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RC Laser free event at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 23 Jun 03:23 PDT 6 June 2021
RC Laser free event at Fleetwood © Trevor Bell

One week on and we were treated to another Sunday by which we could practise our Laser sailing techniques as they are truly not the easiest boats to handle. The forecast was for 8 MPH picking up to about 12 MPH by the height of the mid afternoon, so it was a toss up to which sail rig was going on first, on this free sailing date.

All Skippers were locally based which had been originally planned as an Open event and we were still under some caution to be taken from any of the remaining Covid restrictions. Crabbers were at their maximum with buckets and other potential trip hazards to make our gang way resemble the Grand National.

Derek set a great course with the wind coming down the lake biased from the far right hand corner wooden steps and the small blue windward mark was our first target taken to Port. A run the full length back down the lake to a smallish gate by the club house that was also set on a slant. The furthest bouy looking favourite for a clear rounding, while the nearer being very close and potentially tricky would put you soon back on track looked to be an advantage.

A short beat back up to a Port rounding mark followed by a Starboard rounding mark a little further up and then up to the lollypop centred windward buoy and into the final run back down to finish. In other words, a good long walk.

The first race had a pretty even split for choice rigs. Derek decided to take his less favoured big rig, but it looked like either of them was a good choice. We didn't seem to be too greatly overpowered on 'A's, but they certainly weren't diving downwind and there didn't look to be any flat windless areas on the lake like the previous week.

Shaun took the first win followed by Derek and not far behind was John Sharman, which you could have maybe predicted, but gave you an idea of the talent for the day.

One or two were still undecided for the next race, on whether or not to go big. Steve Mattison was determined to stick with second suit as he also has a non liking for his big rig and was in with the mix, as a fourth position on the first race was quite respectable.. Race two and three had similar results. Steve had posted a third and a second position and was sticking with his 'B', while others didn't. Derek had now won a race with Shaun slipping back for a fifth place.

John won races four and five. Tony was able to steal a place on Steve for the race leading up to lunch. Although with more power was starting to nose dive, but was certainly gaining enough on the final run to pip Steve at the finish line.

After lunch the wind had got up a notch or two and 'B' rigs were out for all. A some what hasty start left a few lakeside to take a discard. But we were up and going again to a great day of full on wind. Derek's missed race followed by an eager and ready to win race, but only to get tied up and a voluntary withdrawal on the back of this win from the nearby tangle. Although with a few wins under his belt he was still up for the cup, as was also Shaun with a couple of mishaps.

Our new guy Alan had posted an eighth place in the morning and was slowly coming to grips with his latest new purchase. But it was his (Smiffies) fully pimped red finned laser that was certainly scaring off the crabs from the near bank to leave buckets only half full and some folk still awaiting their first catch.

Stevie 'B' Rig had done well by using the previous races for advanced tuning and was getting some good lines out for the final beat, but with the wind straightening down the lake, the gate was now looking like a good advantage point for others to catch up.. The near point was a good one if you could whip it round quickly and avoid the bank and not stall up, but the far one was one to keep you out of the way of any congestion and keep your speed up.

Shaun and Derek took a couple more firsts and seconds giving them the share of five wins each and two to John, totalling 12 fantastic races by the end of the day, Top two places had just four points between each of the Skippers.

Top three results:

1. Derek Priestly 19pts
2. Shaun Holbeche 23pts
3. John Sharman 27pts

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