Despite the less than inspirational weather, Grafham provided another enjoyable weekend of racing for the 4000 class. The light and shifty winds tested the teams with Steve and Sarah Cockerill often whispering their way to the front and ultimately taking first in the event, having battled past local demons John Reynolds and Fran Howell. Geoff and Bernice Holden put in a strong showing in the conditions to take third overall, and with their track-record in a breeze, look to be a team to watch in the Europeans next month in Quiberon, France. Special mention to newcomers in the fleet Keri and Freya Harris and also to guest crew Harry Kennedy sailing with Richard De Fleury. Next up is Weston 4th and 5th July and then the fleet is off to Quiberon for what promises to be a cracking event hosted by the rejuvenated and fast-growing French 4000s.
1st 4190 Steve Cockerill Sarah Cockerill
2nd 4682 John Reynolds Fran Howell
3rd 4266 Geoff Holden Bernice Holden
F0r results so far click here….
The 4000 fleet arrived at Rutland last Saturday, to be greeted by glorious sunshine and a stiff force 5 north-easterly breeze – classic Garda conditions, just 20° colder! This was to be the 1st event of the 2015 UK series (see www.4000.org.uk for the full calendar). Some of us were relatively fit, like Steve and Sarah Cockerill, fresh from their creditable performances in the Laser Masters at a very windy Grafham the previous weekend, while others were only just out of hibernation.
Geoff and Bernice Holden (4266) were sporting a brand-new Rooster red kite, but on their test hoist , they found they had rigged it wrongly and had to return to shore to fix it, unfortunately missing the 1st race. The race officer set 3 laps of a fairly short but true course, with a starboard-biased line. Father and son team Tim and Alex Litt (4546) were so keen to start this season’s challenge that they were OCS and had to go back. This allowed Steve and Sarah (4190) to romp away, playing the shifts on the beats expertly as usual, and by the end of the race which lasted barely half an hour, they had built a commanding lead over John Reynolds and Fran Howell (4682), with David Marchant and Matt Reynolds (4568) coming in 3rd.
Race 2 was sensibly extended to 4 laps, and this time John and Fran rounded the top mark in 1st position, having hit the left side of the course hard and tacked in good wind just off the peninsula. They headed back that way downwind, closely followed by Steve and Sarah. After gybing, John was determined to make the bottom mark in one, consequently slowing down somewhat. Steve decided to gybe out in an effort to overtake, but capsized in the disturbed wind. John and Fran held their lead almost to the end, but things really hotted up at the final leeward mark. Tim and Alex just got through John and Fran at the mark rounding. 4682 immediately tacked off onto a good shift and had slightly better wind on the left, and as they tacked they realised that they could just have the yellow boat at the finish, provided Tim couldn’t get them on starboard. But somehow, Tim and Alex capsized while tacking, allowing John and Fran to win comfortably. Meanwhile another close battle was being fought between the next two boats. Neil Heffernan and Matt Barker (4343) capsized just after rounding the leeward mark – was this a case of some of the more unfit sailors getting a tad tired perhaps??? This allowed David and Matt (4568) to fill the vacant 2nd slot with ease.
Race 3 began, still with breezy conditions and a clear blue sky, with no change to the course. There was never a dull moment in this race. Geoff and Bernice were jostling with Richard and Jo de Fleury (4572) on a reach when Geoff slipped off the rack and almost abandoned ship; he would have been instantly run over by the other boat had he not somehow clung on to both the tiller extension and the mainsheet (https://youtu.be/KQN27phRkXY)
. He managed to keep the boat upright, despite sending Bernice flying around the shroud! Further back down the fleet, Tim and Alex were chasing the pack after an earlier capsize, and as they reached off towards the peninsula, found themselves on a collision course with 2 Sprint 18’s who were beam reaching on port but not racing. Tim knew it would be impossible to get above them in the strong wind, and by the time it was evident that the cats either would not or could not keep clear, he had no alternative but to ditch the boat, catapulting Alex into the “GBR” on the mainsail. 4000 crews have to be strongly made!
So at the end of Day 1, 4190 and 4682 were on level points at the top of the leaderboard, with everything to play for. The day certainly showed off the superb weight equalisation system of the 4000. Where else could we lightweights compete on level terms with the heavy teams in a solid force 5? The day also posed some interesting questions:
- Martin Burgess and Martin Scholes, sailing together for the 1st time in the challenging conditions, were frequently seen washing the cobwebs off 4467. Would they be able to keep it upright on the Sunday, with the wind forecast to moderate slightly?
