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29/05/2004
Gul RS Vareo National Championships Brixham YC

  • RS Vareo at 2016 Dinghy Show
Brixham YC May 29-31 25 Vareos went west over the Bank Holiday weekend for a really excellent GUL RS Vareo National Championships, held in conjunction with the RS300ís. So much happened over the weekend but regardless of what the weather did, numerous changes in wind direction and severe attempts to sink the committee boat by outside events Brixham YC very impressive race management team provided consistently true courses which the Vareo fleet enjoyed to the full in often ideal conditions. Ashore Brixham YC were very friendly hosts, always with a smile, giving everyone a pasty after they pulled their boat up the slip was typical of their approach. Last year Jon Lewis had won the Nationals with too much ease leading round every first windward mark. He was back this year to defend his title but the first race immediately showed that he was not going to have everything his own way. In a force 3-4 from the southwest Dave Machin worked the right side of the first beat to good effect to lead with Lewis in fourth. Lewis though pulled through on the second run as the sun came out, last year he would have disappeared but he could not shake off the fleet this time and had to work hard to hold Rob Burridge off in second with Dave Machin third. Race 2 was delayed when the Heritage fleet, traditional Thames barge like sailing work boats, holding a rally in Torbay, tried to take the Committee boat out. These things plainly were about as manoeuvrable as a super tanker with no one at the helm and made ground to windward with immense difficulty. The more one of them tried to pinch to get round the committee boat the slower it went and the more it drifted sideways towards the 30ft committee boat which it dwarfed on which there was now complete panic Once these were escorted off the scene race 2 started in a force 3 from the west in sunshine. The leading five boats went hard right to very good effect and were well clear at the first mark. The race became two match races with Lewis again winning from Burridge after a nervous last run as the wind eased. Carl Whitehead and Pete Vincent swapped third place three times down the last run before Vincent gained third at the finish. After part of the Vareo fleet tried to destroy the 300ís when the bar refused to shut some were pleased to see light winds although with heavy rain on Sunday morning. By start time sun was out again and there was a force 3 from the SW. Lewis and Burridge were off again and were not thrown when the wind went west and a replacement windward mark was laid. With an approaching large rain cloud the wind became extremely patchy and the last run was very memorable as a squall on the edge of the cloud gave a force 5 reaching blast and extremely heavy rain with no visibility. Lewis only just held off Burridge by a hairs breath, Steve Mummery lost third in a wet broach in the last 50 yards as the fleet learnt some new words giving Richard Kemp Salt third and Vincent fourth. If the wind and rain was not enough on the final leg out of very poor visibility came a fleet of high performance grand prix power boats taking part in the Torbay classic at full power several of whom missed the committee boat by 20 ft and very close to some capsized boats they had no hope of seeing. Luck was the only reason there was not a serious incident. The wind went walk about as the huge cloud rumbled off out to sea causing a delay but then the weather stabilised into a pleasant force 3-4 from the west in ever improving sunshine. Race 4 was decided on the first run; Rob Burridge in the lead went right and gained lots of extra pressure to disappear into the distance. Phil Kelly from Carsington followed and jumped into second. Jon Lewis had been 8th round the windward mark but gained when a six boat pile up at the leeward mark let him through on the inside and into third. Race 5, Richard Kemp Salt and Pete Vincent were in very close company in the lead having worked the left side of the beat. A very close tussle ensured with Burridge and Lewis before Chris Kirk seemed to have planed over the top of everyone on the third run to take the lead. Kemp Salt though just held the advantage from Burridge and Vincent starting the final beat. Lewis again showed he was the master downwind to blast through on the final run to win from Kemp Salt, Burridge and Vincent. After three great races it was home time for a lovely evening, in good weather and a barbecue on the edge of Brixham harbour. Monday