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Event reports

Rooster RS Tera Inland Championships 2023

Burton Sailing Club
Simon Lomas-Clarke

29 June 2023

Burton Sailing Club hosted the 2023 Rooster UK RS Tera Inland Championships. With the forecast looking good for the weekend the campervanners and the tenters got to the site early to get a lakeside view of the racing area.

Burton Sailing Club has long been a favourite with the UK RS Tera fleet, and Phil Coleman and his army of Club volunteers once more rose to the occasion with a well-prepared event team, both on and off the water.

PRO John Edwards, ably assisted by the hugely experienced guest mark layer Mike Weighill, started the racing on time on Saturday in a light, shifty southwest direction. Linking the gusts together across the racecourse and taking some headers to get there was the winning strategy of the day and these conditions looked ideal for the lake sailors. Matthew Sommerville from Bassenthwaite showed his experience in these conditions with a win in the first Pro race with Frensham's Mark Soars in second and Luke Rowlands from Rutland in third. Continuing his recent form on the Southern traveller circuit, Cass Day from Gurnard took the win in the Sport fleet with Thomas and Daniel Whitehead second and third respectively, proving that the sea sailors can do ponds too. A quick turnaround meant similar conditions for the second race. The race was characterised by a large wind hole developing in the middle of the course for the second beat. This meant that in both fleets, the sailors that were keeping their eyes upwind and could react quickly to the changing conditions were the ones who benefitted. The Pro fleet pond sailors crossed the line with a one-two-three for Frensham through William Stratton-Brown, Mark Soars and Tristan Harding. In the Sport fleet Cass was the first to dig himself out of the large wind hole and take the win with fellow Gurnard sailor Rafe Bradley second and Filey's Molly Wilson in third.

After a break for lunch the sailors returned to similar conditions for the afternoon races. In the Pro fleet Ben Greenhalgh found his form from last year and won a tightly fought race from Lake District sailors Matthew Sommerville and Olivia Dembinska (Ullswater). Jude Beatty from Rutland won the third Sport fleet race followed by Rafe Bradley and Zoe Lomas-Clarke. By the fourth race the form was starting to establish itself and the usual contenders continued to hit the top of the Pro fleet. This time it was Matthew Sommerville winning from Ben Greenhalgh and Luke Rowlands. The Sport fleet couldn't contain their excitement and were called back for a general recall. After a delayed start Cass won his third race of the day followed across the line by Matthew Boatman and Laia Priestley.

With the wind dying rapidly the decision was made to end racing for the day and hope that the thunderstorms forecast for Sunday stayed away.

Bright and early on Sunday morning, the sailors were keen to get going with their four-race schedule. The wind had shifted round to the South, the wind was blowing F3 with forecast to increase during the day and conditions were more stable than the previous day. Ben Greenhalgh continued from the previous day with a win in the fifth race followed by William Stratton-Brown and Matthew Sommerville. The usual Sport fleet suspects adjusted well to the stronger conditions with Daniel Whitehead winning from Cass Day and Rafe Bradley.

For both fleets the left side of the beat was paying and in most of the day's races Ben Greenhalgh dominated the pin end of the line and made the most of the best conditions. With bullets in races 6 and 8, interrupted by a third in race 7 Ben Greenhalgh was crowned the RS Tera Pro Inland Champion for 2023. Matthew Sommerville sailed a consistent regatta with no result outside the top 5 to take the runner-up spot in the event. William Stratton-Brown recovered from a difficult first day, bagging second place in every race on Sunday to finish the event in third.

In the Sport fleet Cass Day didn't have it all his own way in every race but his consistency paid dividends to win him the event by a healthy 7 points. Rafe Bradley took second and Daniel Whitehead third. Frensham Pond SC won the team prize for the second event in row.

Congratulations must go to Burton’s race team, organised by Ian Merryfield, for delivering exciting racing in sometimes challenging conditions and a huge thank you to Sarah Gay and her indefatigable galley team and bar staff, who not only catered for nearly 150 weekend meal packages for hungry sailors and parents, but also made sure no one went thirsty in the evenings - no mean feat!

A Train & Race Regatta Fleet was run by Class Coaches Dylan Collingbourne and Finlay Lomas-Clarke alongside the main races to provide training and some fun racing for the young stars of the Tera fleet. Great fun was had by all 15 sailors in some gusty conditions, showing that the future of the class is looking healthy.

Once again the UKRSTCA is indebted to our main Class sponsor Rooster, for providing the prizes for the Championships. All in all, a great event at one of the Class's favourite venues.


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