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Event reports

Rooster RS Tera Inland Champiopnships 2022

Rutland Sailing Club
Simon Lomas-Clarke

20 September 2022

The UK RS Tera fleet gathered at Rutland Sailing Club on 10th and 11th October for their Inland Championships 2022. It was great to be back at Rutland in its beautiful setting and a good to see an Inland sailing area not significantly affected by the drought conditions, even though it looked as if the tide was out!

On Saturday the forecast of a good 12-15 knots held true with gains and losses to be made across the course. The northerly direction limited Race Officer David Rowlands’ options and with the windward mark laid close to the shore, sailor’s tactical skills were going to be tested. Respects were paid to the late Queen Elizabeth II at the briefing and all sailors flew black ribbons from the masthead throughout the regatta. The respect sailors showed to each other and to circumstances was very impressive.

On the racecourse and in the first race of the Pro fleet Olly Stratton-Brown started keen to retain his Inland Championship title but was closely chased by Frensham Pond club mate Tristan Harding and Jack Bew from Docklands Sailing. These three built a sizeable gap to the rest of the field. A windward capsize by Olly due to some over-zealous kiting let Tristan slip through to take the win in his first championship race in a Tera Pro. Olly recovered well to finish second. For the rest of the day, Olly managed the race and his competitors and didn’t give anyone else a look-in to take 3 wins. At the end of the day Tristan managed to stay in second by one point from Jack Bew who posted two seconds in races 2 and 3.

In the Sport fleet Thomas Whitehead continued his 2022 form to take the first race followed by brother Daniel and Will Stratton-Brown (do you see a family theme going on here). The shifty conditions seemed to favour the left side up the beat but there were gains to be had all over the course if you were in the right place on the right tack and the right time. Cas Day and Zoe Lomas-Clarke were all sailing well and scoring low points. By the end of the day, counting two wins and a third Thomas had built a good lead. 2 points separated 2nd and 6th so Sunday was heading for a top of the table showdown in the Sport fleet.

A great Saturday night hog-roast and a bit of volleyball finished the day off nicely.

On Sunday morning a light mist and a flat calm lake greeted sailors while they tucked into their bacon rolls. The race officer trusted his light wind forecast and sent the fleets on their slow sail out to the race area on time. A shift to a southerly wind from the previous day gave sailors something new to think about as racing got underway in a reasonable 8 knots. In the Pro fleet the light conditions suited the Frensham Pond pair of Olly Stratton-Brown and Tristan Heading as they traded firsts and seconds all day. However, with two races to spare, Olly had the Inland title. Tristan took victory in the last race to secure second. Excelling in the very light conditions Macsen Barber’s late charge with a first and third weren’t enough to beat Jack Bew who in his last regatta in a Tera retained third position overall.

The Sport fleet’s charge to catch Thomas Whitehead commenced under black flag, a hangover from some over-eager starting tactics the day before. The light and fickle breeze took a bit of getting used to for Thomas and high scores in the first two races opened the door for the chasing peloton. Cas Day capitalised with a win in the first two races to move into first. Going into the final race it was all very close. Thomas’s win in the third race (but still with a big score counting), left Cas in the lead Zoe Lomas-Clarke in second after two third places in the first races of the day (up from 6th at the end of the first day). The second discard counting after the 8th and final race meant that Cas had to beat Thomas by more than one place and finish in the top 8 to win.

With the wind dropping to around 5 knots, onlookers on the shore were eager to see if the fleet would re-appear from round the headland on the upwind leg of the final race. Or would they be heading for the short having been abandoned? While the RO waited for the wind to settle the time-limit for the start of the last race was approaching. As the fleet appeared up the beat in the 8th race, conditions were testing. Thomas Whitehead kept his nerve to finish the race in second with Cas in 5th earning Thomas the title.

Congratulations go to Olly Stratton-Brown for retaining the RS Tera Pro Inland Championship title and to Tristan Harding for second place in his first regatta in the Pro. A great result for Jack Bew in conditions that didn’t suit his stature was a great way to conclude his career in the Tera.

Thomas Whitehead as the new RS Tera Sport Inland Champion continues to build on some good results in 2022 but needs to look out for the young Cas Day who is charging up the results table and is already knocking on the door. It won’t be long before we see him at the top of the podium.

With 5 boats posting top 10 finishes across the Sport and Pro fleets, Frensham Pond Sailing Club took club trophy in style.

With big smiles ever present, the Train & Race Regatta fleet spent a great weekend learning race techniques in ideal conditions with Class Coach Dylan and they all received a big cheer at prize giving.

Next stop for the RS Tera Fleet is the End of Season Championships at Draycote SC on 15th/16th October. See you all there.

Sport results

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