had always been forecast to be very windy from the SE so it was a surprise to find a moderate SSW breeze under slate grey skies and rain. Race 6 started in a force 3-4 with Kemp Salt, Burridge, Vincent and Lewis in very close company at the first mark. Lewis again gybed off early to take the lead with Vincent second. As the wind moved to the south and slowly increased Lewis continued to lead but could not shake Vincent off who stole the advantage on the final gybe to win. Lewisís second though was more than enough to give him overall victory with a race to spare. The wind had now moved to the SE, kicking up a lumpy sea round Berry Head and was a good force 4-5 providing the fleet with an exciting final race. Burridge recovered from being over the line to lead throughout the race with Kemp Salt second. Colin Aldred got the better of his Filey club mate Whitehead to claim third. Lewis won the GUL Vareo Nationals for the second year but it had been a lot closer than the results would suggest. There were good tussles throughout the fleet with Kemp Salt winning first Master, Tim Greenwood 1st Youth in 6th overall and Chris Kirk winning the silver division. Pete Vincent --------------------------------------------------------------------- Saturday 29th May 2004 A glorious Saturday morning gave us wall-to-wall blue skies and a force3/4 SW wind. 23 Vareos from as far apart as Cornwall and Yorkshire navigated their way through the harbour to the race area - in the middle of Torbay. In the first race the fleet got away cleanly and made its way to the windward mark - catching the RS300 stragglers. Veering winds made the downwind legs quite biased, but gave exciting sailing in winds gusting Force 5. Jon Lewis (Burghfield), Robert Burridge (WeirWood), Dave Machin (Netley), Pete Vincent (BCYC) and Carl Whitehead (Filey) battled it out in some close tacking to finish in that order while Richard Kemp-Salt (Brightlingsea) lost out at the finish by engineering a capsize in front of the committee boat. After quite a delay while the wind veered about 30 degrees and the race course was traversed by the Brixham classic fleet (which we were warned at the briefing to regard as "vessels not under control") the second race started with a significant starboard end bias. Indeed the PRO decided it was necessary to send the fleet to a new windward mark on the last lap (to the confusion of many and the advantage of some). Practice in the earlier race meant their were fewer capsizes in the fleet this time round, and Jon Lewis again took line honours with Robert Burridge second and Pete Vincent (who kept his Newton Abbot childhood, and therefore local knowledge, very quiet) third. Sunday 30th May Sunday dawned with almost no wind, and the fleet was very reluctant to get on the water. Howevver when they arrived at the start there was a good force 3/4. Richard Kemp-Salt led to the windward mark but lost out at the leeward mark where the fleet crammed up and Rob Burridge took the lead followed by Jon Lewis and Pete Vincent. Carl Whithead also took advantage of this and crept inside to start the next leg in 4th. On the last leg there was a tremendous downpoor and viscous squalls which led to several capsizes. Race 3 finished with Jon Lewis taking line honours, Rob Burridge second, Richard Kemp-Salt third and Pete Vincent forth. At the end of Race 3 we all witnessed one of the most disgraceful exhibitions of poor seamanship when the Torbay Powerboat race came straight through the tail enders and only by a miracle didn't we have a tragedy on our hands. The PRO sensibly decided to move the race area, but the wind entirely deserted us and we were almost at the point of thinking it was an awful long way home! But after 30 minutes of drifting, a Force 3/4 set in again and the fleet managed to move to the new start area in record time. Race 4 was much closer, the fleet showing definate improvements and being much more closely matched. Rob Burridge eventually won with Jon Lewis second, a really good showing saw Paul Kelly third and Carl Whitehead maintained his consistent showing getting a 4th. Race 5 saw your correspondent beating Jon Lewis to the first windward mark, mind you I probably didn't stop for a cigarette on the way! The fleet again was much more closely matched but on the very last leg Jon Lewis managed to overtake Richard Kemp-Salt who had problems with his spinaker, with Rob Burridge third and Pete Vincent again showing consistent form finishing 4th. Monday 31st May The forecast Force 9 winds certainly didn't materialise, indeed as the crews assembled there was some doubt