Lasers at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club
The weather forecasters may have scared off a few visitors but the sun shone all day long and a force 4 breeze greeted the 7 visitors who joined the 11 home boats for race 1 of this years Laser open meeting which is part of the Northern travellers series.
First around the first mark was Nigel Robinson (Beaver SC) who showed good boat speed so that by then end of the first lap he had pulled out a lead on the rest of the fleet. Tom Keegan (LLSC) slowly reeled Nigel in and just prior to the windward mark boath boats had a tacking duel which ended up with Nigel capsizing. Keegan went on to lead with Paul Heath (LLSC) and Andy Stott (LLSC) following on. Keegan held the lead to the end and young Stott managed to get past old Heath with Greg Marshall (West Lancs) coming in in fourth.
The wind had dropped a little for the start of race 2 and the wind began to swing back and forth up the beat resulting in some interesting place changes. Marshall hit the front and played the (big) shifts to protect his lead and finish first. Chris Wheeler (LLSC) sailed through the fleet to finish second and Stott also recovered from early mid-fleet misery to finish third. Robinson who was at one point fourth and sailing fast had another bit of bad luck when his kicker snapped forcing him to retire.
So down to the last race and, depending on the permutations, any one of five boats from Marshall, Stott, Keegan, Wheeler and Heath could win. The wind strength was as in race 2, was still switching around but became patchy and dropped conciderably as the race went on. Stott hit the front and extended his lead to the finish. Keegan followed Stott into second, Wheeler was third and Martin Breach (West Lancs) fourth.
So with no rain, plenty of sunshine and plenty of wind to start with a great day was had by all competitors who enjoyed good courses set by the OD, close racing with plenty of place changing and fantastic food from Leigh & Lowtons now world famous galley.
Next weekend, 14/15th July, is the Leigh & Lowton regatta weekend with three races each day for handicap, Laser, Solo, assymetic and junior fleets. There will be a BBQ and live band on Saturday night and free camping. Further details are on the LLSC website.
1st Andy Stott (LLSC) 3 points
2nd Tom Keegan (LLSC) 3 points
3rd Greg Marshall (WLYC) 5 points
4th Chris Wheeler (LLSC) 5 points
5th Paul Heath (LLSC) 9 points (first master)