Based on an initiative by Tim Litt, the AGISEN Match Race 4000 is a project with the objective of providing easy access to high performance dinghy racing and to encourage higher levels of participation. Tim has acquired and renovated two abandoned 4000 hulls and in addition to personal investment Tim has secured sponsorship from Rooster Sailing, Hyde Sails, Selden Masts and The Rutland Chandlery. As the 4000 is a one design and the boats have been set up to have identical rigs, the two boats form an ideal match racing pair.
Together with the support of Steve Tylecote, a novel and innovative racing format has been formulated. Inspired by team racing and based around Americas Cup style racing six helm/crew teams take turns to match race each other on windward-leeward courses. Points are scored for race wins and a novel bonus points system is employed to encourage good sportsmanship by virtue of a self-policing penalty system. The event has the primary objective of providing maximum fun through participation in addition to the strong underpinning of competition.
Members of Rutland Sailing Club were invited to be the Guinea pigs with the support of a few 4000 class association sailors who provided expert help. Helms and crew pairs were combined from those familiar with 4000 and those not so familiar to provide six teams having balanced ability and crew weight advantage.
A spectator friendly course was set in an area between the main pontoons and the fishing lodge. With a reaching start to the leeward mark of a compact windward-leeward course, the competitors sailed 2 laps before reaching back to finish through the start-finish line. Full competitor participation was achieved by a rotation system that required all teams to take turns umpiring, racing, start-finishing and results entry – providing an ‘Event for the sailors, run by the sailors.’
Saturday saw the completion of a complete round-robin with all teams sailing 5 races each. Despite the firm breeze providing some limitation on the ability of boats to engage in close pre-start manoeuvres, this didn’t stop Steve Tylecote and Harry Litt finding several opportunities to hold opposition boats off the line. These early gains proved decisive leaving Steve and Harry in controlling positions for most of their races.
After a hard days racing the sailors made their way to Spoons in Oakham for a well-earned debrief involving food, plenty of beer and to celebrate Steve’s 50th birthday.
The wind shifted towards the North on Sunday and increased in strength providing 18-24 knots from the dam wall giving rise to a fair chop. The stronger and colder breeze didn’t stop Andy McKee and Jon Dixon joining in and getting back into 4000s after many years out. After a few early capsizes Jon and Andy started to display the level of competency normally associated with established skiff sailors.
After 2 days of racing the combination of Harry’s athleticism and Birthday Boy’s boat handling and tactics proved too good for the rest of the teams leaving them with a clean sweep of results closely followed by Dave Marchant and Alex Litt. From the positive responses and feedback given, the conclusion to be drawn from this trial event is that we have devised a fun and interesting format that has left all the sailors egger for the next event.
AGISEN – www.agisen.co.uk
Rooster Sailing www.Roostersailing.com
Hyde Sails – www.hydesails.co.uk
Selden Masts – www.seldenmast.com
The Rutland Chandlery – www.rutlandchandlery.com
Whether you are new to the boat, been sailing it a few years, or many years this, will be a great opportunity to get out on the water and improve your 4000 skills. We’re keeping the plan reasonably loose so that we can tailor it to what people want to cover (and what the weather brings us…..). Post any questions below and let us know if you’re coming. Tim’s match racing boats at Rutland can be borrowed for a contribution to their running costs, so not having a boat is not a barrier! Cost of the event will be the £35 weekend sailing fee at Rutland plus a small contribution to the class if you’re not a member already.
Your Association Needs You!
Please renew your membership to the Association to continue to receive the benefits it brings as well as making sure you are eligible to race at official class events. If you are renewing you should have had an email from Fran with details of how to pay etc. However, if you have not had the email or wish to join as a new member please contact Fran Howell at newmembers @ 4000.org.uk (without the spaces).
This year Rooster are kindly offering a benefit to the Association membership of a 10% discount on all internet orders for paid-up association members until March 1st 2016. So be quick to get your membership returned and get your discount code
European Championships at Riva del Garda in Italy, Nationals at Torbay, a strong UK series with some trusted favourites (Grafham, Rutland) and some new events. Plus the Match Racing trials and the start-of-season training event, what more could you want!
June/early July events still to confirm (marked TBC in calendar) and will update asap.
