Soak Insure Southern Area Championship at Hayling Island Sailing Club

31 May 2023

Tom Hewitson and crew have won the Soak Insure RS Elite Southern Area Championship, held at Hayling Island Sailing Club on 27,28 29 May 2023. This was their third Southern Area Championship win in succession. Taking first place in four out of eight races sailing newly-acquired RS Elite 100, Soak Therapy they ended with an overall score of 18 points nett, closely followed by Toby Strauss and crew in Vagrant, RS Elite 65, with 21 points nett. Soak Therapy’s success was not without incident. On the second day of the event, middle man Colin Smith fell out of the boat but was successfully recovered with no major problem. Russell Peters and crew in Shaken Not Stirred, RS Elite 20, stormed into third place, decisively winning both races on the final windy day showing the rest of the fleet a clean pair of heels each time.

Weather conditions were variable. Winds were mainly north easterly but with a major shift to southerly on the first day. Wind strength varied from a shifty ten knots or less on the first two days to 18-25 knots on the final day providing some exciting sailing for the competitors, who revelled in the conditions. Race officer Paul Hammett and his team dealt well with varying conditions to provide some truly competitive racing.

Further down the fleet the competition was equally intense. Fourth place was taken by Elliott Caldwell and crew in Eclipse, RS Elite 44, fifth by Andrew Archibald and crew in Freebie Knot, RS Elite 25 and sixth by Andy Partington and crew in Lazy Daisy, RS Elite 66.

Of the two races not won by the first two boats, race one was won by by James Yearsley and crew in Urafiki, RS Elite 92, who were placed seventh overall and race two was won by Lazy Daisy. Other notable performances were Freebie Knot’s second place in race four after leading the fleet from the start until the final leg and Jamie Muir and crew in Galadrial, RS Elite 29 who led the fleet in race 6 until the final run, eventually finishing  the race in fourth place.

The major social event was a black tie dinner in Hayling Island clubhouse on the night of Sunday 28th with the White Storm Challenge Cup awarded to Jamie Muir and over £600 raised for Hayling Rescue. The final prizegiving took place after racing on Monday 29th, where the prizes included bags made from recycled sail materials made by local sailor Sarah Smith.

All the photos can be found at


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