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Event reports

Rooster RS Tera Start of Season Championships 2024

Rutland Sailing Club
Simon Lomas-Clarke

20 April 2024

The largest ever fleet of Teras for a Start of Season championships met at Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend of 13/14th April. The first national regatta of the season followed a very successful winter training programme, and the sailors were anxious to get out on the water. With 97 boats in the Main fleet and 16 in the Train & Race fleet this was sure to be a memorable event!

Racing got underway in perfect sailing conditions for the first race. A big shift in the few seconds before the start of the Pro's second start resulted in most of the boats at the pin end having to gybe round to cross the start line. The challenging conditions and the persistence of the right shift led to a pause for the second Sport start while the start line was re-laid and mark layers struggled to get anchors to bite in the strengthening breeze. By the start of the third race the breeze was cranking with gusts of 25 knots recorded on the racecourse. The race management team later expressed their admiration of the level of ability on display from all the sailors. After completing race three, the Sport fleet were signalled to head ashore while the Pro fleet continued to complete their fourth and final scheduled race of the day.

At the end of day one Gurnard SC had a lockout on the Sport fleet podium with the top three boats only separated by 1 point. Rafe Bradley led by one point, with Cass Day and Hannah Yates tied in second/third. The Pro fleet was dominated by reigning champion Will Stratton-Brown, closely followed by his Frensham club-mate, Mark Soars. Filey's Thomas Whitehead's third place after day one was a great achievement for his first national event in the Pro rig.

Day two's conditions saw a lighter breeze from the NNW which allowed the race team to place the course to the West of, and not too far from the clubhouse. Although the wind had dropped to around 10 knots there were some gusts well into the teens and big shifts in the more confined sailing area.

In the Sport fleet the battle between club mates continued. Cass Day preferred the lighter conditions and recorded three wins and Rafe Bradley three second places for the day. Despite best efforts, the Sport fleet did not have enough time to sail the extra race that they missed on the first day, leaving only one discard in the results for them. Overall Cass climbed one place to win the Sport fleet and retain his Start of Seasons title, with Rafe only 2 points behind in second. Hannah Yates maintained her consistent performance to retain third place overall.

The Pro fleet completed their four remaining races with Will Stratton-Brown continuing his domination, scoring two wins and a second. The UFD in the last race made no difference and an overall score of 7 points from 6 counting results concluded a very impressive scoreline. He also retains the title he won in 2023. Mark Soars maintained his second place and Luke Rowlands counted 3 top 5 results on the last day to climb to third.

The Regatta fleet also broke the record for the most boats at a Start of Seasons event. 16 sailors ventured out into very blustery conditions on Saturday morning. After lots of great learnings from the RS Tera Class coaching team of Dylan Collingbourne, Jack Bew and Aimee Bulkes and some capsize practice, the Regatta fleet came ashore for lunch and decided to save their sailing energy, for the following day, when the forecast looked more favourable. The coaches and sailors made the most of the conditions on Sunday, being out on the water for almost as long as the main fleets. Well done to all the sailors who learnt a lot and managed to complete coached races at the end of the day. The Regatta fleet is the future of our class and with such strong support, the future of the Class is very bright and very (Tera) orange.

The UK RS Tera Class and all the sailors would like to thank James Sainsbury at Rutland Sailing Club, all their volunteers and the race team for a superb event with fantastic conditions. Thanks also to Damon and his team in the galley for keeping us fed and watered over the weekend.
Once again, huge thanks to our long-running Class sponsor Rooster for their generous prizes for the event, and for increasing the quantity of prizes when they saw the increased fleet size numbers – you guys are awesome!

Next stop for the National RS Tera fleet is the Rooster RS Tera Inland Championships 2024 at Carsington Sailing Club, a new venue for our fleet, on 29th/30th June.

Photos courtesy of: Steve Angell, James Sainsbury, Jamie Wilson, Luke Bradley


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