It had been several years since the fleet visited Queen Mary reservoir, and the last event of this year’s series was set to be a truly international affair, including teams from France and Belgium. We arrived on Saturday to be greeted by rain and gales, giving ample opportunity to chat to old friends. This situation also helped our French visitors Michael Duflos and his crew Anthony Scouarnec (veterans of several 4000 Euro cup events) to make the start of racing! Michael had already driven to Portsmouth to buy his latest boat before towing it straight to the event.
By 2.00p.m. the wind still showed no sign of moderating, so race officer Andy Peters scheduled an extra race for Sunday morning, starting at 10 o’clock. Remembrance Day dawned with much more benign conditions, and the fleet launched along with the 2000 and RS 400 fleets. Andy set 3 laps of an excellent course, utilising the best area of the lake in the F 3 south-easterly breeze. John Reynolds and Fran Howell (4682) had spotted better wind towards the left-hand side of the course, and with a slight port bias on the long start line, were keen to start near the pin along with Michael and Anthony. The strategy paid, and after working the shifts up the left-hand side of the beat, by the top mark John and Fran had built a comfortable lead which they retained for the rest of the race. After the minute’s silence, race 2 began, and this time Steve Cockerill, sailing with Alex Cramp for the first time due to wife Sarah’s injury, made good gains further right on the course, spotting all the best patches of wind, and showing why he is this year’s UK series champion. He won this race easily, followed by local boat Neil and Charlotte Heffernan (4343).
During the day several crews attempted to abandon ship in the gusty conditions. Heading downwind in race 2, John and Fran found themselves sandwiched between Neil Davies and Sarah Edwards (4400) to windward and an RS 400 below them. Fran was almost lost overboard, being towed alongside the boat, barely able to hang on to her trapeze handle with one hand, let alone scramble back on board; John meanwhile was unable to dip the windward wing or pull her back on board for what felt like an eternity. Anthony had a similar experience being washed overboard on a 3 sail reach. He is used to gybing at lightning speed with his more usual helm Cedric Gendron, and crossed the boat a little too quickly for Michael. However, he is a lot younger and stronger than Fran, so was able to pull himself back on board relatively quickly. Jo de Fleury’s classic moment on 4572 was caused by inadvertently hooking onto the elastic instead of the trapeze ring (easily done!) after a tack; the shock cord broke and she went straight into the drink, just clutching the jib sheet, but was able to scramble back over the transom. It is a credit to the general standard of helming in the 4000 fleet, that none of these incidents resulted in a capsize.
By race 3 the wind had built to a gusty F 4-5, and the race officer set a gruelling 4 laps. The French team of Michael and Anthony in the new yellow boat (4317) were now coming into their own, relishing the stronger wind conditions. They took the bullet, ahead of Steve and Alex (4862), with Neil and Charlotte just pipping John and Fran into 3rd place. They could so easily have taken race 4 as well, had their strop not broken after 3 laps which took a couple of minutes to fix, allowing Steve and Alex through to take the final honours.
Thanks to Queen Mary’s for putting on a very enjoyable meeting, with efficiently run races and good support for launching and recovering boats.
Photos of the event taken by Alex Irwin www.Sportogaphy.tv can be found here: http://sportography.photoshelter.com/index#!/index/C0000ccz143I2dVQ/G000080CTMHZb_BM
With the last event of the season coming up here is the provisional current standings.
If anyone can see any mistakes please let me know via the press(at)4000.org.uk email address.
You always know that winter is approaching when we’re back at Rutland for the multi-class open, but as ever (post weigh-in!) bacon sandwiches provided sufficient diversion to the assembled 4000 sailors – the chill was soon ignored and boats rigged for what turned out to be a great weekend’s racing.
Race 1 set the tone for the tight racing to follow, with the fleet reaching the windward mark in close proximity before tearing off downwind in the freshening F4. Some serious shifts rewarded those that read the conditions well both downwind and then upwind again – with Steve and Sarah taking the lead and holding first until the finish, whilst a late charge saw Neil and Jo gybe over the finish line just in front of John and Fran to take second.
