Event reports

Rooster UK RS Tera Nationals - Dale 2022

Dale Yacht Club
Simon Lomas-Clarke

20 June 2022

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Over the Platinum Jubilee weekend, the UK RS Tera fleet headed to the western most corner of West Wales for their 2022 National Championships. 114 sailors and support crews arrived in the small rural hamlet of Dale and pretty much took over the village.

Dale Yacht Club, along with event partners Celtic Sea Watersports, had done a mammoth amount of work to prepare for the arrival of the competitors and their families and, with the help of local sponsors, the stage was set for what would hopefully be a memorable Championships, set in the breathtaking scenery of the Pembrokeshire National Park.

Some families had taken the advantage of the half term break to make a holiday in this beautiful corner of the Wales and had experienced glorious weather on the day leading up to the event. With the vast majority of sailors in Dale early, registration was completed in record time on the Thursday afternoon, allowing families to enjoy the sunshine and feast on the pizzas supplied by CoCos Brasserie at Dale Yacht Club, a great start to the weekend.

On the first day of racing tropical weather, clear waters and beautiful scenery made the visitors feel like they were in the Greek Islands rather than the UK. Assisted by an army of local volunteers manning the route form the boat park, the tally board and the slipway the fleet of Teras were launched into a light northerly wind. The course was set a long way off the beach to give the best opportunity for a championship course between the cliffs and the shipping lane. The deep water, ebbing tide and high cliffs all challenged PRO Mike Butterfield and his race management team who set the course for the first race.

Shifty conditions with the wind around 10 knots favoured the inland sailors. In the Pro fleet Oliver Stratton-Brown from Frensham Pond SC and Jac Bailey from Port Dinorwic SC traded top 5 scores and ended the day tied on points. Ruby Sunderland from Brading Haven on the Isle of Wight did a great job in unfamiliar conditions to occupy third. In the Sport fleet a special mention goes to Henry Reed for winning the first race at his first Nationals in the Tera. In a similar battle to the Pros, Ben Greenhalgh (Port Dinorwic) and Luke Rowlands from Rutland posted a string of good results with Ben leading overnight by one point. Thomas Whitehead pinned his name to two firsts on the score sheet but got bogged down in the scrum at the pin end in race two and would be looking to benefit from the discards later in the regatta to continue the form he showed at the Start of Seasons. In view of the unfavourable forecast for the following day the race officer took advantage of the conditions to get in an extra race. Managing hydration and nutrition were essential to maintain the concentration needed for all four races in the challenging conditions.

Once again, looking to develop the future fleet sailors, the Class Association had underwritten the coaching costs for the Train & Race Regatta fleet at this event, and the 24 young sailors had their first training course set just off the beach. Led by the UK Tera Class Association coaches, the sailors set about the challenges of managing the conditions, staying upright and avoiding each other all at the same time. Everyone returned to shore tired but happy with the day's coached racing. The Boathouse Cafe did a roaring trade in chips and ice-creams to help revive the sailors. Later in the evening tables and chairs were brought out into the streets for the evening's curry provided by the same café, while a large portion of the fleet took to the jetty for a marathon crabbing session.

When there are multiple forecasts all quite ominous one of them is usually correct, and a strong onshore wind funnelling through the village confirmed this was going to feel like a long day on the water, no matter how long sailors were on the water. Parents helped launch the fleet into the incoming wind and waves and set the sailors off to the racecourse sent just outside the moorings where the 12-18 knot wind was manageable with a reasonable chop to contend with. Some spectators found an onshore vantage point just downwind of the start line while others ventured out on the spectator boat, kindly provided by John Reynolds of Dale Sailing, to get even closer to the action.

The Pro fleet was dominated by Jac Bailey who posted an almost perfect three bullets and a second. Oliver Stratton-Brown worked hard to end the day second, two points ahead of Ben Sinfield from Port Dinorwic, In the Sport fleet the Port Dinorwic boys continued the club trend with the ever-consistent Ben Greenhalgh posting three seconds and a fourth. A win each for Luke Rowlands (Roa Island) and William Stratton-Brown (Frensham Pond) left them second and third respectively at the end of the second day.

The Regatta fleet took the wise decision to stay ashore and headed to a series of shore-based training activities and games managed by the Class coaches. The exhausted Sport and Pro fleets returned to shore and devoured an amazing barbeque laid on by CoCos Brasserie which, as expected meant arrival of the rain. The torrential downpours didn't deter entertainment continuing in The Boathouse Café and Coronation Hall. Due to the dubious music selection from the Northern Teras the Coronation Hall was probably the best place to be! Thanks must go to Dale Yacht Club who provided the facilities of the Coronation Hall to the fleet for the duration of the event.

For the final day of racing the wind abated to a fairly steady 12 knots in a trademark Welsh drizzle (it doesn't rain much in Dale we were told!). Something miraculous needed to happen for either Oliver Stratton-Brown or Ben Sinfield to overcome Jac Bailey in the Pro fleet but with a second and a first in the last two races Jac sealed the championship. In a similar fashion Ben Greenhalgh grabbed a first and therefore overall victory in the Sport fleet in race one. Places were still being closely fought over in the rest of the fleet with late charges and "what could have been" results throughout.

The Regatta fleet were busy making up for the day's sailing they missed the day before. A series of quick races were set to test the skills learnt over the previous days. Parents found great spectating was available from the jetty, right next to the racecourse. The Regatta fleet were still racing when the main fleet sailors came ashore and started the soggy boat packing routine.

Jac Bailey dominated the whole event to become UK RS Tera Pro National Champion for the second year in a row. Ben Greenhalgh won the UK RS Tera Sport National Championships and, in a near North Wales clean sweep, Port Dinorwic SC won the team prize. The one exception to this being Molly Wilson from Filey SC who won the under 10 trophy.

Generous event prizes from Class sponsor Rooster, spot prizes throughout the weekend from event sponsor Allen, a massive effort from Max Barber and Rhys Bromhall of Celtic Sea Watersports, Dale Yacht Club, Association parents afloat and ashore, and Dale village provided one of the best National Championships for the class.

Race results for the Rooster UK RS Tera National Championships 2022 can be found at
https://www.sailwave.com/results/RS%20Tera%20Nationals%202022.htm

A busy couple of months for the UK RS Tera fleet beckons, with the Southern Championships at Royal Lymington on 25/26 June, the Eastern Championships at Burnham the following weekend, and the Northern Championships at Bassenthwaite on 16/17 July, before attention turns to the RS Tera World Championships 2022, being held as part of the RS Games at WPNSA in the first week of August. The next National event in the calendar for the UK Class is the Inland Championships at Rutland on the weekend of 10/11 September.

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