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
The 4000 European Championships took place at Campione del Garda on the western side of Lake Garda. It was attended this year by a 14 British, 7 Italian and 3 French boats – a total of 24 entries which is the largest attendance for many years and reflects the recent increase in numbers seen in the UK. In addition to a great turn out a number of boats were sporting the new sails, new logo and other mods which were initially presented at the Dinghy Show earlier this year. Following testing and development the mainsail has been toned back a little from the initial revamp design and has a less aggressive square top and a more modern material. Testing and a few events has so far shown the new sail to be on a level par with the existing sails whilst being cheaper and providing an up to date image, which was the initial goal. Thanks to Rooster for all the work put in to get these sails ready in time for this event.
Day 1 of the championship greeted the competitors with strong 30 knot breeze from the north with relatively large waves – not ideal conditions to start an event in. Due to the lack of wind the previous day, courtesy of an unusual weather pattern including lots of thunderstorms, some entrants felt the need for a practice sail. However, the conditions took its toll on boats with some repairs being required for some of the boats before racing. The fleet was initially held ashore until the wind moderated. Race 1 was a resounding victory for UK’s Steve and Sarah Cockerill who led from start to finish. The wind was once again built as Race 2 started and it was Italian 4011 sailed by Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva who took an impressive victory, over 2nd place Michael Duflos and Nicolas Sailard and 3rd place David Marchant and Charlotte Heffernan. Race 3 had a shifty and dropping breeze which Michael Duflos and Nicolas Sailard enjoying taking a 1st place with the reigning European champions from the UK, John Reynolds and Fran Howell, produced their best result so far with a 3rd place. Great racing saw day 1 produce 3 winners from 3 countries and left Michael Duflos and Nicolas Sailard from France as the overnight leader.
Day 2 was more business as usual for Garda with southerly force 2-3 Ora wind setting in about midday. Despite some carnage at a number of the marks produced by the tight racing, race 4 winners were Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva who beat 2nd place Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri from Italy. Unfortunately, Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva broke their mast during race 5 meaning their sailing was over for the day. Race 5 was won by team Cockerill with some impressive tactical downwind manoeuvring. Race 6 brought the championships another race winner, Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri, who had taken the lead from UK’s Neil Heffernan and Jo Morrison who eventually finished in 2nd place. Going into the midpoint of the event the overall lead changed to Steve and Sarah Cockerill.
Day 2 was rounded out with a fleet meal organised by the Italian’s and hosted in the club. Thanks goes to them for a great night and also to Alex Cramp for stepping in at the last minute and providing the entertainment playing the piano when the organised pianist shut a car door on his hand! Following a fabulous meal some further entertainment was provided by a ‘GoPro Bloopers Reel’ of the days racing. Perhaps the less said the better!!
Day 3 and race 7 was delayed due to light southerly breeze, the lightest we had had so far. When the race got underway it proved perfect conditions for Fran Howell and John Reynolds who produced a perfect race and led from start to finish. Race 8 was more of the same light southerly winds and was eventually won by Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri who appeared uncatchable in the light breezes. Richard de Fleury and Dave Baxter started to get it together and produced their best result so far with a well-deserved 3rd place to John Reynolds and Fran Howell in 2nd. Race 9 was accompanied by thunder and lightening and a slight increase wind strength that once again was won by Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva, who had managed to borrow both a mast and sail after previous day’s problems. By the end of the day Anna Ferrari and Andrea Cavaglieri had established a small lead; a 3rd overnight leader in as many days, showing just how competitive the racing was.
Going into the 4th and final day there was 4 potential winners with different mathematical permutations. Last day madness led to the first general recall of the event and multiple pile ups as the majority of the fleet arrived at the leeward mark together. However, Race 10 was won by Steve and Sarah Cockerill in impressive form, who had now taken the initiative and meant it was all to play for. Anna Ferrari and Andre Cavaglieri were determined not to be runners up again this year battled it out to win the last 2 races ahead of Steve and Sarah Cockerill, meaning the European Championship title was theirs. Steve and Sarah Cockerill maintained overall 2nd Place and 3rd place went to Italians Ambrogio Beccaria and Giovanni Liva despite losing 2 races to a broken mast!