Races 2 and 3 were also taken by Steve and Sarah, with some judicious mid-race strop repairs just holding out, whilst Geoff and Bernice took 3rd and then 2nd – no doubt recovering form after a few months off sailing bigger boats. John and Fran took 2nd and 3rd. Special mention firstly to Tim and Alex who demonstrated exceptional pace interspersed with a desire to jump off the boat at key moments (never fast) and to newcomers Dominic and Harry who put in a string showing on a challenging day.
Sunday’s racing unfortunately saw the fleet a boat down with Sarah damaging her Achilles whilst coming ashore and spending the evening being casted at A&E, not fun and ironic that it happens doing something so innocuous – we all hope that she’s better and back on the water as soon as possible.
Sunday’s weaker wind made for close but less exhilarating racing, Geoff and Bernice putting in a strong 1-1-2 set of results to John and Fran’s 2-2-1, to take first overall from them. With Richard and Jo back up there with a 4-3-4 and Neil and Jo doing just enough to hold 3rd overall in the event.
We look forward to the last series event of the year at Queen Mary SC 7th-8th November and then to the 2016 season – with the Euros already fixed for Riva Del Garda let’s see if we can get above the 38 boat turnout in Quiberon this year!
The Rooster 4000 Class’s much anticipated trip down memory lane to Carsington Water was somewhat subdued due to a fabulous forecast in all but the wind. With XC giving a forecast of 3mph gusting 1mph!!! Unsure as to what that was going to be like on the lake, it was quickly apparent that the forecast had clearly made many people’s minds up not to travel to the most northerly event of the year. Nevertheless, 4 boats turned out to have a little fun in the sun with the also reduced 2000 fleet.
As was expected, the Race Officer announced his intention to fly the AP instead of risking damage to the perfect Carsington Mirror. After a quick check on the mirror an hour later, a second hour delay was added. More coffee and tea was drunk whilst boat fettling and sunning ourselves in the glorious September sun, reminding ourselves that it was indeed September and not August!
As the end of the second delay drew near there were disturbance in the mirror and flags began to move. Murmurings began to be heard around the shore and soon the AP was down and the shore became a flurry of activity as boats launched on a light and shifty breeze.
After a short time the RO managed to get a race away in the fickle wind. However, this was short lived as he was forced to abandon it at the end of the second lap due to a major wind shift annihilating the windward leeward course into a fetch and tight reach.
Race one round 2 – With the course reset, some 40 degrees to the right, the 2000 started their sequence only to get to 30 seconds to go and a major wind shift to the left forced the RO to abandon and reset once again.
Race one round 3 – Now with the course 90 degrees to the left the RO got the race away although the shifting wind continued to play havoc as we crossed the start and were instantly hit with a large shift splintering the fleet in all directions up the first beat. Despite this the racing was close with no one finding any consistency in the wind and positions changing regularly.
Day 2 – having left our accommodation in thick fog we held out little hope of much racing for the day despite a forecast being a little more favourable. We were therefore pleasantly surprised to find the sun starting to burn through at the club and a light breeze starting to fill in.
Despite the ROs best intentions to start early and make up for day one, the wind did not materialise for a little longer, forcing a short delay. However, once the wind filled in we got on the water for more light wind sailing.
Race 2 got under way with tight racing between the boats, however, it was all about spotting the shifts and patched of wind meaning there were large gains and losses to be made. Tim and Alex Litt departed on a couple of good shifts to take lead and never really looked back although John Reynolds and Fran Howell kept nipping at their heels.
Richard and Jo de Fleury and Neil and Charlotte Heffernan had a great battle for 3rd all-round the course which was only decided on the penultimate gybe before the finish in Richard and Jo’s favour.
Before the next race could begin the RO had to reset the course and while he was doing this a few of the boats decided to have a little match play. The fun had a short pause when Tim and Alex capsized but resumed soon after to include a mini match race.
Race 3 began in a chaotic manner with a wind shift bunching everyone to the pin end, all wanting to start on port. However, Neil and Charlotte were having none of it and started on Starboard, leading to a penalty for Richard and Jo. From this point the wind only got worse and left the race more of a fetch and reach. Richard and Jo did do some recovery though, thanks in part to tacking with the kite up round the supposed leeward mark but it was not enough to catch the leaders! Snakes and ladders does not do justice to how big some of the holes in the wind were, meaning it became more pot luck than racing.
