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2023 RG65 TT5 Bournville RS&MBC race report

Race report by Chris Cook event PRO.

A great turnout of 19 skippers arrived at Bournville for the event. Two fleets were the order of the day, particularly as the wind was forecast to increase and generate some lively conditions. A westerly prevailed for the day, but it was anything but steady. Much frustration was evident as skippers made changes from 1st to 2nd rigs and back again whilst the wind strength rose and fell to contradict the skippers’ efforts. There were two instances of de-masting and various other strength testing happenings. Repairs were skilfully implemented under pressure of time to resume sailing and get those much sought after points.
Most skippers found themselves in A fleet and then B fleet at various times, and it was not all one way for the top five.
Good sportsmanship was displayed by everyone with all contacts being resolved with penalty turns completed quickly. In all, the RG65 class provided some fast and close quarter action which all enjoyed taking part in.

Race thoughts from the scorer.

Firstly, I would like to thank Bournville RS&MBC for hosting this event, and to the race committee and helpers for making everything run smoothly. The visitors arrived to an open club house and the water boiler already on for the early brew. I started the booking in by 9:00am for the 19 skippers scheduled to race, we initially had an entry of 22 but a couple had to withdraw, and we had one person being called into work at the last moment. As Chris says with a Westerly wind forecasted to strengthen and the start line being down the far end of the pond it was decided that a two-heat race would be best. Most skippers were getting a bit of practice by the time Chris called a briefing. What rig to choose was on everyone’s mind at this stage, you needed a reduced height full area rig on the start line and for most of the course. Colin Walton had chartered my Sith for the day and was getting used to sailing an RG65 on swing rigs for the first time.

We started with the seeding races on a two full length laps of Bournville plus a half windward final beat as the course, Bill Culshaw and Dorian Crease each taking a win, with the rest of the fleet close behind. Each heat took about 12 minutes to complete, this fitted in nicely with Chris’ planned sailing time of no race will start after 15:30. After a short break to re-schedule the heat boat and everyone to make adjustment to rigs, we go underway with the racing.

There were lulls, gusts, sudden changes of wind direction and waves to contend with and the little boats handled the condition really well. Design wise there were 2off IVY, 6off UNO, 1off SLEDGE, 3off SCURRY, 5off SITH, 1off MANTA 21 and 1off ICE. As for rigs there were mostly swing rigs for the top suit and then an even split between swing and conventional for the second suit, more on this later.

Bill Green launched his new UNO during the week, and this was his first time racing the boat since it had been finished, he had to retire after the seeding as the tiller arm was slipping. Chris E then helped him with a spare and he was back on the water again. The conditions were a sure-fire way of finding any little niggle. The skippers were helping each other during the day and that was good to see as it brings up the standard of the fleet as new ideas get passed around.

Chris C kept things running smoothly and we were able to get 4 races completed before lunch, at this stage race 2 went to Tobias Laux (161), race 3 to Chris Elliott (174) and race 4 to John Brierley (84). We all retired to the club house for lunch where there was a good spread of sandwiches and cake laid on as well as the usual brews all round.

An informal discussion on making radio sailing as accessible as possible took place at lunch time as it was noted that the participants in our sport were all getting a bit older which brings with it issues such as mobility and vision problems. A few things thrown into the conversation were, don’t make the courses too big, more laps of a smaller course can lead to closer racing as well.

A long time ago I was told by a very experienced skipper “that if you cannot read the sail number the mark is too far away”.

Back to our race, the course stayed the same all day, but the wind had strengthened during the break and there was a split decision in the leading contenders, do we stay with a swing rig or change to a conventional rig. Lisa who was doing the finish line scoring said to me when she handed me the scoresheets, these things are like “mice on speed”.

There were times when the run looked like the swing rigs were dominant and others when it was a matter of hanging on before the inevitable broach, and the conventional rigs caught up and passed them. Bill Culshaw (21) must have had a good lunch as he then took the next three races in a row winning 5,6 & 7. The final race 8 went to Chris Elliott (174). Chris C called it a day at 15:50, and the skippers started to pack things away before the prize giving in the club house.

See a full set of results here: 2023 RG65 TT-5 Bournville RS&MBC Final Result

Race thoughts and comments by Gordon.

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