Exe Sails & Covers Roadford Rocket
The 2017 Exe Sails and Covers Roadford Rocket kicked off again on Sunday 26th February at Roadford Lake. It was a chilly, and gusty day, threatened by storm Ewan. The organisers decided to shorten the length of the race to 2hrs as a precaution but for the intrepid sailors who made the journey to the lake, the race was well worth it, testing and pushing the 40 starters to their limits!
Despite the blowy conditions, the lake looked stunning as boats of many different shapes and styles set out; Lasers, Fireballs, a Redwing, RS Aeros RS400's , RS500's, a Blaze, Supernovas, and even a couple of Hydrofoiling Moths all taking to the water.
The racing was pretty fast and furious at the front, with Ben Flower's Laser, and Peter Barton's Aero jostling for the lead with Ian Horlock's Supernova. Soon though the Fireballs of Chris and John Gill, and Colin and Derek Jarvis scythed through the field and into a commanding lead. Dan Ellis in his foiling Moth was also making good progress and was wowing the spectators with his spectacular speeds on the long downwind leg of the course (nearly 3km in distance!)
Come 1.30pm fireballs held out for the win, with Chris and John Gill of Portishead Sailing Club easing out to a comfortable margin over their clubmates Colin and Derek Jarvis. The more observant spectator of the Southwest Challenge Series will have noticed Chris also got a 2nd in the Starcross Steamer, putting him in pole position going into the third and final leg of the series - the Exmoor Beastie which will be held at Wimbleball Lake on the 19th March. In a close second is Peter Barton, today sailing an Aero, and finishing 3rd in the Rocket after his 1st at the Steamer in an RS800.
Our thanks to Roadford Sailing club, and Richard Willows for putting on this fantastic event and for his contribution to our report. We are also really pleased to report that RLSC also raised £100 for the Calvert Trust on Exmoor through the Rocket. Well done all!!