For another point of view of the event see Steve Cockerill’s event blog here (http://www.roostersailing.com/wordpress/?p=5754#.U7xZ4URZabg.facebook)
For more photos see our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set/?set=a.1530080577212851.1073741835.1460337754187134&type=1
|1||Anna Ferrari||Andrea Cavaglieri||ITA||4538||(8)||(8)||2||2||(6)||1||4||1||2||4||1||1||18|
|2||Steve Cockerill||Sarah Cockerill||GBR||4190||1||(6)||(12)||4||1||3||(10)||4||3||1||2||2||21|
|3||Ambrogio Beccaria||Giovanni Liva||ITA||4011||12||1||6||1||(DNF)||(DNC)||5||2||1||2||(DNF)||5||35|
|4||John Reynolds||Fran Howell||GBR||4682||6||(12)||3||3||5||4||1||(7)||(9)||6||4||6||38|
|5||Michael Duflos||Nicolas Sailard||FRA||4616||9||2||1||(12)||8||(DSQ)||2||8||(15)||12||3||9||54|
|6||David Marchant||Charlotte Herffernan||GBR||4568||3||3||7||(13)||2||9||8||(10)||(13)||10||10||7||59|
|7||Tim Litt||Harry Litt||GBR||4546||2||9||5||(14)||12||5||(17)||6||6||(21)||6||10||61|
|8||Jannick Jean Rene Gaboriaud||Olivier Bathany||FRA||4591||4||7||8||6||3||7||(14)||(16)||(17)||11||5||11||62|
|9||Geoff Holden||Bernce Holden||GBR||4266||5||4||4||8||7||11||7||9||7||(DNC)||(DNC)||(DNC)||62|
|10||Romain Garrigue||Emmanuel Malaret||FRA||4608||10||10||11||13||4||6||19||12||5||8||9||3||66|
|11||Lorenzo Radice||Dell'oro Mauro||ITA||4337||(11)||(17)||10||10||9||8||3||5||(DSQ)||7||8||8||68|
|12||Richard de Fleury||Dave Baxter||GBR||4572||13||(16)||(14)||11||11||(15)||11||3||12||3||7||4||75|
|13||Neil Heffernan||Jo Morrison||GBR||4343||15||5||9||5||10||2||(DNF)||(DNC)||(DNC)||17||11||18||92|
|14||Antonio Mirabile||Massimo Canese||ITA||4580||7||15||13||23||16||10||9||15||4||(DNF)||(DNF)||(DNF)||112|
|15||Alex Cramp||Bob Reed||GBR||4600||(DNC)||(DNC)||(DNC)||7||13||16||6||17||10||19||15||12||115|
|16||Laura Giorgia Strommer||Marco Giotti||ITA||4577||14||11||(15)||9||14||(18)||15||14||(16)||14||13||13||117|
|17||Mark Domaille||Nicolas Noche||GBR||4506||17||(DNS)||(18)||16||(19)||13||16||11||14||5||14||15||121|
|18||Marco Garofali||Nicola Locatelli||ITA||4598||(18)||14||17||(22)||17||12||(18)||13||11||16||17||14||131|
|19||Trevor Peirce||Adrien Peirce||GBR||4452||19||(DNS)||19||15||15||(20)||12||18||8||15||12||(20)||133|
|20||Paul Champion||Lisa Souch||GBR||4137||20||13||16||17||(23)||14||13||(21)||(22)||9||18||21||141|
|21||Hamish Stewart||Matthew Barker||GBR||4588||(21)||18||20||21||20||19||(22)||(DNS)||18||18||16||16||166|
|22||Marco Rocca||Simone Spensieri||ITA||4597||(DNS)||(DNS)||(DNS)||19||18||21||20||20||19||13||19||19||168|
|23||Marco Valerio||Lorenzo Bianchi||ITA||4463||16||(DNS)||(21)||20||(21)||17||21||19||20||20||20||17||170|
|24||Martin Burgess||Tom Burgess||GBR||4467||(DNS)||(DNS)||(DNS)||24||22||22||23||22||21||22||BFD||BFD||206|
Despite an unpromising weather forecast the first two days of this year’s Europeans at Campione have delivered excellent conditions and great racing. Day 1 saw the fleet rigging to a background of ominous clouds and 20 knot+ winds churning up some pretty wavy conditions on the water. Perhaps emboldened by a forecast of decreasing wind, a few crews ventured out for a pre-race shakedown, which had almost terminal consequences for Alex and Bob in GBR4600; fortunately a local boat yard had them repaired and