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Laser Open at Bewl Sailing Association

by Matt Cox 21 Oct 2019 03:06 PDT 13 October 2019

Sunday 13th October brought Bewl's first Laser open for several years. Fourteen travellers journeyed to Bewl to race three local boats. The forecast looked ominous, with a Southerly wind ranging from about 12 mph up to 37 mph, and that was what was delivered. Possibly as a consequence of the strong breeze, a number of normally full rig sailors opted for the Radial rig on the day.

There were two races in the morning and two in the afternoon, all sailed round a trapezoid course making full use of Bewl's ample size. The strong and gusty wind made for some exciting racing, with plenty of capsizes to keep the rescue team busy. The Standard fleet came down to a tussle between Weir Wood sailors Simon Barrington, Olly Bush and Duncan Lawson. Bush led all the way round the first race, the only race competed over three laps. Barrington won the slightly windier second race.

There was a new face at the front for race three, with Lawson taking the honours. Race four produced the most dramatic place changes, with Barrington leapfrogging from fourth at the end of the first lap, to clinch a win by a mere four second margin from Bush. This left Barrington the overall winner, followed by Bush and Lawson.

The Radial fleet became a battle between two boats, youth against experience with veteran former Bewl sailor Rob Cage vying with Rye Harbour teenager Scott Wilkinson. Wilkinson maintained a slender lead over Cage throughout the first race. Roles were reversed in the second race, as the two lead Radials made their way through the Standard fleet, Cage holding on to a narrow lead from Wilkinson. This set the template for the final races with Cage winning both, making him the overall victor. Wilkinson was second with local sailor Matt Cox third.

There were four entries for the 4.7 fleet, although one boat dropped out for good during the first race. The three remaining boats, all from Newhaven and Seafood Sailing Club each took turns winning races. The first race being won by Thomas Harland-Smith from Ed Rollestone. Louis Johns took a closely fought second race. Harland-Smith was back at the front for race three, with the final race being taken by Rollestone. This gave overall victory to Harland-Smith with Rollestone second and Johns third.

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