Noble Marine Laser Standard Inlands at Grafham Water Sailing Club
by Sam Whaley on 5 Nov 2015
31 October - 1 November 2015
A total of 39 Standard sailors made their way to Grafham Water SC for the Noble Marine Laser Inlands on the weekend of 31 October–1 November. The forecast was for a mixed bag; wind on the Saturday but rapidly decreasing and not much wind at all on the Sunday!
Keen to get going Race 1 started promptly, the Race Committee got the race underway quickly. The wind at the time had lightened and was now only 5–7knts with quite a few patches on the race course. Whilst the majority of the fleet ended up on the right-hand side of the beat, Haydn Griffiths made the left work well to lead at the windward mark followed by Craig Williamson. The two had quite a substantial lead but spent most of the reach sailing to the wrong mark, allowing the rest of the fleet to catch up. On the next run, the wind died further but Alistair Goodwin made the most of a gust to take him into second position by the leeward mark.
The next beat was shortened dramatically, but once again Goodwin was on fire, stealing the lead from Williamson. Goodwin held the lead till the end of the race with Williamson taking second and Griffiths third.
Race 2 was started in very little wind with Sam Whaley getting the head start off the line. A gust in the middle of the first beat allowed many people to make a big gain relative to others, with Ed Higson leading round the windward mark, followed by Anthony Parke and Whaley.
It's fair to say the next run was lacking of the one thing we needed – wind! With the majority of the fleet moving extremely slowly or not moving at all, many got tempted to throw in some big roll gybes. Unfortunately for them, the Jury were watching eagle-eyed and many found themselves doing penalty turns.
On the second short beat, Parke took the lead from Higson whilst James Skulczuk moved up into third position. The final run was another drifter, with plenty more yellow flags! Parke managed to hold onto first place to lead overnight, while Goodwin made a good comeback to tie for first place overnight.
As the wind dropped to nothing, no more racing could be started on Saturday so the fleet was sent ashore.
On Sunday a thick fog greeted the sailors and, combined with not much wind at all, forced the racing to be abandoned for the day. This meant that Anthony Parke took the event with Alistair Goodwin in second and James Skulczuk in third position. First youth was Sam Whaley in fourth position overall.
A big thank you from the whole Laser fleet to Grafham Water for another great Inlands in the face of bad sailing weather and to everyone who helped make the event possible.
Overall Results: (top three)
1 Anthony Parke, 7pts
2 Alistair Goodwin, 7pts
3 James Skulczuk, 12pts
Full results can be found here.