The RS300 2016 nationals, at Exmouth.
On arriving at the sailing club we found a good crowd of helpers from a very friendly, well run and fun club. Racing started at 1300, so it was a bit of a rush to get ready for sailing, after saying hello to friends in the RS fleet. Sailing out to the race course there was a bit of a lumpy sea with the wind blowing a steady 20 to 25 knots. I was thinking what the two buoys were and how they would be displayed. As I have not sailed the dinghy that much I thought others would be ahead and for the first lap I would just follow. How wrong I was, first around the top mark by 30 boat lengths and by the time I had done the first reach and run started to think about the course!
On the second reach I headed to one of two buoys which ended up being the wrong buoy and I was mid fleet by the time I corrected myself. However I managed to get back to 11th place. In the evening, prizes were given out to competitors and I won the wooden spoon (always read the sailing instructions fully and remember them!) Race 2 I came 5th.
The next day it seemed too windy to sail outside in the English Channel. The RS300 fleet decided to go for a jolly; some practice races with safety cover. A big thank you to the safety teams for that, it was great fun.
The next day the offshore breeze was under 10 knots all day and the sea still had the waves heading to the beach. That's the opposite direction to normal. I had a good day with a 6th, 6th, 8th, and a 2nd, so 5th place overall. The following day there were 4 races again. There was no wind to start off with so we drifted out to the committee boat. Soon the sea breeze kicked in, ending with a challenging last race in 20 knots and a big sea. Great for surfing in if you could keep your boat upright. My results were 3rd, 10th, 3rd, 3rd - I claimed 3rd place overall, over 10 races. If I had not made the mistake in the first race I would have been 2nd but hey that's life! A big thank you to Wightlink for travel, Exmouth SC for making everybody so welcome and their race management team plus safety cover.
Martin Harrison RS300, sail number 481.
Last updated 12:25 on 7 February 2019