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Laser Masters Inland Championships at Rutland Sailing Club

by Stuart Hudson 25 Nov 2019 03:07 PST 16-17 November 2019
Laser (and Radial) Masters Inland Championships prizewinners © Guy Noble

When competitors arrived at Rutland for this year's Masters' Inland Championships there was no wind, and sure enough, Saturday's racing was initially postponed.

However, a light westerly breeze filled in just after midday, the AP was lowered and the fleet drifted gently out to the start area. Luckily it did slowly build and racing got under way with little delay. The PRO set a triangle sausage three-lap course and amazingly race one got away first time. Up the first beat, the right-hand side paid well and Richard Major (sailing with his Standard Mk 1 sail because he forgot to pack his Radial sail) found he was leading by a country mile.

The rest were in catch-up mode with Alan Davis, Neil Peters and Tim Keighly well placed. Shifty, patchy winds led to lots of place changes behind Major, and up the final beat, Stuart Hudson inched past Davis to lie second behind Major, who still led by a distance with just the final downwind triangle to go. For no good reason though, Major followed the Radials down the run (perhaps there was a deep longing to be with his own kind) gifting first place to Hudson, but he still managed to retain second with Davis third.

Race 2 saw a textbook port-end start by Peters, with Hudson and Davis also down that end. The left side was beginning to pay and these three rounded in close proximity. The lead swapped between Davis and Hudson several times, but up the last beat, Hudson sniggled through and held on to the finish with Davis second, Keighly third and Major fourth, and that was it for the day.

Rutland SC provided some much needed great food and we were greatly entertained by Neil Peters with incredible tales from his 'Round GB in a Laser' experiences. Congratulations to John Curran of Wembley Sailing Club for winning an incredible Minorca Sailing holiday in the prize draw.

Sunday dawned flat calm and we waited for a forecasted light northerly before launching. Race 3 again got away first time, with Davis again making a good start at the port end. The wind strengthened and lifted on port on the left side of the course, and Davis led at the first mark and held that lead to the finish. Major grabbed second, Peter McChrystal third, with Hudson recovering from being right on the first beat and edging past Guy Noble for fourth.

By now the wind was dodgy, but Race 4 did get away after a short postponement. Davis and Hudson were level on points going into the last race, and after Hudson got a slightly better start, he covered Davis closely up the first beat. They ended up on the right side of the course along with Major, which was very wrong and so it was that the top three overall were the last three round the top mark. At the front, the race was led and won by Graham MacWhirter, with Tim Keighly second and Guy Noble third.

At this stage, the wind really had disappeared and the PRO and most of the competitors had had enough. This meant that the lead was tied but Stuart Hudson won on count-back and received Guy Noble's newly painted Masters' Inland trophy.

Thanks to Rutland SC and all the organizers for putting on a great weekend. Although this season has been one of mainly light wind events racing has been competitive yet friendly and the onshore hospitality of all the clubs involved has been exceptional. On behalf of all the competitors this season we would like to thank all the volunteers for their hard work. And as another season ends we would like to make special thank you to all the sponsors - Southeast Sailboats, Laser Performance UK, Wildwind Holidays, Fernhurst Books, Rooster and Minorca Sailing.

Standard Fleet Results:

PosSail NoHelmCatR1R2R3R4Pts
1st204644Stuart HudsonMaster114‑76
2nd213699Alan DavisGrand Master321‑96
3rd197363Richard MajorGreat Grand Master242‑128
4th214942Tim KeighlyMaster43‑629
5th214299Peter McChrystalMaster(DNC)63817
6th215159Stephen JamesMaster5‑128518
7th209831Graham MacWhirterGrand Master(DNC)117119
8th215933John CurranMaster8‑99421
9th211870J CICMaster98‑10623
10th213463Guy Noble (DNC)DNC5324
11th182219Malcolm MarsdenGrand Master(DNC)5111026
12th135448Carl AveryMaster610‑121127
13th213005Neil PetersMaster77(DNC)DNC30
14th202549Orlando GledhillGrand Master(DNC)DNCDNCDNC48
14th210139Simon StonehouseMaster(DNC)DNCDNCDNC48

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