- Would rumors that John and Fran (combined age 120+) are “getting past it” be proved to be somewhat premature?
- Would Matt Reynolds finally get to beat his dad? (Answer: yes, by the narrowest of margins in race 4.)
Sunday was cloudy, with larger shifts than the previous day, and a more manageable force 3 to 4. We were racing on the club course, leading to some interesting traffic scenarios. Yet Steve and Sarah stamped their authority on the event, with 3 bullets, always seeming to spot the shifts upwind and find the best pressure downwind. In race 5, after a good start, John and Fran sailed a near-perfect 3rd beat to round the top mark ahead of them, only to be overtaken again as Steve and Sarah powered away downwind. Race 6 was started by the OD, with Tim and Alex continuing their starting woes as they tried to do a port flyer. They succeeded in ducking David and Matt but failed to duck John and Fran, hitting their port wing and capsizing (again). As the club boats went in for lunch, we had to finish ourselves at the top mark in order to get in our back-to-back races, a first for the fleet in any full open meeting that I can remember! Local boat Simon Laken and Andy Dring (4574) managed their best result coming in 7th. Thankfully, there were no contentious issues with the results.
There were a couple of highlights for me:
- Steve going topless at the weigh-in, in an effort to stay the correct side of the 2 / 3 weights boundary on the equalisation chart, stretching the definition of “light clothing” somewhat!
- A peal of laughter rang out across the fleet as the 1st five-minute gun went off on the Saturday, as our brand-new class flag (still lime green, but with the new 4000 logo, recently supplied by Scott Dawson) was hoisted upside down! This proved to be prophetic, as only 3 boats stayed upright throughout the Saturday.
Overall this event was a brilliant start to the new season. Thanks go to Wave Clothing (www.waveclothing.co.uk) for the prizes, complete with the new 4000 branding, and to Tim Litt for his sterling work organising the event.
Next up – Langstone Harbour in less than2 weeks’ time, a new venue for the 4K’s.
|Position||Helm / Crew||Sail No.||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||R6||Total||Nett*|
|1||Steve & Sarah Cockerill||4190||1||(4)||1||1||1||1||9||5|
|2||John Reynolds & Fran Howell||4682||2||1||3||(5)||2||3||16||11|
|3||Geoff & Bernice Holden||4266||(DNC)||3||4||2||3||2||24||14|
|4||David Marchant & Matt Reynolds||4568||3||2||(6)||4||4||5||24||18|
|5||Richard & Jo de Fleury||4572||6||(7)||2||6||5||4||30||23|
|6||Tim & Alex Litt||4546||4||6||(7)||3||6||6||32||25|
|7||Neil Heffernan & Matt Barker||4343||5||5||5||7||7||(8)||37||29|
|8||Simon Laken & Andy Dring||4574||(DNC)||DNC||DNC||8||8||7||53||43|
|9||Martin Burgess & Martin Scholes||4467||(DNF)||DNC||DNC||9||9||RTD||58||48|
A year on from the first introduction of the new sail plan and the 4000 fleet are already getting excited about its venture to this year’s Euro Cup at Quiberon in July. Talk is that we are expecting 50 boats in the warm western French sailing resort, with 8 Italian, 25 French and perhaps 22 British teams competing in 2015’s 4000 Euro Cup.
Despite the 4000 circuit not yet programmed to have its first regatta for another fortnight, 4 Rooster 4000’s ventured to Weston Sailing Club on Southampton Water to race at its Easter Grand Slam Regatta. The past Euro
Cup Champions John Reynolds and Fran Howell were keen to topple Steve and Sarah Cockerill’s recent domination of 4000 events from Autumn in 2014. Were Steve and Sarah’s recent tight racing at Stokes Bay Sailing Club’s winter series, work up enough to dominate this first regatta?
Tight racing ensued between the 4 4000’s in changeable and shifty conditions with many instances where you could throw a bed sheet over the 4 boats. Steve and Sarah held a one point lead in shifty offshore conditions from the first two days, but were toppled from the top spot of the fast handicap fleet in the end by a competitive RS800 in some steadier 15 knots conditions on the last day.
In the steady conditions John and Fran pushed Steve and Sarah closely with Jo and Richard de Fleury beginning their work up
from their recent injury in preparing for their European Challenge. Some interesting crew and helm swopping took place in their boat — was this a new method of crew helm understanding training, or are they preparing for the ultimate role swop – let’s wait and see?