if there was any wind at all. However as the boats made their way to the start an increasing SE set in and by the start of race 6 this was blowing at Force 4 gusting 5. The direction of the wind meant that during the 2 races today the sea swell gradually increased - producing good surfing waves of about 4 foot by the end of the day. The fleet wondered what vessels could get in their way today, and were therefore not suprised to see a fishing boat drifting through the start line just before the start of the first race! Richard Kemp-Salt led to the first mark, in a much tighter fleet overall, but on the second lap had been overtaken by Jon Lewis and Rob Burridge by a changed course. The wind direction then stayed reasonably steady but increasing in strength, making the downwind leg spectacular and the gybes all too exciting for some. In the end it was Pete Vincent who overtook Jon Lewis on the last run to take line honours with Rob Burridge third and Richard Kemp-Salt forth. In the second race (race 7 - the final race of the series) Jon Lewis went ashore and for the first time in the series we had individual recalls on the start. Richard Kemp-Salt, Eddie McDonald and Dave Machin all returned to cross the line properly, but in the end Carl Lewis was judged over, didn't return and was scored OCS. Pete Vincent showed he was mortal and made upo for his win in the previous race by capsizing just after the first windward mark. Tom Smith had a possible disqualification arising on the second winwdard leg by picking up a passenger - a fish (admittedly quite small) came over the bow in green water and then proceeded to try and swim upstream against the flow of water still coming in over the bow - fish are stupid! There were several capsizes on the downwind legs of the shortened course and many decided not to hoist kites to reduce the risk. In constant rain, decent swell and strong winds Rob Burridge took the gun from Richard Kemp-Salt, who had fought back up the fleet, and Colin Aldred (Filey) in third place. The exhausted crews came ashore to be greated again by an enthusiastic and extremely helpful and well organised beach crew who efficiently helped moving all the boats up the slip in record time. Hot pasties were again provided by Brixham Yacht Club and were extremely well recived by all. Many thanks to Gul for sponsoring the event, and to Brixham Yacht Club for organising a highy successful series despite the vagaries of the weather and the interuptions of other boats! After accepting the Gul Trophy as 2004 National Champion, Jon Lewis thanked the club and especially the co-opted children who helped moving boats up and down the launch slip - a hat was passed around to collect money to reward them for their efforts. Undoubtedly the standard of racing has improved dramatically since last year, with much closer racing at both the top and middle of the fleet. Thanks to Jon Lewis and Pete Vincent who also provided tuition and seminars througout the weekend and certainly helped many improve their boatspeed over the series - this was bourne out by much closer racing at the end of the series than at the beginning.
RS Vareo's National Championship
Provisional Result
Entries: 23
Races Sailed: 7
Discard : 1
Series
Sail No Owner Club Tally Points Place R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7
315 J.Lewis Burghfield 8 8 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 24
131 R.Burridge Weir wood 15 11 2 2 2 2 1 3 3 1
312 P.Vincent BCYC 21 22 3 4 3 4 7 4 1 6
287 R.Kemp-Salt Brightlingsea 5 25 4 9 5 3 11 2 4 2
215 C.Whitehead Filey 6 33 5 5 4 7 4 5 8 24
261 T.Greenwood Chew Valley 1 36 6 10 6 5 5 6 7 7
206 D.Machin Netley 16 38 7 3 7 6 6 7 12 9
228 C.Kirk Queen Mary 24 43 8 6 10 15 9 9 5 4
326 C.Aldred Filey 2 47 9 7 11 9 15 8 9 3
347 O. Balding 7 68 10 8 12 13 24 24 6 5
305 M.Harker Eastbourne Sovereign 9 68 11 14 8 21 10 10 14 12
319 P.Kelly Carsington 22 74 12 11 13 11 3 12 24 24
252 T.Smith Grafham Water 3 75 13 12 15 14 16 13 10 11
179 E.McDonald Whitefriars 12 78 14 13 16 10 19 16 13 10
306 S.Mummery Lee on Solent 17 82 15 18 9 12 8 11 24 24
239 P.Craft Teign Corinthian 18 89 16 19 19 8 18 17 11 16
176 S.Pendray Resronstuet 20 89 17 15 20 17 14 20 15 8
346 G.Shaw Roadford 14 96 18 17 14 20 17 15 19 14
322 M.Hayzelden Burghfield 11 102 19 16 17 19 12 18 20 24
304 C.Carter Bowmoor 13 104 20 21 21 16 20 14 18 15
138 N.Tebbutt Haversham 23 105 21 22 22 22 13 19 16 13
172 H.Wray-McCann Teign Corinthian 10 115 22 20 18 18 21 21 17 24
205 R.Morley Dittisham SC 19 143 23 23 24 24 24 24 24 24
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