Ben Whaley and Lorna Glen were winners of the 2023 Rope4Boats RS200 Inland Championship at Grafham Water SC.
The Parkstone pair clinched the title in the final race with a third place to finish with a two point advantage.
Second were brother-sister pairing JJ and Jess Hammett from Hayling and third David Jessop and Richard Thomas of the host club.
Conditions were challenging, with a Southerly breeze coming over the village of Perry, with irregular 30° shifts, gusts and holes to contend with on both days, meaning consistency was key – sail clean, pick which shifts to tack on and which to sail through, and avoid getting stuck in a hole.
At the end of day one, nobody had strung a perfect series together; overnight leaders and winners of race one were JJ and Jess Hammett from HISC.
Most consistent, but not yet hitting their stride with a 6,6,3 were Ben Whaley and Lorna Glen of Parkstone YC, while the veteran SB3 sailor (and 2005 RS200 National Champion) Craig Burlton sailing with daughter Hennie sat 3rd.
Sunday produced more of the same, with huge gains and losses were made on every downwind.
Leaders after five races, counting 1,1,2,8 were new pairing David Jessop and Richard Thomas, with the Hammetts and Whaley and Glen one point behind, both counting 1,3,3,6.
While these three battled for the title, somewhere well ahead, Simon and Katie Horsfield became the 5th different winner in six races.
Whaley and Glen had committed to the far left, and a last-gasp left shift at the top of the course allowed them to pop out just at the front of the bunch to complete a well-deserved defence of their Inland crown.
2023 Rope4Boats RS200 Inland Championship – Final Leaders (32 entries)
1st Ben Whaley / Lorna Glen Parkstone YC – – 16 pts
2nd JJ Hammett / Jess Hammett Hayling Island SC – – 18 pts
3rd David Jessop / Richard Thomas Grafham Water SC – – 21 pts
4th Jamie Harris / Ellen Main Hayling Island SC – – 29 pts
5th Craig Burlton / Hennie Burlton Royal Southern YC – – 33 pts
6th Tom Ahleid / Tristan Ahlheid Frensham Pond SC – – 35 pts
7th Brendan Lynch / Ellen Clark East Lothian YC – – 35 pts
8th Simon Horsfield / Katie Horsfield Thorney Island SC – – 36 pts
9th Henry Hallam / Ashley Hill Restronguet SC – – 42 pts
10th Paris Thomas / Marta Uncio Ribera Royal Thames YC – – 50 pts