RS Games - 400s preview

Nick Craig leads the field

Monday August 1st 2011, Author: Emma Maguire, Location: United Kingdom

One of the biggest fleets taking part in this summer’s unique RS Games will be the RS400. Already, 65 entries have been taken, but with not long to go until the start of the National Championships, there are still more to come.

Racing for the RS400s will take place from 18-21st August at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, alongside eight other RS classes which are hosting an assortment of national, European and World Championships over a 12 day period. This unique event will bring together sailors from all the different classes, and with a combined social programme complimenting the on the water action, it promises to be a great event for all involved.

Together with the RS600, the double-handed RS400 was the first of the RS family to be launched way back in 1994, and yet the class remains a highly popular boat today, attracting plwenty of top names.

Observers will agree that the championship favourite is Nick Craig (Frensham Pond Sailing Club) who was RS400 National Champion in 2008 and 2010. Nick’s dinghy racing pedigree is undisputed, being a former OK World Champion, current Enterprise National Champion, and past Endeavour Trophy winner.

Nick will be joined at the RS Games by the wonder-crew, Fiona Clark (Wier Wood Sailing Club), who won the RS400 Nationals with Nick in 2008, and who has also previously won the RS200 Nationals twice, crewing for David Giles and Craig Burlton.

The current form horses include the top teams from the three Gul Grand Prix events held so far this year: James George/Izzy Mitchell (Queen Mary SailingClub); Howard Farbrother/Dan Martin (Queen Mary Sailing Club); and Wayne/Deddie Fletcher (Scaling Dam). With each pairing having walked away with a Grand Prix victory each, the Fletchers additionally claimed victory at the prestigious Lord Birkett Memorial Trophy at Ullswater in July.

Swelling this talent base will be some leading sailors who are making a welcome return to RS400 sailing. Olympian, Hugh Styles, who represented Great Britain in the Tornado class at the Sydney Olympics, has teamed up with his father Martyn Styles, who is a class stalwart.

Stewart Robertson (Edinburgh), who came close to winning RS400 Nationals over ten years ago, is planning a comeback, ably crewed by wife Sarah. Former RS400 front of fleet contender and past RS200 National Champion, Lee Sydenham, is also making an appearance, having teamed up with top RS400 crew, Gerard Barron. With such a huge range of talent here, these returners look set to score some top results and make a lot of noise.

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