ready to go for day 2. However, the afternoon saw the wind settle to 12-18 knots and with a half-hour delay the racing got underway. Continuing their success from the preceding Italian Nationals, Steve and Sarah Cockerill in GBR4190 took first place in Race 1, impressively clawing back the significant lead of defending champions John and Fran in GBR4682. Race 2 saw the wind strengthen and some fierce competition at the front of the fleet. A strong decision from David and Charlotte in GBR4568 saw them own the right hand side of the race-track on the first beat, and eventually finish third; but not quite sufficient to keep pace with Ambrogio and Giovanni in ITA4011 (who showed great pace in the stronger breeze) and Michael and Nicholas in FRA4616 who finished first and second, respectively. Michael continued his performance in Race 3 banking first place with Anna and Andrea in ITA4538 on their heels in second, Fran and John soon behind in third. Day 2 was closer to classic Garda, with the Ora settling in from about 1pm; a steady force 4 and sunshine was welcomed by all. Race 4 was all about the Italians with Ambrogio and Giovanni grabbing first, with Anna and Andrea in second. Race 5 saw disaster for Ambrogio with a broken mast temporarily (we hope) ending a run of great results; but another strong performance from Steve and Sarah saw them take the lead from David and Charlotte, demonstrating that low and fast can definitely pay upwind. The last race of the day saw a decision by Jo and Neil in GBR4343 to take the left side of the beat pay dividends, and they rounded the first mark before the fleet, hotly pursued by Anna and Andrea, who overtook on the downwind leg and held the lead until the end taking a well deserved first place in front of 4343 and then Steve and Sarah in third. The morning of day 3 sees a promising Ora settling in, and with sunshine and a building wind looks like another classic days racing at Garda. And the racing remains tight; Steve and Sarah lead overall with 15 points, with Anna and Andrea next on 19, and John and Fran on 21 points in third
10 boats turned up at Weston SC for the next round of the UK Series and were greeted with a light northerly and glorious sunshine. It was good to see a mix of new and old sailors with some past 4K sailors re-entering the class as a result of the revamp. Steve and Sarah Cockerill were also sporting the new sails which were first seen at the Easter Grand Slam at the same venue but, this time there was more competition with this being part of the 4000 UK Series. In addition to the new sails a few more 4000s were sporting the new logo thanks to Rooster.
Racing soon got underway after the B14’s and Cherubs got off cleanly. It was quickly clear that there was a lot of competition for the top spot, although there were also many good battles throughout the fleet. Jason and Scott arrived at the windward first but, an ambitious hoist before the spreader mark saw them in the drink leaving an opening for Richard and Jo to seize the lead. They held the lead till the leeward gate of the last lap where a costly error, shooting out of a gust, dropped them to 2nd. Steve and Sarah took the win by a few boat lengths and Geoff and Bernice coming in 3rd.
