sailed straight past the second committee boat that was set up as the finish line. Robbie Bell was the first to notice this and elevated himself from 6th to 1st place! A mad scramble then ensued with Cedric Fraboulet taking 2nd place and Christophe Vellen in 3rd. With the wind veering 90 degrees and rapidly dropping, the race committee raised ‘AP’ raised over ‘A’, and sent the fleet home for the day for some cool beer and lively discussion!
The thunderstorms had cleared overnight and day 2 got underway in bright sunshine and a steady F2-3 breeze. Race 2 saw Robbie showing good speed to lead the fleet with Jerry and Cedric in close pursuit, and the remaining pack in a tight position swapping formation. Gybing off early Robbie lost out with Cedric taking 1st place, Jerry 2nd and having taken a gamble with his kite on the last leg Richard Wadsworth took a lucky 3rd. Race 3 saw Jerry start to assert his considerable skill to take his first race win with Colin in 2nd and Robbie in 3rd. It was becoming clear to some of the sailors that going left up the racecourse was giving a significant advantage in terms of wind pressure and tide. Ian Swann played this perfectly in Race 4 and lead the fleet around the course for most of the race before being cruelly denied the win by the ever present Jerry on the last lap. Race 4 finished with Jerry taking his second win, with Ian S 2nd and Cedric in 3rd. During the post match beers, many competitors were discussing the number and size of jellyfish that they fequently saw and hit; this came as a surprise to Richard who hadn’t seen one all day on his journeys up the right hand side of the course. It turns out that even the Jellyfish didn’t go right!
Whilst the forecast for day 3 looked similar in wind strength to the previous days, with wind had swung to the prevailing direction, and the sea breeze kicked in to treat the competitors to a solid F4. Regardless of position all the competitors were enjoying these racing conditions. Colin stretched his legs in Race 5 to take a well deserved win, with Jerry in 2nd and Robbie in 3rd. Interestingly, Ian Nolan and Theo Galyer were in close contention in the chasing pack as they approached the final downwind mark, when a crossing situation lead to some ‘lively on the water discussion’ about the rules. This resulted in Ian N doing a turn and the Chairman considering fitting a swear box to Theo’s boat. Some additonal motivation was obviously felt by both sailors as Ian N went on to win Race 6, with Jerry in 2nd and Richard in 3rd, and Theo went on to win Race 7 with Jerry in 2nd and Robbie in 3rd. This was Theo’s first race win at a RS700 event!
Whilst the sun was still shining, the wind forecast for Day 4 was not good and the competitors were held on the beach for sometime, before the race officials released the fleet into a very light breeze. Whilst the author stuggled to follow the on the water ‘action’ from his position sat on the beach with an icecream, it appeared the the boats ‘drifted from the right to the left a couple of times’ with Mathieu taking his first win, followed by Robbie in 2nd and Colin 3rd. The RS700’s were the only fleet to get a race completed before all the boats were sent home.
When the final scores were added up, Jerry Wales took a well deserved win with a tidy collection of 1st and 2nd places that put him 7 points clear of Robbie Bell in 2nd place with Colin Dacey taking 3rd.
Carnac once again proved to be a fantastic venue for some competitve sailing in the sun, and the sailors and accompanying families massively enjoyed of their time in this beautiful French town and beaches.
The next UK RS700’s Rooster Circuit events are the Summer Championship at Parkstone YC 23-24 Jun 18, followed by Lymington Regatta 7-8 Jul 18. Both of these have limited entry so be sure to sign up early.
This year’s major event is the RS Games in Weymouth 16-19 Aug, which will host the RS700 European and UK National Championship - ensure you sign up early to get your early entry discount!
Congratulations to Jerry Wales for winning the RS700 Eurocup Regatta!
UK RS700 Class Association Chairman
Final Results, and photos by Christian Chandon, Christophe Le Bohec andPhilippe Vigla are at http://www.yccarnac.com/european-rs-2018-results.html