by Brad Utting
A record 100 boats jostled for position on the start line and threw tacks in anger at the Laser State Titles 2nd-4th March 2013. What an achievement this is for the Laser class in WA!
Strong fleets across all three rigs made for close competition. - 2013 WA State Laser Championships
These numbers can be directly attributed to four things. First, Masters Friendly scheduling; secondly, a well organised event by CYC; third Solid publicity and fourth, a river venue. Several of these points have become the WALA mantra for season 2012/13 and full attempts will be made to maintain this philosophy leading into the December 2014 Perth Laser Nationals.
Class hoppers were a feature of this event and highlight the simplicity and accessibility of the Laser class. Mark Lovelady (etchells, keelboats), Will Elks (Tornado’s), Caitlin Elk’s (49erFx), George Boulden (420’s) and Jake Flintoff (Match Racing/ Fireballs) were some classic examples. The examples set by RFBYC and HYC in promoting the event and bringing big teams of sailors was a great effort. Hillarys brought 19 boats and RFBYC 25 and it displayed the result that can come from simple communication and encouragement.
As expected with 100 boats on the start line we needed the weather gods to supply us with conditions that suited the very inexperienced and in some cases first time regatta competitors. The first day was the windiest whilst the next two delivered light to moderate conditions and it was fantastic that almost all competitors were able to complete all races. The race management was superb. Nine races were held without a glitch. Races were turned over quickly and generally speaking the courses were well set and fair. Chris Kelly led this team and thanks to him, his HYC supporters and all other volunteers.
Tight racing at Claremont Yacht Club. - 2013 WA State Laser Championships
As 4.7 winner Chris Charlwood stated 'This event put Claremont YC on the map for those who didn’t know it existed'. CYC are well credentialed at hosting Metro heats but lifted the next cog for the States. There was ample rigging space and the overall organisation was impeccable. Thanks to Mal Mckercher and John Rasmussen for your leadership here.
Lastly congratulations to Mark Whittington (Laser Fulls), Tristan Brown (Radials) and Chris Charlwood (4.7’s) who sailed fantastic events to take first overall. There were many other division winners who also sailed very well. WA laser sailing has struck a fantastic balance where Olympic campaigners happily compete alongside Masters Sailors and beginners. For this to be a complete non-issue puts us in an advanced position to other states and contributes to our current status as one of the strongest States both in numbers and in ability.
In just under two years on approx. the 27th of December, the Laser National Titles will be held in Perth. Much of the associations energies at the moment are being put into making sure we deliver big local numbers for this event. Once again participation will be the key for this event and don’t hesitate in starting your individual and club campaigns for this event.
Full results here