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Event reports

Rooster RS Tera Start of Season Championships 2023

Northampton Sailing Club
Simon Lomas-Clarke

24 April 2023

75 RS Teras converged on Northampton Sailing Club for the first Class National regatta of the season, the Rooster RS Tera Start of Season Championships 2023. It was great for the fleet to be back at Northampton after a break of some five years, and we were made to feel very welcome.

With 65 boats competing in the main fleets and 10 participating in the Train and Race Regatta fleet, Pitsford would be a sea of orange in the Spring sunshine.

After a sun-soaked briefing on the grass, the 25 Pro rig and 40 Sport rig sailors set out for the racecourse in a light 6 knot breeze from the North. The weather forecast was light all weekend and getting all of the scheduled races completed was going to be a challenge. The race officer promptly got into the sequence for the first race using the U flag to try and keep to the schedule. In the Sport fleet, Cass Day and Ollie Wilson built a significant lead in race one and never looked back with Cass taking the win. In the Pro fleet, Will Stratton-Brown wrestled the lead from Luke Rowlands in the light, shifting conditions. For the second race the course was reset to accommodate a fickle and backing wind. Cass repeated his race winning performance, followed across the line by Molly Wilson in a superb second place. A left shift caught out some of the Pro fleet but Tristan Harding and Matthew Somerville were always in contention and took full advantage to take first and second.

After a short lunch the fleet set sail again and the race officer promptly launched (at a slow drift) the fleets into race 3. The wind shut off and the race was abandoned disappointing those who had moved to the front of the fleets but a relief to others. The fleet came ashore and entertained themselves on the quickly erected volleyball court outside the clubhouse. Patience was always going to be needed and late in the afternoon wind trickled over the dam from the South. At 5pm the fleets set out again to have another go at race 3. This time Cass Day was not able to get past Jude Beatty in the Sport fleet who took the win, but Cass still finished in second. In the Pros Will Stratton-Brown was back in the top spot with Matthew Somerville scoring another second. Sailors eventually returned to shore after a long day to be greeted by a fantastic pork roast dinner.

On Sunday morning discussions were all about when the decision to abandon would be made, especially when sailors were welcomed by a beautiful but windless lake. Raising AP ashore is always a good move if something needs to happen and zephyrs of wind started to appear from the South. Within half an hour the fleet were launched in a light but building Southerly breeze. Race 4 in the Sport fleet saw Cass at the front again with a significant gap to Jude in second. Matthew Somerville and Will S-B continued where they left off the previous day, this time with Matthew beating Will. The wind built throughout the day with some sailors having to lean back a bit but remained shifty enough to present snakes but not many ladders on the racecourse.

The race management team from Northampton did an impressive job to get 5 good length races into the day to complete all races in a regatta when no one thought it possible given the forecast. In the Sport fleet Cass Day dominated the field with firsts and seconds across the board taking the event win by 14 points. Close battles ensued for 2nd to 5th with Jude Beatty beating Ollie Wilson on count back to complete the podium positions. In the Pro fleet Will’s score line was similar to Cass’s but he was pushed all the way by Matthew Somerville. Will took the event win by one point from Matthew with Tristan Harding completing the podium. Frensham Pond Sailing Club took the team trophy thanks to their armada of sailors throughout both fleets.

The next generation of Tera sailors were also out in the Train & Race Regatta Fleet, under the watchful eyes of Class coaches Caitlin Morley and Finlay Lomas-Clarke, aided by Aimee Bulkes. This format of Regatta fleet, now into its third year, builds the young sailors confidence and experience at bigger events and, judging by the antics on the water and smiles off it, everyone had a great time.

Thanks to our Class sponsors Rooster for their ongoing support of our Class and a heavily-laden prize table, and huge thanks to Northampton Sailing Club for hosting a great event:- Issac and his Race team, all the volunteers on the water, the fantastic galley team who kept us all fed so well and particular thanks to Steve, Ricky and Sarah for all their help in making the event happen.

Next stop for the National RS Tera fleet is the Rooster RS Tera Inland Championships 2023 at one of the fleet’s favourite destinations, Burton Sailing Club on 24th/25th June.

Photos courtesy of Tina Hogg, Steve Hopkins and Andy Gordon

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