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Gul RS Vareo Winter Championships Draycote Waer SC

  • RS Vareo at 2016 Dinghy Show
Saturday morning saw a depleted fleet of 6 Vareos take to a breezy Draycote for the Gul 2004 winter championships. After a very long first beat along almost the whole length of Draycote 4 boats rounded the shared first mark very close together but no one dared to put their kite up along the top leg to the Vareos' windward mark . On the subsequent laps Robin Sanders from Chase (#315) took line honours with local 29er sailor Guy Fillmore (#199) taking the prize for the fastest run and the most spectacular capsize! Races 2 and 3, in increasing wind, were both won by Carl Whitehead from Filey (#215) from Robin Sanders, with Tom Smith from Grafham (#252) third in each race with Guy Fillmore 4th out of a reduced field of 4. Tactics downwind seemed to be determined by whether to risk flying the kite and then going for a full-tilt gybe or whether to play safe and run under main alone - which seemed only marginally slower. It was interesting to watch the "follow my leader" decisions and everyone becoming more cautious as the day progressed. Early Sunday morning looked promising, but by the time of the delayed start it was decided by common consent that winds gusting Force 7 were too challenging - given that this was Draycote in February (now if it had been Minorca in June that would have been an entirely different matter) and the reduced fleet decided collectively that discretion was the better part of valour and went home early! Watching the 200s struggle with the conditions, and the onset of snow, made the decision seem even more sensible. Thanks to Chris Avery (PRO) and his team of the Craggs and Mike Grinham for organising the championships. At the briefing Mike said Draycote were happy to be providing some proper winter weather for a winter championships instead of the unseasonal weather we have been having - having spent 2 days on a freezing committe boat I'm not sure he still holds that view! Tom Smith (Vareo 252)
1. C Whitehead (Filey) 215 2. R Sanders (Chase) 315 3. T Smith (Grafham) 252 4. G Fillmore (Draycote) 199 5= S Chapman (Chew Valley) 337 5= A Caldecott (Chase) 314
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