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Laser Masters at Arun Yacht Club

By Glyn Purnell on 10 Sep 2012 8-9 September 2012

The penultimate event of the 2012 series and the last world ranking event of 2012 took place at Arun YC, Littlehampton, over the weekend 8/9 September and attracted an entry of 52 split 21 standard and 31 radial rigs. Saturday was forecast for light and Sunday more moderate winds, both days sunny and warm.

Saturday ran to forecast to the extent that it looked as though there would be no sailing. The fleets were towed out from the club, near the mouth of the river, to the racing area to combat the incoming tide and light southerly wind and hopefully catch the sea breeze. However, it was after 13:00hrs before the first race started on a shorter course than normal to allow for the light wind. In the standard fleet David Binding crossed the line first followed by Gareth Greenfield in second and Alan Davis in third. While in the radial fleet the order was Jon Emmett, Ian Jones and David Goddard.

The course for the second race had to be reset as the wind had veered. At the start the wind looked a bit better than the race 1 but this did not last. The radials were shortened first after completing one lap and the standard rigs after two laps as the wind disappeared completely. Finishing order in the standard fleet was Binding, Greenfield and Steve Leach (Arun); in the radial fleet Jones, Emmett and Richard Ellis. With no sign of any improvement in the wind, the fleets were towed back to the yacht club. Following the racing, the sailors were able to join with club members for a meal overlooking the river on a very pleasant evening.

Sunday started off as another fine day with a stronger wind, around 8 knots, than Saturday, coming from much the same direction, enabling the fleet to sail out unaided. The wind proved very shifty for the first two races. In the standard fleet Terry Scutcher was able to take advantage of the conditions and score two first places followed by Orlando Gledhill and Davis in Race 3; Davis and Tony Woods in Race 4. In the radial fleet Emmett scored two first places as well followed by Nial Peelo (Island) and Max Hunt in Race 3; Jones and Peelo in Race 4.

For the final two races of the event, the wind freshened up drastically to say the least, reaching 20 knots at times and producing a big sea to make life a bit more exciting. Gleddhill revelled in these conditions to score two first places in the standard fleet the order behind being Scutcher, Rupert Bedhill (Queen Mary) in Race 5; Davis, Mac Courts in Race 6, Scutcher having broken his boom. Emmett scored another two first places followed by Jones, Ian Gregory in Race 5; Jones, Goddard in Race 6.

Gledhill finished the event on 13 points from Davis on 14 and Scutcher on16 points to win the standard fleet overall. Emmett finished on 5 points from Jones on 9 and Rob Cage on 28 points to win the radial fleet overall.

Overall Results: (overall positions in brackets)

CategoryPosStandard RigRadial Rig
Apprentice1stOrlando Gedhill(1st)Queen MaryJon Emmett(1st)Weirwood
2ndGareth Greenfield(4th)OxfordIan JonesDovestones
3rdPeter Young(8th)WeirwoodIan Gregory(5th)Frensham Pond
Master1stAlan Davis(2nd)OxfordRob Cage(3rd)Bewel Valley
2ndTerry Scutcher(3rd)ShotleyDavid Goddard(4th)Homeless
3rdTony Woods(7th)Queen MaryRichard Ellis(6th)Gunard
Grandmaster1stDavid Binding(5th)WeirwoodMax Hunt(7th)Whitstable
2ndMac Courts(6th)Stokes BayJohn Reay(11th) 
3rdNick Livingstone(16th)OxfordRichard Major(13th)Grafham
Great Grandmaster1st  Kevin Pearson(12th)Thames
2nd  Mike Kinnear(18th)Starcross
3rd  John Masters(19th)Chipstead
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