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2014 Inland 2.4mR Championships at Rutland Water

A fine and interesting Inland Championships with 16 boats competing. In the fleet, competing for the first time were the new paralympic pathway squads from the home club and Queen Mary SC. Conditions overall were testing enough for us seasoned oldies and it was simply amazing to see how these guys managed to get their new RYA boats around the course each day. Enthusiasm and grit were well in evidence from these guys and for one I wish them every success over the next few years and finally hopefully one of them will realise the dream of a Paralympic place. We look forward to seeing them at other 2.4mR Class events.

Racing in the fleet was always pretty close across the front part of the fleet. Conditions were for most part very strong winds and a heavy chop on the water. All things which make a 2.4mR both exciting and challenging. The only issue which we had, which we haven't encountered at this venue before was copious amounts of weed lurking in large masses just below the water. Once a 2.4mR was in the grips of these it was game over for the place that you had in that race. Several good places were lost that way and a certain amount of angst seen in those boats affected.

By far the best two sailors were Martin Whittingham Jones sporting his own brand of sails with excellent boat speed and Bruce Hill sailing the only Stradavari 2.4mR. Somehow each time these two came to the top of the fleet excepting weed moments and by the last day it was not obvious whether they or Iain Stowe would be the winner.

Sunday dawned with appalling conditions, heavy rain, poor visability, thunder and lightening and the prospect of the races being called off. However thank goodness a window in the weather came about and two races were sailed, the first in near perfect conditions and the last with gusts of gale force proportions. Once again Martin and Bruce headed the results for each race and now with two discards the results went as follows:

 

Inland National Champion Bruce Hill Frensham SC Stradavari
2nd Martin Whittingham Jones West Kirby SC Norlin Mk3
3rd Iain Stowe Rutland Water SC Norlin Mk3
4th Steve Bullmore Poole YC Norlin Mk3

 

The prizegiving praised our able race officer and his crew both on the committee boat but also in the mark laying and rescue boats. These were testing and difficult conditions to both lay a good windward course but also to handle the marks and to provide rescue cover.

The 2.4mR Class looks forward to being able to return in 2015 for another great event.

 

 

Steve Bullmore GBR 146