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RC Laser Winter Series at West Lancashire Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 10 Jan 2019 00:46 PST 6 January 2019
RC Laser Winter Series at Southport, West Lancashire YC © Amy Brown

We had an icy cold spell in the week, but just for the weekend it had turned mild again. Just for a change, the 2019 sailing schedule had a few changes for the Winter series. The Dragon Flight 95 was to be included in alternate race days with the smaller DF65. Many at Southport have the bigger boat so it seemed a logical addition.

Alan and Skip had defected to the Dragon Flight 95 crew for today, so if they complete three race days they can be included in their scores for an extra series along with a Laser scoring.

Nine Skippers for the Lasers included Dave Fowler all the way from Kingsmill Sailing club and also Roger White and Amy Brown from the Chelmsford region.They had ventured in and thought it a good idea to combine the day for the regular RC Laser update meeting as other officials would be also present.

Course set and it was a regular triangle sausage course from a westerly direction in a light wind. No doubt about it, we would only be using the large rig all day and hopefully it wouldn't fade away to nothing as some would fear.

The first race went ahead with the DF95 setting off first in their A rigs to see how the course would settle out. A usual minute had been set for the Lasers to follow and as we gained and caught them up, the order was then changed for the rest of the day and for us to start first.

John Sharman won the first race romping ahead and it looked like he was on form. Tony W came in second just pipping Dave F at the finish line. Two more races and John was winning them also. Tony again coming in second place and then it was the fourth race that Dave won one. He was telling me he hadn't raced since the Nationals in October so had rusty fingers, but on top of that he was just about recovering from a heavy dose of Festive Flu and so was lucky to even make the day.

Race five and just as we had feared, the wind put us all into drifting mode for a longer than usual race of the two and a half laps. A quick search on the Google tide page told us that it had turned and was on it's way out, so we decided a lengthy lunch break was the best option. The committee meeting was also held while the dinner was cooking and this all said and done put us back on the water within about an hour.

We had three boats on equal points, but no doubt the master wouldn't let us down as the day went on.

The wind had come back again and racing continued in a lake filled with a full complement of the 'A' rig breeze. Roger had now now come into play as he had a good race and posted a third. Newbie Eric Austwick also managed a couple of thirds which was good and Dave was starting to accumulate a couple more wins.

Eric had struggled in the morning and had thought it were the starts that were letting him down. By mid afternoon it looked like he had mastered it and on one race was in pole start position. Tony's boat had been running notably fast for a change, but he didn't know how he had set his sail. Somebody mentioned that the speed must have been with aid from his transmitter with all the buttons enabling to ignite the supercharger, for an additional outboard hidden motor.

Race eight and Tony calling out starboard to a Dragoneer had an unfortunate coming together. Both boats tied up for a good couple of minutes, which would have only slightly altered the scoring for both parties. So a last place on that one instead of a possible third for either of them.....It happens, but just glad the smaller boat didn't sink as it didn't half clatter with a bang, when hit broadside.

The plan was to have six more races in the afternoon, but we did start to struggle for the last couple as the wind was preparing to leave us again.

Dave's boat went into failsafe on the last race, and this one was to be discarded. No fear as he had done enough for the day to secure the overall win.

Thanks to Trevor taking on race officer duties as it would have been a mammoth task keeping tally of two separate classes racing simultaneously. He was also quick to boot in compiling the end results for a prompt drive away.

Results:

1 Dave Fowler 12 pts
2 John Sharman 15 pts
3 Tony Wilson 15 pts (on countback)

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