Rutland Water Delivers Again

30 October 2007

(Apologies for the delay on this report, I missed it after a holiday - Alastair)

The Weekend 22nd 23rd September saw the fifth and final round of this years UKWA Inland National Series.

It seemed the wind gods would be against us, as the wind had blown all day Friday with many short boarders enjoying a memorable day. When Competitors rose on Saturday morning a thick mist covered the lake making it completely invisible. Fortunately as the sun rose the mist slowly cleared and by 12 noon the race officer called out the raceboard fleets. What developed were three light wind extremely tactical races. The ‘P' course often favoured by race officer Mike Dempsey proved to be a considerable challenge, the real racing taking place up the two long beats with shifts, headers and lifts all over the lake, competitors pumped their way around the course with varying degrees of success. Unfortunately although the wind did appear to build for those standing on the shore it never rose above 6 knots on the course so consequently the formula fleet spent the day resting in anticipation of Sundays forecast.

All through the night the wind built keeping many people awake but fortunately it settled to a steady 12-16 knots by the 9.15 briefing. The race team had worked hard to get the course ready early and the orange flag was raised for the formula fleet at the end of the race briefing. Formula sailors did three back-to-back races and the raceboard fleets 2. After a break for lunch the proposed tower dash was cancelled as the far tower was sitting in a large wind shadow so the race officer called competitors back into course racing mode. With the wind building some stunning racing was seen with parents and spectators watching from the spit at the end of Whitwell beach. Keith Atkinson returned to form winning all the formula races followed by Alan Jackson who must have almost regretted giving advice to Dan Simpson who was chasing him down all afternoon but unfortunately was later let down by kit failure.

The Techno fleet as usual saw some real excitement with the event only decided on the last lap of the final race. George Bowles took an early lead in the final race, but turning right on the ‘P' course proved too much of a challenge and whilst taking an early bath Jamie Ingram came flying through, he held the lead almost to the end but seeing All Action Jackson unusually falling off was far too much of a temptation for Jamie who followed him into the water and George took his opportunity to regain the lead and the win closely followed by Jamie.

The Raceboard fleet was a straight race for second overall as Tim Gibson had already won the series. Calculators were out with Alan Jackson, Dave Gilchrist and Bob Ingram all needing to win the event to secure 2nd place. After Saturdays racing Dave and Bob had equal points with Alan having a disappointing start. Sunday saw Bob pull away, with Nigel Davies having an excellent day in second and Alan Jackson take third.

On the junior course race officer Paul Linnet set a fair sized course challenging his junior sailors to the full. With 7 races on Saturday the junior fleet well supported by parents and onlookers had a great days sailing. Sunday saw a further 5 races making 12 in total an all round excellent event for our junior competitors.
1st 3.5 Robert Griffith, 1st 4.5 Luke Raistrick, 1st 5.5 Joe Dickenson.

A special thanks to our race officers, boat crew, shore crew and everyone else who helped at Whitwell and to those who have helped the Midland Region run successful events during 2007.

The 2007 National Inland Series has again been a great success and a credit to the various regions, which have had the pleasure of organizing and running them on behalf of the UKWA.

Racing in the 2007 Inland Series has been subject strictly to UKWA sailing instructions. Interestingly the 5 race series (10 days) has seen the following.

Formula Races Raceboard Races
23 34
2.3 races per day 3.4 races per day

With one event to go so far the 5 cup events (14 days) has seen the following

Formula Races Raceboard Races
27 33
1.93 races per day 2.36 races per day

It would seem the only thing missing from the 2007 Inland Series is the salt and the sand!!!