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RC Laser and DF95 Winter Series at West Lancashire Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 25 Feb 14:15 PST 24 February 2019
Radio Sailing Winter Series at West Lancs © Tony Wilson

The early morning fog and the mist on the lake was soon burnt off from the continued spell of sunshine that we had been having over the last part of the week. You couldn't really believe that we were still in February and today's weather proved to be exceptional, that turned out dry and with a light to moderate wind.

A few of the star players were away on other boat business, but we still had a good mix of visitors that mainly favoured the Dragoneers this time. One or two folk brought both boats along and would decide on the day to which they would sail, maybe checking out the opposition or just the conditions.

My choice was the Dragon as the wind was forecast to be around the 10 mph mark, but was fairly light to start. The gamble you take. If like last time and very light, the Laser may have been preferable to sail with the extra large sail.

Five Lasers set off after the bell heading south east, but a couple were dithering a little just on the start line, stalled. The course was to be two triangles with a gate at the bottom end. The next start consisted of nine dragons a couple of minutes later. One or two of the lasers were soon caught up and overtaken.

Race two and the start order was reversed and it was just the one minute count down. Tim had won his race as John Brierley seemed a little slow into getting going, not like his usual self. By now most of the Lasers were in B rigs as the wind had started to pick up.

Race four nearly had Colin make us proud for coming in first, but just on the final last beat let us down by giving away a gifted win and letting a couple of boats pass.

Peter seemed to be dominating in the Laser group and a break was called early just after five races. A slight tweak of the course was called for as the wind had started to veer round.

The blinding sun was making the windward mark and spreader difficult to manoeuvre around, but we shouldn't really complain on a glorious sunny day and a good helping of sun screen was not to have been forgotten in the breaks.

After lunch the course had to have a severe move round and we were now beating due South. As the wind moved so did the sun, so we had no let up.

Eric persisted a little while longer with his A rig, but to his peril. Maybe the additional horse power got him ahead but when you get irons, it takes you forever to get going again and he was stuck on that top mark for a good while. A gamble can sometimes pay off when you're playing catch up. He soon decided to move down a sail size but sometimes wished again for the bigger.

The dragons all seemed to be managing fine on the big rig, just minor tuning. As the wind was still picking up, one or two C rigs soon appeared among the Lasers and even a 'D'. John Sharman had to forfeit a race as he decided to Tango with a couple of the Lasers and all tied up in knots. There was something about a bow bumper being mentioned.

Last race, race sixteen. Alan hailed instructions to some semi submerged floating traffic cone and for all to be aware. He had got a bearing on it to where he was standing and a distant mark. The floating jetsam was somewhere on that line. All managed to miss it except for Alan and he was soon parked up along side it.

Tim Long was really the only threat to John Brieley and usually came in second on most of the dragon races. This was the order for the end results with Mike in third. Peter won the Lasers and John Armstrong took second.

It had been a good day, what more can you ask for. It really did feel like summer.

Next week is to be RC Lasers and DF65, back to the smaller boat.

RC Laser results:

1 Peter Isles
2 John Armstrong
3 Eric Austwick

DF 95 results:

1 John Brierley
2 Tim Long
3 Mike Parkington

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