A shifty strong breeze made for some excellent racing at the IBRSC 2019 Laser Open. 25 competitors came to the club and rigged their boats ready to sail. As requested by the IBRSC Laser Class Captain, a triangle – sausage course was set. The wind was coming from the south and gusting up to 20 knots. The format for the day was 1 longer race in the morning then 2 shorter races in the afternoon.
For the first race, the wind was shifting about 60 degrees easterly and then back to the west making setting the start line difficult. For the start, the full rig Lasers had somewhat of a bias to the committee boat end of the line but, all the competitors got away cleanly. Next were the smaller rig Lasers to start. As the start for the Radials and 4.7s got underway, the race team started to get a little worried. In the strong breeze, the full rig Lasers were blasting down the reaches and heading back to the start line. Fortunately, as the start sequence finished, the slower Lasers got away just before the first of the full rig Lasers started to round the leeward mark and head back up to the start line. After three laps of a triangle and a sausage, the race came to an end with Dan Thompson from Beer Sailing Club winning, followed by Tom Tindel from Wembley Sailing Club in second and Peter Edel from King George Sailing Club finishing third. It’s worth noting, Colin Hammond from Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club running out of luck as he rounded the final mark. As Colin tacked to cross the finish line, he was hit by a big wind shift and gust that caught him out and he capsized. By the time he had managed to get the boat back up, he slipped from 6th to 13th. For the Radial Fleet, George Lane from Broxbourne Sailing Club came in first, with Alastair Brown from Greatmoor SC in second and Aron Evans from Silverwing in third. All the boats headed back to the shore for a well-earned lunch (pasta bake, cottage pie or lasagne).
For the afternoon, the race officer slightly changed the sequence to remove the risk of the 4.7 and radial fleet starting as the full rig Lasers finished their triangle circuit. The wind picked up slightly for the first of the two afternoon races and it moved a little more towards the west so, the windward mark was moved accordingly. Dan Thompson made a great start with his Laser perfectly just the right side of the start line and in clean air. On the second lap, Dan caught a big breeze on the reach that pushed him away from the chasing pack. Dan finished first, well ahead of second place Tom Tindel. Finishing in third place, Peter Edel ensured the 1,2,3 remained the same for both first and second races. The Radial race was won by Alastair Brom with George Lane and Aron Evans in second and third place respectively.
For the final race, the wind remained as a strong breeze in the same direction. Again, we had clean starts from both fleets but a few more capsizes as people started to tire. The full rig fleet was won by Peter Edel swapping his two prior thirds for a first place. In second was Tom Tindel joined by his fellow Wembley club member Mark Greenstreet for third place. In the Radial fleet, the race was won by George Lane, followed by Aron Evans in second and Alastair Brown in third.
The 4.7 fleet was won by Ben Perkins from Papercourt Sailing Club ahead of Dan Fletcher from Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club who was competing for the first time in a Laser.
The boats headed back to the shore to pack up and head into the club house for cream teas. The prize giving saw all the competitors collect their trophies and the odd bottle of wine. The race team decided to award the Racing Chandlery spot prize to Lilly Barrett from Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club for being the first and last lady.
Click this link for the Laser 2019 Open at Island Barn Reservoir Sailing Club
The unofficial combined Laser classes results are here