Report by Ed Deacon, Vago #164
The Vago fleet held their Noble Marine Inland Nationals at Rutland on the 18th/19th. The wind and weather forecast meant only a few determined helms and crews came but this led to some very interesting racing. This popular event was well organised and with the other ex-Laser Multi-Classes it makes for a great atmosphere and a great bit of water to race on.
We were all lead to believe that the weekend was going to be strong base winds with even stronger gusts, (and they were right) so since the Vago has both the ‘XD and the Standard mainsail we were waiting to see if the wind was going to follow the forecast. In the end, the Saturday Single-handers went for the reef-able standard rig and most of the double-handers went for the ‘XD option, which was fortunate as the wind stayed between F5-F6 which led to some very close and tactical racing but I think everyone went over at some point.
The first race had a long windward leeward course of 2 laps each with the wind stirring up a swell the right-hand side of the course seemed a little bit flatter behind the spit but with slightly more shifts allowed you to gain some distance where you could not being so over powered. There was a very close battle at the front of the fleet between Stuart and Fraser Harris with their well powered up ‘XD and Dave Baxter and Ed Deacon Single-handed standard rig but the more powerful rig taking 1st in the first 2 races followed by Dave and Ed a very close race between Andy Regan with Kath Gerighty and Paul Fuller with Victoria Rose who were trading places all around the course, Richard with Hannah very close behind. Then as the wind started to increase it started to take it toll on the boats with a few DNF’s for the 2nd race.
The third race was filling in even more with a reduced fleet Stuart and Fraser started well but dropped his crew followed by a hard capsize put them out of the running, Dave and Ed were neck and neck around the course and finished within a metre of each other and Paul managed to squeeze in front of Andy to take 4th place over night.
On Sunday the weather came in more like the forecast predicted (MORE wind). Though initially light it filled in to F6 with white horses all over the course these began to be blown flat with gusts around 39 knots. The single-handers were reefed at the start line with Jibs being used like spinnakers or between gusts. Stuart Harris opted for the ‘XD again but being over powered never made it down the course (well upright anyway) a few wished we had reefed halfway through with their standard mains. We managed 2 laps but most of that was in or under the water or the exhilarating feeling of the Vago hummm with the worrying thought of at some point we have to change direction at some point, was fantastic even if we were just holding on by the skin of our teeth. The up turned hulls of Vagos at the gybe points and tacks showed just how much fun we were having. Now the double-handers came into their own and watching them fly downwind was fantastic. Andy who capsized on the start line chased us all down and while we were swimming came through to take first place (believing that they were still at the back) followed by Exhausted Ed and Determined Dave taking 2nd and 3rd the rest DNF’ed.
Dave took the Inland Nationals title and made it a clean sweep this year of all the major opens but it was very closely fought for at each event.
Everyone appeared to really enjoy this weekend and we look forward to the start of next year to get together and have some more fun.
A big thank-you to our event partners Noble Marine Insurance who sponsored the event, funding the prizes for the top four boats (our lovely new Vago Hoodies).
And thank-you to Laser Performance donated two vouchers which were used as raffle prizes for those who participated in the event. Congratulations to Dave Baxter, who won the £100 LP voucher and to Paul Fuller & Victoria Rose who won the £50 LP voucher.
The final results are available to view here: FINAL RESULTS
Photos from the event are here: EVENT PHOTOS
Day 2 Video – Richard Barnes
Dave Baxter Video – Vago 1814 “SHARKNADO”