Race 2 was all set to go but, in the last 10 seconds , the wind swung and shut off, forcing the race officer to put up a short postponement while the wind settled again. Take 2 and the race was away with Geoff and Bernice running out in the lead, hotly pursued by Jason and Scott who kept it up-right, to steal the win on the last lap. Further down the order an ambitious move saw Neil and Jo, on Port, trying to cross David and Charlotte on starboard to get to the other side of the leeward gate – Alas, it was not to be, leaving carnage at the gate for the following boats to find a path through.
Race 3 saw a fresher breeze kick in for a shorter 2 lap race, where missing the gusts was an expensive mistake. Steve and Sarah, Geoff and Bernice and Jason and Scott had a battle-royal at the front followed closely by Marc and Matthew who posted their best result of the weekend. Further back John and Ian broke the mast putting an end to the day for them but, a hasty trip home to get the spare saw the boat out for day 2.
Day 2 saw similar conditions to the previous day with close racing continuing and it all to play for. In Race 4 Scott and Jason kept it all pointing the correct way to record a win, with 3rd, 4th & 5th place boats crossing the line within seconds of each other after 3 laps – One design racing at its best!
Race 5 and the Race officer set a tighter start line. Richard and Jo took the advantage off the line squeezing through on Port much to the surprise of the fleet who thought it was not possible on the tight line. Jason and Scott battled into the lead only to bin it at the leeward gate leaving them in second! Surely they have washed the boat sufficiently by now, or were they making sure it was a close finish?!
Race 6 saw another line with a port bias appear in the last minute tempting 2 boats to the port end however, the fleet was wise to this and ran the line leaving Steve and Sarah no hole to go through and a penalty to boot! This left them with 2 laps to try and win the race to take the overall win despite a great effort it was not to be, with them only getting to 3rd and finishing 2nd overall.
Great to see Martin and Tom making massive improvements in the boat and starting to get to grips keeping it upright and sailing faster. They were particularly pleased with their upwind improvement over the weekend – Keep it up guys! It was also fantastic to see Ian at an event even if it was a little hectic for him breaking the mast on day one and having a different crew for day 2. Alex and Rob also had a great event and are starting to show signs of good results to come.
Thanks to Weston SC and all their helpers for a great event – we look forward to our next visit. Also thanks to Matthew Amiss for the photos.
Not long after that we have the next round of the UK Series at Lymington SC
This weekend also marked a significant change in the class with a new constitution voted in and the class formally adopting the new name “4000 UK Class Association” following the change in class name and change of official supplier to Rooster Sailing Ltd. Along with the new constitution a few minor updates to the class rules have been voted through aimed primarily to improve safety and reduce costs. The Class has also reconnected with the boat designers Derek Clarke and Phil Morrison who have helped with the current revival and updates to the boat, in particular the new sails, and want to see the fleet grow once again.
Have you got a 4000? Have you joined the class association? Join now for £10 per boat! See the association website for more information www.4000.org.uk
See you in Garda!