Keri and Freya Harris, a brand new father and daughter team, were at the very
beginning of their journey. This was their very first race in a 4000, although I know that Keri has campaigned everything from International 14’s to B14’s in the past. But in this instance, they showed the rest of the fleet the meaning of ‘would-a-could-a-
should-a’ — after despite the odd capsize, broken toe strap, missed toe strap and mis-rigged spinnaker — they were still able to challenge for the top spot in many of the races. Yet another new team to watch out for as the summer approaches.
Thanks to LBP Aerial Imagery for the Photos
2014 has been a strong year for the Rooster 4000 class, marked by the adoption of Rooster as the official class supplier and the steady introduction of new class sails, foils and other spares that maintain strict one-design performance whilst refreshing the design and importantly decreasing cost. So it was fitting that Rutland again delivered garda-esque wind strengths for the final UK series event of the year.
A few having been put off by the forecast, a nevertheless good double-digit turnout of boats lined up for the first start on Saturday in a fresh and occasionally 20knot+ south-westerly. Steve and Sarah Cockerill started as they meant to go on recording a solid first but with some very tight racing at the front of the fleet, there was no time to relax. The second race of the day was taken by Neil Heffernan and Matt Barker nicely playing some gusts along the dam to pick up places on the last two downwind legs. Indeed Neil did well with guest crew Matt to avoid throwing himself out of the boat given the radical difference in rack width when you’ve got a 85kg+ crew (yes, sorry Matt) in comparison with the much svelter Jo, but demonstrating nicely the effectiveness of the 4000’s weight equalisation system.
Race number 3 again saw Steve and Sarah take first, with Tim and Harry Litt from Rutland Sailing Club close behind and David Marchant and Alistair Farman from Grafham thereafter in third.
Sunday dawned, and the wind had strengthened. Despite tannoyed re-assurance from the race committee of 13 knots gusting 18 on the course the wind swiftly built to significantly more than that (indeed ‘biblical conditions’ as described by one crew) and the first race turned out to be the only one of the day, grace of some good decision making by the race committee. Success at all parts of the fleet being measured by capsizes avoided, there was admirable contrast between the survival tactics of some and the glory spinnaker reaches interspersed with more aquatic moments of others. In the end both approaches seemed to equal out. Ant and Kenneth crossed the line in admirable style to record victory, whilst everyone who finished that race had definitely earned it.
So in all in all, another great weekend of 4000 sailing, and plenty to look forward to as we go into 2015. The series kicks off again in April, and with Europeans at Quiberon, France and the Nationals at Mumbles SC it looks like being a cracking year of sailing and socialising. So if you haven’t been out in your 4000 for a while, dust it down and get it ready; and if you want to try one or buy one then get in touch with the class; there really can’t be a better value, faster, accessible double-handed skiff!
1st Steve Cockerill, Sarah Cockerill 4190
2nd Neil Heffernan, Matt Barker 4343
3rd Ant Chapman, Kenneth Lines 4185
The multiclass event was excellently hosted by Grafham Water Sailing Club, with a strong fleet of 2000s, 3000s, Vagos and 4000s all of whom were made to feel very welcome with great sailing, weather and entertainment.
The 4000 class comprised 11 competitors from across the country. We had 3 races a day to battle it out. The first of the races started on Saturday at 12pm with a slight delay for the changing wind direction. Once racing got underway we settled in to some enjoyable sailing with relatively light winds, giving some good tactical beats and runs.
The first race got off to a good start with the 3000s and 4000s on the same start line. From the start there was a good battle for the lead with Steve & Sarah Cockerill winning out over Fran Howell & John Reynolds and David Marchant & Oliver Bayes-Shelton. David and Oliver did have a good lead only to be hauled in by a cruel wind shift. The start of the second race was harder fought with Tim & Harry Litt and Steve & Sarah over. Unfortunately Steve & Sarah were not aware they were over and allowing the way for John & Fran to take first place. The third race got off to a great start with Richard & Jo de Fleury coming through the line on port from the pin end providing some excitement and setting them off in a prime position for the race, however their lead was cut short sadly with an injury sustained to Jo’s ankle resulting in their retiring from the race and the rest of the weekend’s sailing and a visit to hospital (best wishes for a quick recovery and return to the water). The third race was taken by the eventual winners for weekend; Steve and Sarah Cockerill.
With the wind building and promising to provide a more challenging setting for Sunday’s racing, we started at 10.30am with what appeared to be a good breeze for crew to trapeze on all legs…. and some crews practicing the odd capsize. A solid and consistent performance throughout the races saw Steve and Sarah Cockerill secure first place for each race closely followed by John Reynolds and Fran Howell in second and Tim and Harry Litt in third place.
