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RS Games Runners and Riders

25 Years of RS Sailing, 22 Years of the RS200 and many more years to come of close racing, great events, new friends and fantastic socials, the RS200 National Championships are back for the RS Sailing Anniversary Games.

The RS200 National Championships are to be held at the fabulous Olympic Venue Weymouth and Portland Sailing Club with everything to play for in the best fleet in the country, quite possibly the world (yes I am biased) here are this year’s runners and riders...  

It’s all change for this year’s 112 entries and 224 sailors.  With less than 7 days to go, a massive entry list and more asking to squeeze in (do it, you know you want to join in the fun), yet again this is going to be an amazing Championships. This year, with over 50 new RS200 teams ready to race, who will make the top ten is hard to tell. The old guard will have to fight hard to retain their place in the fleet and competition will be fierce (but friendly) across Gold, Silver and Bronze as the RS200 fleet set out to compete in Weymouth Bay. 

So, inspired by the many recent displays of sporting excellence at the Glasgow/Berlin 2018 European Championships here goes:

Dina Asher-Smith, 100m/200m: Maria Stanley/Rob Henderson – Your money has got to be on this daring duo for a podium finish, quite possibly the gold. With an amazing turn of speed that appears out of nowhere leaving those around Lady Lala in their wake, always positioned in the right place for the shift and some excellent hiking to boot this pair are definitely one to watch.

Laura Muir 1500m: Determined, precise and quietly ambitious Stevie Wilson and Becky Wilson have been racking up the results (and the cheeky practices) this year. Having bailed out many a sailor across the RS Classes with supplies and sails and will quite probably still be selling a boat on the way to the start line Stevie Wilson’s determination and Becky’s excellent crewing could see this great couple finish on the podium.

Rhys McClenaghan, Pommel Horse:  Young, strong and determined Rhys McClenaghan is both European and Commonwealth Champion, challenging the old guard at just 19 year old - Robbie King/Jamie Webb are doing just that as well.  With recent success as runners up/quarter finalists at BUSA, top 20 at Parkstone in the RS200 and 2nd at Lendy Cowes Week in the J70 this team could shake up the order.

Adam Peaty, Breaststroke (lots of medals):  Patriot, performer and the best breastroker in history according to the Guardian (yes I Googled)  - Tom Hewitson and Lucy Hewitson of course earn a place in this year’s runners and riders.  Both champions in their own right and dedicated athletes, with oodles of talent and much training taking place both sailing and fitness wise this super cheerful pair (always up for a wave, hello and supply of jelly babies on the race course) could break into the podium.

Kyle Evans, BMX: Oli Turner/Sam Mottershead. Determined, daredevils and they definitely have a need for speed this adventurous pairing have been out in all weathers recently, attempting to break speed records (again definitely some cheeky training going on). Their unbelievably bright boat makes them one to spot downwind as they hunt for every possible wave to surf. Watch out for the go pro though – if caught on camera you will appear on youtube that evening!

 

Matthew Hudson-Smith 400m and 400m relay: Andy Brown and Alex Sutcliffe. Like Hudson Smith this down to earth pair, burst onto the scene and scored a top 20 result at the RS200 Nationals last year, led overnight at the 2018 EuroCup in Carnac and scored a 6th at Parkstone what can this great team racing pair do next?

Laura Kenny, Track Cycling: Exciting, always smiling and rapid – Arthur Henderson and new crew Sophie Heritage could challenge for the podium.  With a string of top 15 results, will this paring produce the speed and consistency we know they’re capable of?

Dom Cunningham, Floor Gymnastics. With power and focus, whilst talented across the disciplines  - Morgan Peach has had some excellent sailing results in the SB20 recently and prior form in the 29er, Feva and 49er fleet as well could see this young sailor score well, as this talented young sailor seeks to perform under pressure.

 

Ethan Hayter, Track Cycling - Omnium.  The next Bradley Wiggins and hot tipped for Tokyo 2020 Ethan Hayter proved youth doesn’t matter in the Omnium and so too for Ben Hutton-Penman in sailing.  Winning helm for the 2017 Feva National Championships, current Feva Word Champion and this week became Aero 5 World Champion, can this young sailor jump into the RS200 and show us all how it’s done?

 

Matthew Walls, Track Cycling - Elimination. Crispin Beaumont has had a string of wins in the 29er and other classes with fellow competitor Tommy Darling and now turns his focus to the RS200 Nationals. Will he also storm to a win at his first major RS200 event, in a highly tactical fleet?

 

Eilish McColgan – silver 5000m. Daughter of legendary athletics champions Liz and Peter McCoulgon, Eilish recently kept her nerve and great turn of pace in the middle distance to claim silver at the Europeans. Can brother and sister pairing, who have great previous results between them and are known to hike like daemons when it counts (and when it hurts most up the last beat) also keep success in the family and step onto the podium at the RS200 Nationals?

 

Katarina Johnson-Thompson, silver Heptathlon. Smashing in the PBs, never giving up and all-round Championship performer Matt Reid and new crew Amy Sparks have previous pedigree for top ten results when it counts and getting a great gate start to boot. A new pairing but with plenty of podium potential, particularly with Fed Week practice.

 

4 x 100m relay team (men and women – both gold). The British Sailing Team are entering a strong field for the RS200 Nationals. With home water advantage, from many hours of practice, can Arran Holman and Kirstie Urwin or Ellie Aldridge and Megan Brickwood leave the competition standing and bring home the Gold?

 

This fleet is full of talent for 2018 and the top ten could be wide open.  Silver and Bronze fleet wins will also be hard to come by as many new faces in the fleet will be looking for great results.  Excellent PRO Mr Saxton is going to have his work cut out, with over 100 boats at the gate start and all wanting to be first to the windward mark it is going to be a remarkable event and top-class racing.

Top Club contenders: The top three boats from each sailing club will compete for the sought-after RS200 Nationals Top Club.  Strong entries this year have come from Parkstone SC, Itchenor SC, Ullswater SC and Waldringfield SC.

Top University trophy: New for 2018, who will take home the top University Trophy? With so many Uni sailors in the fleet, competition will be right up to the last race for this great new addition to the prizes.

Make sure if you can’t be there you follow all the action on Facebook live, and the RS website - this is one event you can’t afford to miss the action from. Put the date in the diary for 2019 5th-9th Aug Royal Torbay Yacht Club – where there will once again be sun, sea, waves, socials and great racing, hosted on the English Riviera by another fantastic club. See you there!

 Emma Hivey.

 


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