Race 4 – the wind finally settled in one direction and allowed the best race of the event to take place to round things out. Fran and John ran out early leaders but were caught briefly only to regain the lead on a better shift up the beat. Richard and Jo and Neil and Charlotte again had a close battle this time decided by a catastrophic wind shift on the right for Neil on the last lap.
Thanks to Carsington Sailing Club for the weekend. It is never easy when the wind does not want to play, alothough I’m sure the fleet would love to come back again try again. Also thanks to John Steer and Phil Spray for taking the photos and making them available.
|1||John Reynolds||Fran Howell||4682||MAN||1||-2||1||1||5||3|
|2||Richard de Fleury||Jo de Fleury||4572||STROMA||2||-3||3||2||10||7|
|3||Neil Heffernan||Charlotte Heffernan||4343||-||-4||4||2||3||13||9|
|4||Tim Litt||Alex Litt||4546||Top Banana||3||1||(Rtd)||DNC||14||9|
This year the Rooster 4000’s have headed to Mumbles in the Wales for their Nationals. Despite a number of notable missing boats due to clashing commitments we still have a turn out of 15 boats including a good mix of old and new faces.
Day 1 – The Welsh weather did not fail to dissapoint, with heavy rain greeting the fleet and no wind. Things did not seem hopeful until the clouds parted, the sun shone and some wind appeared. We were released onto the water and managed to sail round a shortened race before the wind disappeared completely and we had to return to ,what was now, dry land for a well deserved ice-cream.
Day 2 – Again the wether was not the glorious sunny summer that we had ordered, yet there was the added advantage of some wind. We had three races on the water with some very close racing from the fleet. The front runners of Steve and Sarah have been able to maintain a winning streak througout the event so far, although they have had to fight off strong competition. Battles throughout the fleet have meant that positions were changing constantly throughout all of the racing, with both new-comers and old-timers alike moving up and down the field.
With such competative racing, it can be the smallest mistake or the right tactical move that can make all the difference to the final results. Although the rain seems to be inevitable, there is the promise of more wind to keep the sailors on their toes.
With building wind, the OOD wanted to include an extra race to make up for the some missed in the previous days. The close racing continued with most boats finishing in different positions in each race. The only exceptions were Steve and Sarah, who were still battling to maintain their winning streak, and new-comers Jo and Meg, who were able to come 10th in each of the races. With the competition as close as ever, the starts were sometimes a real test of timing and nerves, particularly when Richard and Jo decided to cross the fleet on port in the final race of the day. Although it was sometimes dryer in the boats than on land, the rain didn’t chase the wind away and we were able to get four races in before heading to shore.
As if the sailors weren’t tired enough, the final day of racing saw the strongest winds of the event, in addition to big waves and, of course, a little rain. Although some crews elected to stay ashore, the majority of the fleet braced themselves against the wind and waves and started the first race on a closely contested start line. Unfortunately, Richard and Alex lost their way a little when the rudder detached itself, but at least they were able to find their way safely back to shore (with some help from the rescue boat). As the last of the fleet came through the line the wind and waves gave no sign of diminishing and so we continued to battle the elements. The second start saw the youngest crew of the event, Callum and Alex, storm off into the lead and the boys were the first boat round the windward mark, holding off Tim and Harry who weren’t far behind. Although there was some good capsize practice on the race course, the race finished with Tim and Harry clinching that final first place.
https://youtu.be/0vJUt_mBOv0 Video of race 1 before it got really rough!
After four days of good racing, the sailors can now reflect on this event with a mixture of quizzical looks and childish grins. We have had great fun spending time catching up with friends and getting to know new faces, while sustaining hard fought, competitive racing.
A big congratulations to Steve and Sarah Cockerill who held out for the overall first place, closely followed by Tim and Harry Litt in second and our Italian visitors, Anna and Andreas, in third. We would like to say massive thank you to Mumbles Yacht Club for the warm reception and to Rooster for supporting the event.
Final results and Photos can be seen here http://www.mumblesyachtclub.co.uk/cherub4000
A brilliant event again… We are getting more and more boats out each successive year – this time we had 37 boats booked in. See the above results and the write up in Y&Y