Thanks to Grafham Water Sailing Club for the excellent food and music arranged for the Saturday evening along with some great facilities for some pre-race food each day in the Wet Bar. Finally thanks also to the race officer and safety boat crews for enabling us to have a very enjoyable weekend.
Next event: UK Series Round 2 & Inland Championships – Rutland Water Sailing Club 18th-19th October
Authors: Charles Clapham & Miles Auger
Photos: Richard de Fleury
|1st||4000||4190||Steve Cockerill||Sarah Cockerill||HISC||1||(12.0 OCS)||1||1||1||1||17||5|
|2nd||4000||4682||John Reynolds||Fran Howell||Grafham Water Sailing Club||2||1||-3||2||2||2||12||9|
|3rd||4000||4546||Tim Litt||Harry Litt||Rutland SC||-4||4||2||3||3||3||19||15|
|4th||4000||4343||Neil Heffernan||Jo Morrison||Queen Mary||-7||2||4.5||4||4||4||25.5||18.5|
|5th||4000||4568||David Marchant||Oliver Bayes-Shelton||GWSC||3||6||6||6||6||(12.0 DNC)||39||27|
|6th||4000||4322||Charles Clapham||Miles Auger||Royal Torbay YC||6||5||4.5||(12.0 DNC)||8||6||41.5||29.5|
|7th||4000||4464||Alan Holmes||Paul Stockdale||Scaling Dam SC||-8||7||7||7||7||7||43||35|
|8th||4000||4185||Anthony Chapman||Cathy Lear||Lakeside/Rutland SC||(12.0 DNC)||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||5||5||5||51||39|
|9th||4000||4572||Richard de Fleury||Jo de Fleury||Yorkshire Dales SC||5||3||(12.0 DNC)||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||56||44|
|10th||4000||4467||Martin Burgess||Tom Burgess||Bough Beach||9||(12.0 DNC)||12.0 DNC||12.0 RAF||9||8||62||50|
|11th||4000||4060||David Harris||Rachel Wyss||Hollowell SC||(12.0 DNC)||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||12.0 DNC||72||60|
One of the friendliest clubs in the UK played host to the ‘4000’ National Championships sponsored by ‘Rooster Sailing’ over the recent bank holiday from 23rd to 26th August – and a big thank you to Babbacombe Corinthian Sailing club must be mentioned for excellent hospitality.
This was the first Nationals to be run following the adoption of the new square top mainsail design and the involvement of ‘Rooster Sailing’ in helping to re-energise the class as the new licence holder for the boat and thus reflected in the largest turn-out for a few years with 14 boats.
Day 1 saw a mixed bag of conditions with the wind doing 180 degrees every 10 mins the only constant was the cold, but we did at least get to enjoy the Red Arrows display overhead. Dave Homer and his team did very well to get 2 races in when the wind did finally stabilise. 4532 ‘Allspars’ sailed by Jason Kirk and Scott Dawson won both races with 4190 ‘Rooster Sailing’ sailed by Steve and Sarah Cockerill posting a 2 and 3 for the day. Drama unfolded in race 1 when 4682 John Reynolds and Fran Howell had a mishap with the toe strap causing an unexpected dismount!
Day 2 saw a total change in conditions. The sun came out and the wind did what it was meant to (ish). Proving that the weight equalisation concept of the ‘4000’ really does mean a level playing field for any helm/weight/gender combination, the racing was kept incredibly tight between the smaller and the larger crews and 1 mistake could lose 5 places – this is why it is always exciting racing these boats . Jason Kirk and Scott Dawson finished the day with a 1,1,2,5 but 4579 sailed by Callum Terry and Tom Evill now had a bullet and looked like they were getting to grips with the boat and one to watch.
The end of day 2 saw the fleet meet for the first AGM as the ‘4000’ fleet. It was well attended and there were many good discussions of ways in which to move the fleet forwards both through new activities and boat development. The meeting was rounded out and followed by a BBQ and Bingo Quiz run by the club with the 4000 fleet providing the largest attendance.
Day 3 was windy! And shifty!! Bank holiday Monday saw all the ‘4000’s’ do what they do best – go downwind very quickly! A good test of crew work saw 4266 Geoff and Bernice Holden from Locks SC post a string of top 3 results for the day, while 4600 Alex Cramp and Bob Reed had their best result of the week. A swim in the first race for Steve and Sarah Cockerill meant that they were grateful for a discard holding onto second place in the series.
