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RC1000 celebrates a fantastic inaugural year

by Martin Dovey 29 Nov 2021 10:20 UTC
The inaugural season for RC1000 © Paul Gibbins Photography

2021 was the inaugural season for RC1000 and what a fantastic year! 11 yachts competing in total, and a fleet of 8 & 10 being the norm. The Royal Western Yacht Club, Plym Yacht Club and the Port of Plymouth Sailing Association hosted 5 regattas approximately monthly throughout the year.

The season started with a warmup event in April to get all the crews back up to speed, light winds caused a delay in proceedings however. Eventually the wind built to a steady 8kn, and a series of short 1 lap windward/leeward courses were sailed. The first start saw all the crews taking a cautious approach (which didn't last) and by the end of the day all crews were pushing hard - resulting in some hard-fought starts and a general recall. It was evident this was going to be a close season of racing.

Hosted by the RWYC Regatta 1 Race 1 was a long Round the Cans race with the wind continuing to build, with Jon Harris's 'Jump n Shout' coming out on top, the next 2 races sailed with an increasing breeze were windward /leeward courses: 'Sunfire' shone, taking the win in both. The final race of the day was a long-distance race with a few legs South of the Breakwater ending with the first two boats separated by just 2 seconds. Day 2 was cancelled due to high winds and heavy squalls leaving 'Sunfire' with the overall win with 'Jump n Shout' 2nd and Neil Cash's 'Altura' and Neville Devonport's 'Muskox' tied for 3rd.

Regatta 2 also hosted by RWYC followed a similar programme: a 'Round the cans' a Windward/Leeward and a longer distance race on the Saturday and a 'Round the cans' and a Windward/Leeward on Sunday. 'Muskox' impressively showed the fleet it's transom all day, with Peter Wanstall's 'Men Behaving Badly' taking 2nd and Robert Fletcher's 'I say Ding Dong' taking a close fought 3rd.

Regatta 3 saw the fleet sailing as part of the Port of Plymouth Sailing Association's regatta 'Muskox' again taking the win but much closer with 'Jump n Shout' only 0.5 point behind. David Goulden's JPK 'Bandit' from Dartmouth joined the fleet for the first time and, having had a great weekend, finished in 3rd promising to be back for the last regatta of the season.

Regatta 4 was hosted by the Plym YC. Saturday saw a fresh breeze strengthening during the day, with the last race of the day a long course outside the sound into Whitsand Bay the wind had by now gusting around 30kn which made for an 'interesting' spinnaker run back across the Breakwater to East Tinker. Sunday by contrast had a pleasant 5 - 12kn. 'Jump n Shout' took a clean sweep -winning all races of the regatta, Pete Wanstall and the Conyers' 'Men Behaving Badly' took 2nd (one point ahead of joint 3rd 'Sunfire' and 'Muskox'.

Regatta 5 was hosted by RWYC and with all to play for, as any of 3 boats could take the overall series.

Saturday saw fog and no wind the race officer had no choice but postpone: the delay enabled the skippers to discuss future plans for the class. Although the fog lifted, unfortunately the wind did not fill sufficiently for fair racing, thus a revised schedule of 4 races on Sunday was arranged.

Sunday didn't disappoint, with a steady breeze of 13kn Races 1&2 were dominated by 'Sunfire', on sparkling form after clear starts in both races they led around the course from the start, taking the first two race wins. With close fleet-racing all teams were aiming for an edge - clear starts were needed for any chance of a race win to close the gap to Sunfire, Race 3 saw a change at the front with Jon Harris' A35 'Jump and Shout' taking the race win from 'Altura' by only 4 seconds with 'Bandit' in a close third. Unfortunately for 'Muskox' their day was cut short at the first windward mark with a broken D2 forcing them to retire. Race 4 a longer distance round-the-cans course, beating out of the Sound followed by a long run back to finish at the RWYC club line. This longer race suited the team on 'Bandit' who took a close win from 'Men Behaving Badly', with 'Jump and Shout' 3rd. Adam James' 'Blackjack' had shown steady improvements with his young crew and was progressing through the fleet with each race. With no discards and every race to count every second in each race counted. 'Jump and Shout' took the final regatta win with 11 points from 'Sunfire' on 12 and 'Men Behaving Badly' only 3 points back.

With the stated purpose of the class to create quality close-quarter sailing, it certainly delivered many races being won or lost by seconds and the whole fleet finishing within a 5 minute frame. Going into the last regatta it was possible for any one of 'Muskox', 'Jump 'n' Shout' or 'Sunfire' to take the overall series win, the unfortunate retirement of 'Muskox' left the door open for 'Jump 'n' Shout' to come away with the overall series win.

A big thank-you to our race officers over the year and to our supporters Royal Western Yacht Club, Plym Yacht Club, Ullman Sails, PR Systems, Allspars, The Chandlery, Paul Gibbins Photography, Freshwave IT & Web and Yacht Haven Plymouth for making the class a success. We should also thank the crew of Bandit for joining us from Dartmouth for 2 regattas highlighting that this is an open series.

The end of Season prize-giving was held at the Royal Western Yacht Club, with around 60 people present, with prizes not only for the yachts entered, but also for individual crew members & race officials in attendance in a raffle-style draw. An excellent evening was had by all and thanks go to the RWYC, Keith Davies, Peter Wanstall and Jon Pegg for organising the event.

2022 promises to be even better with a 6 regatta series planned, 5 to count to the overall series. With the home-port yachts and competitors from Dartmouth already on board, and with interest from many other ports in the Southwest we should see a further increase in fleet numbers: bring it on!

Check out the Class website for more information, rc1000.org

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