UK Inland Championships 2010
Oh so rusty, the dedicated band of travellers that turned up for the fourth UK SB3 Inland Championships at Rutland, but was it the rain or the winter lay-off. Thanks have to go immediately to everyone involved at Rutland Sailing Club …for once again hosting the class in a most professional, helpful and faultless manner. They also managed to give a full assortment of weather in the short 3 days, from rain to sun, and from not much wind to an awful lot more.
The event provided 9 races in a full variety of testing conditions that went from a number of boats trying to wash their masts, to boats becalmed in holes and being passed within 5 meters by boats at hull speed with kites full.
The award for travelling has to go to 3259, Sean Craig, Alan Green and Stephen Boyle, who travelled from Dun Laoghaire to what will be their only ‘foreign’ event this year. They were rewarded with 4th place overall for their efforts beaten on count back by George and the boys (including ‘Mini-Man’) from Oxford. This team of youngsters has improved immensely from last year and this result does them credit.
It was good to see a number of new faces in the fleet this year, from Rutland and East Anglia and from the south coast. One from the south was Peter Saxton travelling from Royal Southern, and so overjoyed to be at the event he opted for an early bath, at the leeward mark on race 3. Others to take the ‘bath option’ included the Commodore of RSC sailing on Jupiter who did even better and took ‘Triff’ with him.
The award for effort has to go to a fleet newcomer, the Littlejohn ‘Sailing Coach’ team, one of whom recognised the international and competitive draw of this event and flew back from Palma especially to get to Rutland at 3am on Saturday, missing the first day but managing to peak with a bullet in the last race, beating the event winners by half a bowsprit length.
Showing how much they have improved from a bit of coaching last year and effort through the winter TeamB4Ego started race 4 with a brilliant port tack flyer across the whole fleet, before making a resounding return to form in race 7.
Competition was tight throughout the fleet and all the way through the event there was never more than 1 point separating the leaders, with the scores level after 8 of the 9 races. At the end of the first day, after 3 races Team Rola-Trac were level on points with Team Baloo, defending champions, but after 4 more races at the end of day 2 Team Baloo had managed to edge one point ahead. In race 8 they suffered from the crew being over 35kg light in the heavy wind and Team Rola-Trac took the win to level the score again. The Yorkshire boys on ‘Huttons’ revelled in these heavier conditions and flew into a 3rd place.
All down to the last race with Team Baloo still suffering from lack of crew weight, and the ‘Littlejohn team’, came into play. Team Rola-Trac struggled with a kite hoist allowing the other two boats to fly downwind into the lead with the ‘Littlejohns’ taking the bullet, leaving Team Baloo with 2nd and the overall Championship win by 1 point.
As a bit of fun the event was rounded off by an ‘Ultimate race’, a time trial sprint round one lap with competitors allowed to start at any time during a start ‘window’. Five boats stayed on the water for this event in the boisterous conditions with Team Baloo and the Littlejohns choosing to start within seconds of each other. It was a flying lap of just 15 minutes, in which the Littlejohns managed to push Team Baloo into second place by one second.
What an event, thanks everyone. For those who were there over 600 photographs are available, if you provide your address through the TeamB4Ego website Geoff will send one copy of the photographs on a memory stick to each boat.