RS500 Gul Grand Prix at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston SC

RS500 at Great Yarmouth & Gorleston Sailing Club. Photo Credit: Veronica Falat, GYCSC
RS500 Gul Grand Prix was held at Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club (GYGSC) over the weekend of Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th June.

The east coast location proved to be a truly dynamic location and provided two full days of challenging and exciting racing conditions on the sea.

Teams from across the country ventured to East Anglia, and they weren’t disappointed. Beautiful sunshine, a long sandy beach and some serious wind made a welcome start for the visitors and locals alike.

On Saturday the wind direction and strength was challenging for the race team, who did a great job to get in three races with three totally different directions and sea states in each. Despite the technical challenges, the changes brought out the best in different sailing teams and each race on Saturday saw a different winner. At the end of the day only one point separated the top three boats - Peter and James Curtis (Island Barn SC), Tim Wilkins and Heather Martin (Hickling Broad SC) and GYGSC's very own Phil Highfield and Tamsin Butcher.

Race one was a F2 – 3 blowing off the shore giving flat water and challenging wind shifts. Then for race two there was a light northerlygiving a long beat in to the tide in a slack chop. Everything changed for race three with a strong F4 – 5 piling in from the south west bringing with it lumpy, steep wind-against-tide waves. Navigating over and around the chop, along with good boat handling skills made you a winner, and it was the two local teams Phil Highfield/Tamsin Butcher and Dave Houghton/John Symonds who showed everyone how it was done, coming first and second respectively while all other teams took a swim.

Sunday started in bright sunshine and a stiff southerly breeze greeted the returning sailors, feeling fresh after an al fresco fish and chip supper on the beach the night before. The wind had built overnight to a south easterly F4, which continued to build throughout the day making the conditions even more testing. Two races were completed before abandoning the third due to seriously high winds and eight foot waves, which made for high adrenaline downwind legs - it wasn’t for the fainthearted.

In both races, Tim and Heather demonstrated why they are the current RS500 World and National Champions, winning both races and taking the overall win. The recent weeks of windy weather at Gorleston obviously benefited the local boats with Phil/Tamsin and Dave/John taking a second and third each, securing those places overall.

A special mention goes to 14 year old Lottie Harland who bravely crewed an RS500 for the first time with veteran to the class James Tanner from Burghfield SC. The team were one of only five who managed to finish all races in the seriously challenging conditions – even crossing the line upside down in one race.

A big thank you to GYGSC for their excellent race management and friendly welcome.

The next event in the RS500 Gul circuit will see the fleet visit Lymington Town SC on second and 3rd July.

1Tara625HBSCTim WilkinsHeather Martin9722.01.0(4.0)
2One Off the Devil665GYGSCPhil HighfieldTamsin Butcher972(5.0)
3 795GYGSCDave HoughtonJohn Symonds9723.0(4.0)
4 659IBRSCPeter CurtisJames Curtis9721.03.03.0(5.0)
5 709Lancing SCPeter MatthewsKaren Matthews9724.05.0(9.0 DNF)4.09.0 DNC31.022.0
6Schrodinghy IV525Burghfield SCJames TannerLottie Harland972(7.0)
7 624DWSCAllan FraserLinda Fraser9726.06.0(9.0 DNF)8.0 DNF9.0 DNC38.029.0
8 748GYGSCAnna ZmuraKeith Sykes9728.08.0(9.0 DNF)9.0 DNC9.0 DNC43.034.0
9Random638HBSCKevin MurphyWilliam Slater972(9.0)9.09.0 DNF8.0 DNF9.0 DNC44.035.0

RS UK Class Association website