Czech Republic
United Kingdom

Volvo RSVareo UK National Championships

  • RS Vareo National Championships
  • RS Vareo National Championships
  • RS Vareo National Championships

After a rather inauspicious drift out to the starting area, the wind filled in from the North and racing got underway first time after a slight delay. Mark Somerville led a small group off to the right hand side of the course and found the wind filling in nicely from that side to take the lead. Behind him Andy Howard, Richard Willows, Jeremy Symons,  Andrew Cutting, and Phil Davenport battled it out for the next set of places. The wind proved very difficult to predict both wind and downwind, with a windward mark proving particularly tricky to get round, and Mark Somerville seemed to be the only person not having difficulties! Three laps proved to be enough, Jeremy Symonds took second place followed by Phil Davenport, then Richard Willows.

The next start, the wind dropped just before the start and shifted to the left. John Regan and Simon Collinson spotted the shift and started smartly on port tack clearing the fleet. At this stage Mark Somerville looked buried on the right side of the course, but along with Richard Willows, he held his nerve and the wind filled back on that side to allow them to take first and second place at the first mark. Richard Willows picked the better side of the run to take first place at the first Leeward gate, but then promptly sailed into a hole, with Mark Somerville sailing round him to establish a good lead. Andrew Cutting, Jeremy Symons and Mike Cowan came up on the beat and the next run to get ahead and on the final run Andrew Cutting looked to be heading for a secure second place with Willows close behind, but inexplicably Andrew failed to spot the shorted course and also forgot which part of the gate he was going round  and rounded it the wrong way, handing second-place to Mike Cowan then Willows and Jeremy Symons.

For the final race of the day, the wind had built a little with a thermal breeze and shifted more to the North West, giving a long beat and moving the windward mark into more wind. Somerville and Willows were both at the pin end of the line and headed out to port, finding a favourable lift up to the mark on the first tack. Somerville had a healthy lead, with Willows hotly pursued by Symons and Mike Cowan. Over the next three laps there was considerable place changing, with Cowan showing a good turn of speed over the last lap to take a good second-place with Symons third and Willows fourth. Overall a good afternoon sailing, a good  test of concentration and boat speed and Somerville demonstrating with three first places that it was going to be extremely difficult to beat him.


Vareo nationals, final report days two and three.


Sadly, not a lot to report as the wind forecast proved depressingly accurate. After a morning’s wait, the fleet took to the water on Sunday afternoon, but no sooner had the OOD sounded the five-minute hooter, the wind started to drop. Willows came out of the gaggle at the pin end and headed up the centre of the course, Somerville headed to the left and others to the right. 20 yards from the Windward Mark Willows came to a halt, whilst those on the right and left sailed past! The dogleg to the wing mark became a run, and then the run became another beat. The OOD waited until we were most of the way back before sounding the abandonment and put the fleet out of its misery! The fleet retired to the shore, and watched the wind come and go during the rest of the afternoon, and with boredom setting in, a light wind fun race was held at 4:30 PM. This followed much the same pattern as the earlier race, with Somerville again having the best of it followed by Jeremy Symons and the race finished with a little confusion over the finishing arrangements with a breeze that looked vaguely usable. The OOD team felt however that it was unlikely to hold and abandoned further racing for the day and no sooner had the fleet reached the shore and the wind dropped completely!

We awoke to a beautiful early autumn morning on Monday with a light mist shrouding the hills and absolutely no wind at all. By 11 o’clock it was clear that nothing was going to fill-in and an early prize-giving and pack up/depart was agreed.

So congratulations to Mark Somerville for retaining his National title and securing an invitation to the Endeavour Trophy. Jeremy Symons was second, Richard Willows third and Mike Cowan fourth. I think all competitors agreed that the venue and support from the Bassenthwaite club was the best we had experienced. The race team was very friendly and approachable and the food was excellent. Although there was no wind, at least the sun shone and the setting opposite Skiddaw was magnificent. Thanks are also due to Emma and Chunky for coming all the way from Northampton to support the fleet on behalf of the Association and Volvo for supplying four luxury vehicles to the event and some excellent prizes.

Next year’s Nationals will be at Parkstone yacht club in Poole Harbour at the end of June. There is a small photograph of Poole Harbour on page 24 of the latest RYA magazine, the sailing area can be seen just behind Brownsea island and the yacht club is just out of view on the right-hand side of the picture about a third of the way down. I sailed Poole week a few years ago and thought the club was very friendly and efficient, there is plenty of boat parking and launching is easy, just what most of the ancient mariners of the vareo fleet will need. See you there, Richard Willows Vareo 621


Thank you to Volvo for supplying fantastic prizes and for the 2 lucky winners of the cars for the event.


Volvo Car UK has been a long-term backer of sailing in the UK, and for the next 2 years are sponsoring the RS Class Association.

Facebook -

Twitter [email protected]

Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Entries: 24, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank Division SailNo Helm Club R1 R2 R3 Total Nett
1st   570 Mark Somerville Bass 1.0 1.0 1.0 3.0 3.0
2nd Masters 604 Jeremy Symons   2.0 4.0 3.0 9.0 9.0
3rd Grand Masters 621 Richard Willows   4.0 3.0 4.0 11.0 11.0
4th Masters 303 Mike Cowan Bass 8.0 2.0 2.0 12.0 12.0
5th Masters 490 Andrew Cutting   6.0 5.0 5.0 16.0 16.0
6th   132 Phil Davenport Bass 3.0 7.0 11.0 21.0 21.0
7th   389 Alex Howard   7.0 8.0 8.0 23.0 23.0
8th Masters 565 Andy Howard   5.0 15.0 6.0 26.0 26.0
9th Masters 612 John Regan   9.0 6.0 22.0 37.0 37.0
10th   302 Stephen Kirkpatrick Bass 12.0 10.0 15.0 37.0 37.0
11th   622 Simon Collinson   19.0 9.0 10.0 38.0 38.0
12th Masters 583 Andrew Davies   13.0 12.0 13.0 38.0 38.0
13th Youth 211 Claire Williams   10.0 22.0 9.0 41.0 41.0
14th Masters 103 Hugh Godfrey Bass 14.0 21.0 7.0 42.0 42.0
15th Grand Masters 383 Nigel Tebbut   15.0 11.0 17.0 43.0 43.0
16th Masters 358 Bob Eastwood   11.0 14.0 20.0 45.0 45.0
17th   579 Cheryl Wood   16.0 13.0 19.0 48.0 48.0
18th Grand Masters 190 Julian Brooke Houghton   20.0 17.0 12.0 49.0 49.0
19th Masters 333 Ceri Thomas   18.0 19.0 14.0 51.0 51.0
20th Masters 398 Christian Barnes   17.0 23.0 16.0 56.0 56.0
21st   173 Alastair Duncan Bass 22.0 20.0 18.0 60.0 60.0
22nd Masters 516 Peter Ballard Bass 23.0 16.0 23.0 62.0 62.0
23rd   297 Alex Hodkinson   21.0 18.0 24.0 63.0 63.0
24th Grand Masters 424 Tom Watts   24.0 24.0 21.0 69.0 69.0
Website Security Test