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RC Laser TT at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 25 Jul 2016 12:09 BST
RC Laser TT at Fleetwood 2016 © Tony Wilson

Only one rain drop attached to a dark grey cloud, these were the symbols on the weather charts, but would probably last from 10am through to 2pm.

The wind direction was from the South which can be a bit of a headache for whoever plans the race course. Fortunately we had Derek Priestly joining us and if he hadn't set hundreds of races, then it would be thousands from his childhood on into his adult years.

Starting from the pump station we were to cross using a figure of eight pattern up and down the lake using two marks in the central area and on the second lap finishing in the middle.

All thirteen skippers had put their boats on the water with their 'A' rig attached and at the start of the tone the two minute countdown would start. One minute to go and all were finding the perfect spot for the off. At the go with no start infringements all were happily on their way. A small shuffle and patter of feet on the narrow footpath below the bridge and then a mighty splash as Tony had decided to go for a swim. Fully submerged head over apex he'd somehow stepped back, gone in the lake, with transmitter and all.

The first race was abandoned as astonished skippers were wondering what had gone on and how to help. Having dry clothing offered and a hand to get out, Tony made his way to the club house for a rinse off and dry.

The first re-run race was missed by Tony while fixing up his boat with a club mate's borrowed transmitter and matching receiver.

Back to the racing and it was Derek Priestly in his usual top form showing the way. Could he not for one Sunday forget how to do it. No, he's great to try to copy and emulate, whether it's his sail setting or just the tack pattern he adopts. We love our Derek.

John Sharman was also having a good day, but who else was fighting to be one of the winning trio at the end of the day? Skip, Peter Isles, John Plant or Jim Lydon all putting in some good scores, while Tony was limping up and down the lake after taking a light knock from his winning diving performance.

After lunch a couple of B sails came out of the lockers as the wind was starting to pick up. Derek was constantly shuffling the bias on the start line with the veering of the wind. We had about five changes of course with changes of direction just to keep us on our toes and prevent boredom from setting in.

By mid-afternoon all had probably at some time used their B sails until the last race, whereby if you still had it attached you were definitely at a disadvantage, except for Derek who finished his glory streak with a second place behind Skip.

We did have a good day of racing with the light rain drying up by lunchtime.

Next scheduled TT with the RC Lasers is at West Lancs Southport on the 14th August. Next week 31st July also sees another invitation with the Lasers to the Burwain Club near Nelson at the end of the M65. Check out www.rclaser.org.uk for further details.

Top three results:

1 Derek Priestly
2 John Sharman
3 John Plant