National Schools Regatta

Day 1

So here is a quick update after Day 1.

Disappointingly they the LN has suddenly become a fast handicap boat for this regatta so Matt and Stephen were sharing the line with Phantoms, Rs300, Rs200, Rs400, etc. Advice from LN coach (self promotion), try to get clear air and sail your own race. At least being the  slowest boats in the fast fleet, anyone they beat on the water was a result!

Wind was a very erratic, 4-6 mph and from varying directions usually at the same time!

Now by their own admissions in race 1 they “had not got a clue what was going on” when the start gun went. Not good starts then. Matt with Stephen slotting in 200 yards behind then both sailed solid races, finishing very creditable 8th and 10th in a 31 boat fleet. Stephen later admitted. ‘I just followed Matt!’

Race 2 and Matt took the fight to the fast boats on start, won the favoured committee boat end and started clear ahead, first across the line, hurrah. Unfortunately he was soon a Phantom/RS300 sandwich and spat out the back. A creditable 10th round the first mark was soon a gradual slip down the fleet as some of the faster boats slipped through. Stephen was a bit swamped at the start but was by no means last. Result, Matt 9th, Stephen 17th. I guess it is one of the mysteries of sailing how the better start can give you the worse result! 

Race 3 was chaos. A major wind shift meant crossing the line of Starboard was impossible even though many tried. Getting onto Port was the way to go an Matt managed to sniggle through and went in search of clear air on the right, closely followed by Stephen, obviously sticking to the same plan. Windward mark and Matt rounds 10th ahead of a gaggle of RS somethings and Stephen following them.

 With 2 laps down Matt is still on the same leg as the leading Phantom. One lap to go and looking dangerously like a race win could be on the cards, but no, the wind decides to fail up by the windward mark just before Matt and Stephen get there. What was a 2 minute deficit to the leading Phantom becomes a massive gap as they drift home line astern in 12th and 13th place. I just made myself scarce whilst Matt got it out of his system.

So day 1 complete, overall Matt 8th and Stephen 14th. Unfortunately wind is forecast as more of the same so could be a trying week.

On the positive side lots of people keep asking what is it? I have never seen one before! So some good might come from this


Day 2

and update overnight there was a DSQ and Matt jumped upto 7th. Went to bed happy.

And to answer you Lee, they take all the entries and split into 2 even fleets. As there were 15 4.7′s the slow fleet reach 39 so they dumped everything faster then this is the fast fleet. Still interesting to see Matt going full on on the line against RS600 & 300′s.


So the results are up for Day 2

Race 4 and its windy, as I feared this did not suit the LN against all the trapezing, spinakering boats. Matt came home 16th and Stephen 25th. Starting to think we need lighter winds to be sucessful.

Race 2 and the wind has eased a knot or 2. Once again Matt went for the start and nailed it. Good first beat and he stayed with the faster boats all the way round, even planing past a three sailed 420 on the reach! Stephen was finding it a bit of a steep learning curve in the breeze and was struggling to stay in touch. Final result Matt 6th and Stephen 19th.

Race 3 and the wind is starting to get fickle across the course though still some planing gusts. Matt somehow did it again at the start but spoilt it later by admitting he mixed up the guns and did not realize that it was the start. Either way he was off the line in the front rank and had another strong race staying just in touch with the slower faster boats if that makes sense, another 8th. Stephen managed 18th.

So the discard kicks in and Matt can loose that 16th from this morning and a few new boats jump into the mix. Overall after 2 days Matt 10th and Stephen 16th.

Break from fleet racing for some match racing and pursuit race tomorrow so back on the regatta Thursday.

Pursuit Race Hot Press

Well great events today mean I have to post. As Matt was not involved in the Match Racing Trophy not being an official Cambridge Team sailor (coming from Essex) he entered the Allcomers Pursuit race. This was open to all children and any Helpers who wanted to sail. Somewhat curiously Steve Cockrel of Rooster who was here as a coach/helper entered in his Scorpion. No guessing who won then!!

And second……….. Matt Hopkins Lightning 288 Result!

Starting 27 minutes behind the first Oppie he passed the Laser 4.7’s before the first mark and reeled in all the Toppers and Oppies, unfortunaltey letting Team Rooster through after two laps. On the final beat as the gun went he was judged to be  3rd behind a RS 300, but trust me this was a con. The 300 continued to race after the hooter not holding position as per the SI’s until the finish rib passed them and a protest was in order. Result.. With a witness they decided Matt raised to  joint 2nd as he was probably 2nd but we could not prove it conclusively and we incorrectly protested the race comitte not the RS300. So fair decision in there view but we know he was clear second and with only Team Rooster in front thats as good as a win!