1) The Sprints at Rutland
Always a great way to kick-off the season with Clive Eplett leading the fleet home from a hard-chasing Matt Johnson in second and Mark Harrison in third.
A long-time fixture on the RS100 calendar, with Matt Johnson showing that the Sprints were just a warm up for him. Ian Gregory was in hot pursuit with Mark Harrison showing his normal consistency to take third (I should withdraw that statement. Mark is never consistent!)
3) Weir Woo
Clive Eplett won this by the thinnest of margins, taking it on countback from Mark Harrison (maybe proving that he can be consistent), with local boy Matt Johnson taking the final podium spot.
4) Hayling Island RS Summer Regatta
Netley started to appear, with Nils Joliffe showing great form to take the regatta convincingly. The ever-present Clive Eplett finished in second while Andy Jones proved that the Chew Valley boats could also perform well at times.
5) RS100 Nationals at Royal Torbay
This was a breezy affair, favouring those with either greater ballast, greater fitness, or just greater ability. Nigel Wakefield (Netley) won this one, with Huw Powell (sometimes Netley) loving the conditions in second and James Ross (Netley) third. Yes, it was a bit of a Netley show of strength.
6) RS100 Inlands at Chew Valley Lake
This was a lighter-wind affair, but was again won by Nigel Wakefield (winning events in heavy and light wind implies he may be the one with greater ability). Very close behind was Ian Gregory with Clive Eplett showing great form throughout the season to come third.
The overall results were:
- 6th: David Smart (Chew Valley Lake SC) – always the bridesmaid being just off the podium at numerous events. Maybe next year?
- 5th: Mark Harrison (Gurnard SC) – some good early season results propelled him along, but his love of arriving at the windward mark on port may need some rethinking for next year…
- 4th: Ian Gregory (Frensham Pond SC) – lightening fast when it’s light, when it can be maddening to follow him – he will be fully hiking while you’re still perching in the boat.
- 3rd: Matt Johnson (Weir Wood SC) – the winter training clearly paid off for Matt with great early season results.
- 2nd: Nigel Wakefield (Netley SC) – winning the Nationals and the Inlands was highly impressive, but he just missed out on the National Tour to show the rest that there is hope.
- 1st: Clive Eplett (Frensham Pond SC) – the deserved RS100 Rooster National Tour Champion with an impressively consistent set of results in varying conditions. However, it might be because the rest of the fleet see that yellow spinnaker of his being hoisted and gybe off to avoid it!
We also presented a ‘Top Supporter’ prize this year. That went to the ever-present Frank Jones (Chew Valley Lake SC), dad to Andy and Steve Jones. While protocol will not let me divulge his age, he should be in a Great Grand Masterly Legends category. He attended nearly every event, although some wonder if he should be on the water showing his sons how it’s done. He certainly tells them which way they should have gone up the beat!
Finally the season should be rounded off with an enormous thank you to our title sponsor Rooster Sailing. They supported all our events and we really appreciate the prizes and the continued sponsorship.
We are already looking forward to the first event of 2024, the RS Sprints at Rutland SC over the weekend of 20-21st April.
In the meantime, enjoy a very Merry Christmas (not forgetting the letter to Santa for a few presents from Rooster) and a very Happy New Year.
Event re-cap by David Smart, RS100 Chair
Picture by Digital Sailing