Situated on the top of the moors, as close as possible to gradient wind, in the heart of ‘Gods own country’ is Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club on Grimwith Reservoir. Saturday provided near perfect conditions; bright sunshine, clear blue sky and a firm westerly breeze coming off the dam wall. This wind direction opened up the whole length of the reservoir to be used for the windward-leeward course for both the 4000 UK Series and the ISO open. The first race was scheduled for 12, but with some flexibility from the Race Officer giving the sailors time to make their way over to the race area, the race got underway around twenty past. True to form, Tim and Harry Litt were last off the beach just as the five minute gun went off, and with an impromptu capsize on the 1 minute gun were in great shape for the start! At the start, as Richard and Jo de Fleury had the GoPro all hooked-up and recording every move, they went for a port tack flier clearing the rest of the fleet to make for the right-hand side of the beat. This looked like good local knowledge as they tacked onto starboard to be lifted up to the windward mark followed by John Reynolds and Fran Howell and yours truly. With the crews fully wiring and strong gusts being delivered at regular intervals, the downwind leg emphatically reminded us all why we sail the 4000 – Perfect!! Richard and Jo took the first race comfortably and despite Tim and Harry making great gains downwind to put themselves into second at the leeward mark of the last lap were unable to keep their noses in front of the upwind specialists, John and Fran. Having experienced the course and the wind conditions in the first race, John and Fran put their wily slide-rule judgment to work on the first beat of the second race, and counter to local knowledge, worked the left hand-side of the beat to find great gains. They rounded the windward mark having put plenty of distance between them and the rest of the fleet. However, Tim and Harry had by this time started shouting at each other properly and tuned into their energetic and slightly so aggressive mode of sailing; this was just what the conditions deserved and John and Fran’s lead had gone by the leeward mark. During this race Richard and Jo were distracted by the GoPro making a bid for freedom towards the bottom of the reservoir. This then established the order to the finish of the race. Lunch provided a welcome break for most providing an opportunity to catch breath and be refuelled by the great quality and value food from resident club caterers, Rural Recipes. With the RO under instruction to get four races completed by the end of the afternoon – he duly obliged with a succession of rapid fire back to back races where the warning signal for the next race was almost indistinguishable from the gun for the last finisher. This was great for the lead boats, but a little hard on the later finishers who got less of a break between races. Nonetheless, this did not seem to hinder the local boat of Erica and Ian Caswell, who after blowing off the winter cobwebs in races one and two, demonstrated progressive improvement as the afternoon went on recording finishes of 5, 3, 4 and 2. In races four and five they traded third and fourth places with Alan Holmes and Will Scott, from Scaling SC, who improved on their four fourth place finishes to finish the day impressively with two thirds. Tim and Harry, relishing the breezy conditions and rapid turn rounds between races, secured all first place finishes with the exception of race 5 where John and Fran worked their upwind magic once again to secure the win. Richard and Jo suffered gear failure and had no kite for the last 3 races of the day which proved to be costly in the overall standings. Overnight the wind had shifted more southerly and Sunday saw the fleet, with our own start, join up with the Club’s multi-class open windward-leeward competition. Despite indicating another 5-8 knots of breeze above that forecast of the previous day, the extra breeze did not materialise and the mean wind strength turned out to be 5-8 knots lighter. The new direction reduced the size of the course that could be set, delivered some large wind shifts and gusts and in particular produced some complex lulls and rolling shifting gusts at the windward mark. In contrast to the previous day, the new RO delivered multi-lap races that lasted in excess of 50 minutes. On a relatively short course and with a wide variety of boats, this allowed the fleets to merge and provided both plenty of entertaining near misses and the need for good tactical sailing. Steve Rickwood and David Crabbe, of the home club, ventured out having been unable to sail on Saturday, and quickly changed the order in the fleet pushing Erica and Ian back a place as Alan and Scott powered on to a comfortable third. Fran and John had jib problems and missed the first race. Meanwhile Richard and Jo were giving Tim and Harry a run for their money but couldn’t manage to capitalise on some good tactical upwind sailing as a result of getting caught up in a group of boats in lull at the windward mark on the last lap. After winning the first race, Tim and Harry were in the groove and established two solid wins for the remaining races either side of the mandatory lunch break. With Tim and Harry, as the standout boat for the weekend, the competition between John and Fran, our current European Champions, and Richard and Jo, Mr and Mrs 4000, was close. However, in the end it was the quality and experience built upon years of vociferous on the water tactical debates that won through to secure second place overall. Further down the fleet it was great to have some new faces battling it out, and on occasions popping further up the order. We hope to see them again at other events in the year. Paul Hargreaves, a friend of the club, very kindly provided some top quality photos from the event which can be seen at http://paulhargreavesphotography.zenfolio.com/p782986246 Overall, this was a great event, in a beautiful location, at a great club and our thanks go to the club, Race Officers and volunteers – can’t wait for next year! Next event: UK Series Weston SC see the website for details –
Author: Tim Litt Photos: Paul Hargreaves (Dave Baxter for prize winners photos)
Although not an official event, four 4000’s arrived at Weston S. C. over the Easter weekend, all eager to see how the latest prototype mainsail #2 (newly arrived from Hyde Sails) would perform at the Grand Slam event.