Day 4 dawned with very little breeze, and the PRO decided to keep everyone on the beach until any wind the materialised was stable enough to race in. This allowed the crews to pour over the results and try to work out what positions they needed to get themselves up the leader board. ‘Allspars’ needed to finish in the top 4 in only 1 race to claim the title but managed to get tangled with ‘Rooster Sailing’ in the first start resulting in penalty turns and a 7th. Not a good way to start the day! 4572 sailed by Richard and Jo de Fleury had their best day of the series and it seemed that 4546 Tim Litt and Harry Litt had done something radical as they posted all top 3 results for the day.
The start of race 2 saw everyone cleanly get away, and the marginal trapezing conditions meant that the racing was tight and ‘Jam’ with Chris Gould and Jo Morrison hit the warp button out of the blocks, and as the top 5 rounded the windward mark it was ‘Allspars’ holding onto a slender lead who had it to lose followed by ‘Jam’ and ‘Rooster Sailing’ with 4546 in hot pursuit. Up the second beat, with 5 boats in close contention and vying for the lead, Tim Litt and Harry Litt found some height and took the lead on the last beat gaining the lead near the windward mark, but ‘Allspars’ managed to just get ahead of the top banana by soaking low enough downwind to gain the tactical advantage and to win the race and the overall championship.
Whoever you are – if you wanna sail a boat with your boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, or best friend – and want to be competitive in any helm / crew weight combination that does not penalise you then get yourself a ‘4000’ – cheap boat / epic close racing / good socials – and supported by an active class association and ‘Rooster Sailing’. What other reasons do you need?
More photos available here: http://babbacombe-sc.com/wp/gallery/
And on the 4000 Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/UK4000Association
|4000 National Championship|
|Entries: 14 Races Sailed: 12 Discard: 3|
|Series Place||Sail No||Boat Name||Helm||Crew||Club||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Race 6||Race 7||Race 8||Race 9||Race 10||Race 11||Race 12||Series Points|
|1||4532||Jason KIRK||Scott DAWSON||Chichester Yacht Club||1||1||1||2||2||(5)||3||1||2||(7)||1||(15)||14|
|2||4190||Stephen COCKERILL||Sarah COCKERILL||Hayling Island Sailing Club||2||3||3||1||(4)||1||(8)||(7)||1||1||3||2||17|
|3||4579||Calum TERRY||Tom EVILL||Rutland SC||4||4||(6)||4||1||2||1||2||5||(8)||(8)||4||27|
|4||4682||MAN||John REYNOLDS||Fran Howell||Grafham Water SC||(8)||2||2||3||(7)||4||5||5||3||(6)||6||1||31|
|5||4266||Geoff HOLDEN||Bernice HOLDEN||Locks Sailing Club||(6)||(8)||5||5||3||3||2||3||4||5||5||(6)||35|
|6||4546||Top Banana||Tim LITT||Harry LITT||Rutland SC||3||(15)||(8)||6||5||6||(7)||6||6||3||2||3||40|
|7||4052||JAM||Chris GOULD||Jo Morrison / Mike GRAY||RNSA||7||7||(11)||7||6||(9)||(9)||4||7||2||4||7||51|
|8||4572||Richard de FLEURY||Jo de FLEURY||Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club||5||(9)||7||8||(11)||7||6||8||(10)||4||7||5||57|
|9||4600||Alex CRAMP||Bob REED||Grafham Water SC||(10)||6||(10)||9||(10)||8||4||9||9||10||9||10||74|
|10||4080||EJ Racing||Ed WILTON||Richard JACKSON||Parkstone YC||9||5||4||(12)||8||(11)||11||11||(15)||9||10||8||75|
|11||4588||Andrea CORTI||Matt BAKER||Datchet SC||(13)||10||(13)||10||9||10||10||10||8||(12)||11||9||87|
|12||4137||Cunning Plan||Paul CHAMPION||Lisa SOUCH||Torpoint Mosquito||11||11||9||11||12||12||(15)||(15)||(15)||15||15||15||111|
|13||4322||Ketchup||Charles CLAPHAM||Miles AUGER||RTYC||12||12||12||(15)||(15)||(15)||12||15||15||11||15||11||115|
|14||4343||Neil HEFFERNAN||Jo MORRISON||Queen Mary SC||(15)||(15)||(15)||15||15||15||15||15||15||15||15||15||135|
The agenda for this year’s AGM (to be held during the Nationals) will be published soon. If anyone feels they have anything to contribute, particularly with respect to filling some of the committee positions please let us know – don’t be shy!
Please contact either Richard de Fleury (Press @ 4000.org.uk) or Fran Howell (Membership @ 4000.org.uk) ASAP