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Medway RC Laser Winter Series event 10 at Barton Point Country Park Lake

by Jamie Blair 4 Mar 09:25 PST 1 March 2020

After three weeks of watching storms Ciara and Dennis pass through and the boats tucked up we watched Storm Jorge approach, promising to lash UK with 70mph winds. Friday saw a possible reduced wind for Sunday and a decision was made to race.

The day dawned with beautiful blue sky and wind of 15 knots. The direction was SW. 12 racers chose D rig as the only option. We welcomed Dave Fowler as a visitor for the day.

The racecourse was set behind the headland with the usual triangle sausage format. The main area of the lake was consumed by waves that were to be avoided. Jamie Blair when announcing the course warned everyone that with the left side of the beat being favoured out of the bigger waves there would be a tendency for the fleet to sail to the port lay line and thus come into the windward mark on port. A high-risk manoeuvre and for those who attended the recent rules evening at Chipstead SC the secret of how to solve possible contact should have been at the forefront of everyone's mind.

Race 1 got under way after a practice start that confirmed a line with a port bias. Jamie was first to push forward to pin end, closely followed by Dave Fowler (840). Jamie pushed on towards the port lay line with Dave and Jamie tacking in unison. Dave managed to move ahead and tack in front of Jamie at the mark. Dave went on to win the race. Adrian Tomlinson and Richard Stone came out of the usual scramble around the windward mark. An orderly scamp across to the wing mark and downwind with some water over the front for almost everyone. Calls for Mark Room brought everyone into line.

Race 2 saw a couple of boats try the port tack at the start but thwarted by the starboard tackers moving down to the pin end as the last five seconds drifted away. Tim Townsend (45) was still settling down from a quick change of rudder servo and receiver but still held up by the fleet in this race. Adrian Tomlinson (30) and Roger Gibb (32) had a coming together that saw them retire. Dave Fowler won the race with Jamie chasing. Jon Moon (84) and Richard Stone (83) brought in the next pack with Mark Penny (03) in close contention.

The race pattern was set and as usual it was imperative to make a good start. Our race officer Fiona and Tony Alexander (after his main winch gave out) policed this well. Jamie in his eagerness in Race 4 was called OCS but with a rapid spin around the pin end and cross behind the fleet to the right side of the beat and a fortuitous right shift allowed him to still be in the pack for the rest of the race. Others called over included Adrian Tomlinson (30) and Dave Fowler. Shows the intensity of the racing. With the wind there was plenty of practice of how not to nosedive and the use of gybing instead of tacking.

Seven races saw the first hour used up. Talk at coffee included a brief note about the Nationals in May and the International event in October in Gosport. Jamie's consistency of results put him 8 points ahead Dave, Tim, Adrian and Richard.

Out from the break the breeze had increased to steady 20 knots with gusts around the midday of 26-27 knots and questioning of a shortened day. We persevered and a further seven races were completed - the starts and mark rounding always a challenge. Added to this the ability to tack either won you places or lost them. Race 11, 12 and 13 saw Adrian Tomlinson get the hang of things with three race wins. Race 12 provided some excitement with Roger Gibb close behind Adrian for a second place, Dave Fowler's boat switching off the electrics after a bump and sailing off into the outer reaches of the lake.

Our leader for the day Jamie was finally caught at the windward mark and tacking inside the fleet missed the mark and never got back in the race. The increased wind and water over the boats took its toll in the later races but even after a long time rescuing his boat Dave was back for the last race and won.

We completed 14 races before the 12.30 cut off. Jamie showed his ability in the high wind again, with Adrian second also with a string on firsts and Dave Fowler third.

Next for Round 11 - Sunday 8th March. Details on www.rclaser.org.uk/events

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14Pts
1st51Jamie Blair2212122111‑3‑73321
2nd30Adrian Tomlinson3(DNF)‑61341336111532
3rd840Dave Fowler11872172222(DNF)(DNC)136
4th45Tim Townsend‑96235335‑73452243
5th83Richard Stone4434774‑11‑88837463
6th3Mark Penny65564‑95‑865746665
7th32Roger Gibb5(DNF)75988954624(DNC)72
8th84Jon Moon83486564475(DNF)(DNC)DNC73
9th613Andrew Nicholls107‑111086111099(DNF)65798
10th4Tony Alexander78991010101211(DNF)(DNF)DNCDNCDNC125
11th17Sarah Mason119101111129710(DNF)(DNF)DNCDNCDNC129
12th958Brian Lev'y(DNS)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1112612DNF9DNFDNCDNC141

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