Good Friday brought sunshine and a chance to catch up with old friends while waiting for the 1 o’clock start. The forecast north-easterly F3 duly arrived, but it was anything but constant, coming offshore over trees and some large blocks of flats, further destabilized by some building cumulus clouds as the afternoon wore on. We were in the second start, along with a motley assortment of other fast asymmetric boats. The race officer set a reaching start in the style of the America’s Cup, with a short dash along the shore, followed by a long downwind leg out towards the deep water channel. We then turned for home up the long beat with increasing nasty surprises in the shifty/gusty conditions as we approached the shore, with several boats being unwittingly tacked by some huge wind shifts. This tested the helms’ reactions and the crews’ agility to the limit. It was a “snakes and ladders” afternoon, as we all tried to find the best patches of wind, but Steve & Sarah Cockerill managed to come out on top amongst the 4000’s in all three races, giving the rest of us an excellent view of just how good the new mainsail leech was looking! Richard & Jo de Fleury (4572) had been looking great at the start of race 2, only to capsize while gybing in a wind shift just after rounding the hitch mark, allowing John Reynolds & Fran Howell (4682) to claim second 4000 spot in all that afternoon’s races.
Saturday began with a similar wind direction to Friday, and it was John & Fran’s turn to try out the new prototype main. They found it set beautifully, with no need to adjust their normal settings. It was a real advantage at times on the racecourse to have a good view through the sail. The performance seemed similar to their normal best racing main, although it may be that the new square top design does indeed give slightly better gust response. In the first two races, Jason & Scott (4532) built a significant lead and held it to the finish. By the start of race three, the wind had swung right round to south-easterly, but for some strange reason the race officer didn’t alter the course. After a running start, John & Fran managed to get inside at the hitch mark and immediately gybed onto port for the next leg which was by now a tight three sail reach. The rest of this race was then processional, with a long starboard fetch back inshore for all laps, allowing them to keep their lead over Jason and Scott.
Easter Sunday arrived, in total contrast to the previous days. The rain bucketing down, and we could barely make out the far side of Southampton Water through the mist. The early-morning wind had been totally killed by now, forcing a 45 minute postponement, so it was only possible to run two races. This time it was Richard & Jo’s chance to try the new sail. Yet more confusion for the race office, who despite our clear written request with the approval of the race officer, had allocated the results to the wrong boat the day before! Eventually a south-easterly force 3 – 4 arrived, accompanied by a short chop. Twice Richard & Jo pushed John & Fran onto a mark (once legally, and once illegally – they were very apologetic!) But this allowed Jason and Scott to build a comfortable lead. In the final race the wind was lighter yet the course was made longer, another “interesting” decision by the race team. This time John & Fran were closer, but Jason and Scott managed to hold them off until the finish.
The overall winner of our start was the local 49er, which we have often seen do well in the past at this venue. But Richard and Jo did manage to earn a spot prize of T-shirts and Easter eggs, for travelling the furthest to the event, from North Yorkshire.
Two main conclusions from the event:
1. The latest prototype main, with the square top and new material, appears to work brilliantly in a variety of conditions. We all loved it, and there are no major differences in performance, so new and old sails should be able to compete well together on a level playing field. Hopefully the Steering Committee will reach a favorable decision very soon.
2. Both Steve & Sarah and Jason & Scott are going to be hard to beat this season! This should lead to some great racing for our newly rejuvenated class.
Author: Fran Howell
Photos: as per filename (Richard de Fleury & Rich Thoroughgood)