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Ocean Elements 2016

RC Laser & Dragon Force racing at West Lancashire Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson on 1 Sep 2016 14 August 2016

Are you like me whenever out racing, you like to start the morning with a nice cup of really strong coffee to get your brain molecules working up to speed? I also find en-route an upbeat tempo music track adds to get your heart pumping quicker making you ready for the action.

The West Lancs joint event on Sunday 14th August would be no exception and had a combination of 9 RC Lasers and 12 Dragon Force 65 skippers. A bit of a reverse, as normally the Lasers out number the Df65s. The probable main reason for lowish numbers was because it was bang in the middle of the school summer holidays.

With the skipper briefing all done and a weed warning around the central area of the lake near the start line meant the first race may possibly be abandoned and course re-jigged.

Tony appeared on the shore front thinking the guys were still practising, when as a matter of fact all were just finishing the first race. So much for the awakening exercises to getting into race mode. Thankfully enough, our helpful lads on the finish line were also half a sleep and forgot to record the results.

The volume was increased on the sound system, and a rerun of the first official race went ahead. All except Dave F. and Tony were using 'A' rigs as the wind was somewhere in-between. It sometimes pays to copy the World Champion, although Dave still won and Tony came last.

A couple of races later others had changed down to B rigs and those on B's changed up to A's. This was the pattern for the rest of the morning.

The course layout was a triangle followed by a sausage, all in a clockwise direction. The wind was again from the seafront which is not ideal, so buoy shuffling would be a definite at some point. After a couple of races it was Dave that was leading the Lasers. A big shift in wind and the first change was made with all marks now left to port.

After a hearty lunch and another swing in the wind direction, the safety boat was put out to tow the buoys into different positions, making for a shorter rectangular box type course repeating for 2 laps and much closer to the club house.

With the wind dropping all the time, at one point the yachts seemed to have given up and were just drifting about in the middle of the lake for a 10 minute break just waiting for the wind to decide whether to blow or not.

A sudden slight waft of wind and the new breeze had us now on the next race, but sailing the same planned route with a 180 degree change in the opposite direction.

By the end 11 races had given us our 2 discards and at 3pm we decided to call it a day. As we were packing up and drying off our hulls and sails, the wind looked like it was on again, but a long day meant most had already had enough for a well earned break and maybe a pint at the bar - for those that needed more than just a tea or coffee it was well deserved.

Overall Results:

RC Laser Northern Series and TT National Series
1 Dave Fowler (KMSC) 840
2 Skip Reaser (WLYC) 39
3 Tony Wilson (FWD) 85

Dragon Force 65 Summer Series 1 Tim Lanigan (FWD) 502 2 David Darwell (DON) 869 3 John Bush (ROFEAC) 217

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