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Noble Marine 2012 #2

Noble Marine Laser Radial Spring Qualifier at the WPNSA

by Clementine Thompson 23 Feb 09:59 GMT 18-19 February 2017
Tow home at sunset during the Laser Qualifier at Weymouth © Ben Nicholls

The Laser fleet were welcomed to Portland with clear skies and sunshine. We rigged up in t-shirts and looked forward to a peachy day's racing.

With an impressive entry of 84 Radials, Ken Falcon, our Race Officer, was undecided as to whether to split the fleet into two smaller groups for racing. Naturally, we had a 'Ken vote' and the majority decided to stay as one huge fleet. This led to some exciting racing.

After a short postponement, we launched and headed out to the race course. Initially, the Committee Boat was anchored in Portland Harbour. However, the solid 6–8knt breeze we sailed out in quickly eased off and became very patchy. After some follow-my-leader with the committee boat in the harbour, we soon sailed out into Weymouth Bay seeking more consistent breeze.

In the bay, the breeze was around 6knts from 125 degrees – not quite the southerly 10knts we expected but steady and good to race in. Once the Standards were away, the Radials lined up to start. As usual, we were a bit too eager, needing two general recalls (one on a black flag) before a clean start. With a very pin-bias line, the strategy was to tack onto port as quickly as possible. The boats that tacked early and had a clean lane stayed on port for most of the beat as it was the long tack. The wind was pretty steady so those who started well at the pin and sailed fast rounded the top mark in the front bunch. For the inner loop downwind, the leaders held high around the mark, then came into the gate at a fast by-the-lee angle.

By now the wind had dropped a little and we were sailing in around 4knts. The Race Committee shortened the course and we finished with a short reach from the leeward gate. Ali Young took the race win with Jon Emmett in second.

After the last Radial finished, we hung around the start line in the dwindling pressure. The air felt cooler and there was an ominous grey fog in the distance. It didn't look hopeful until a stronger period of pressure came through and boats started to sail rather than drift near the start line. Suddenly the orange flag was flying and we prepared for the second race of the day. The course seemed similar with a pin bias line, but there were more oscillations to get in phase with. The 84-boat fleet made for some pretty exciting gate roundings, where there was a lot to gain or lose depending on your position in the group. Overall, Ali Young showed her consistency as she led overnight with a bullet and a fourth place.

On Sunday, we had a moderate westerly breeze and sunshine – great sailing conditions for the middle of February! We launched on time and the racing was quickly underway. The start line was fairly pin biased, and most of the Radial fleet were towards the pin fighting for a good position. It was crowded and there were a few black flags during the day. On our beats, the left paid considerably, perhaps due to less mixing of the air making the wind bend around Portland more significant. Ben Whaley clearly read the conditions well, securing the win in the first two races. Ali Young was close behind, with two second places to add to her score.

The breeze stayed consistent all day; we were sailing slightly hiking upwind and doing some turns in the low-chop downwind. By the third race, the fleet was very aware of the gain feature on the left, so nearly all the boats started towards the pin, held off the line on starboard, then tacked onto port near the layline. This style of racing put a lot of emphasis on a good start and boat speed. Ali Young took the final race win, comfortably winning the Qualifier with only six points. In second place was Matilda Nicholls, who counted a very consistent score. Ben Whaley completed the podium, with Jon Emmett in fourth and on equal points with Whaley.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1206251Ali YOUNG142216
2207299Matilda NICHOLLS32345719
3208853Ben WHALEY101411921
4207462Jon EMMETT219133321
5198902Harris CARTWRIGHT57BFD8561331
6206876Oliver BLACKBURN1898121039
7209453Arthur BROWN2451120440
8211870Milo GILL‑TAYLORBFD85131071141
9208124Benno MARSTALLER5229311245
10207093Joseph DRAKE71853131452
11204914Stephanie WINGEATT4616403056
12210001Chloe BARR3060914659
13202436Mila MONAGHAN91037103463
14158399George GRAHAM571120171664
15210614Ellie CUMPSTY62518242472
16208663Ben ELVIN33245182673
17208712Clementine THOMPSON12591493873
18210618Will BEDFORD37282128885
19182593Ciaran RANDERIA265117341289
20197705Molly SACKER21BFD8522222590
21191316Christopher JONES251775321791
22209133George FORD1334738BFD8592
23210560Jordan GILESBFD851492527102
24198549Hugo HANSEN2731232341104
25206365Rheanna PAVEY442762635107
26212077Arthur FRY482066832108
27210236Anya HAJI‑MICHAEL5115423918114
28210220Daisy COLLINGRIDGE2926734415114
29198883Harry HOULDING1153502929119
30208325Freya CUMPSTY4537323321123
31207571Georgina POVALLNYF85NYF853045124
32210000Emma CRANE3436193640125
33211457Alice WOODINGS4023345828125
34202527Rory HARPER31BFD85582122132
35201175David SAUNDERSBFD8567311619133
36202447Rhys WILLIAMS5416293760136
37208659Daniel WIGMORE6227382745137
38207986Eleanor CRAIG3632244648138
39197693Sergio MESSINA2356471556141
40209929Thomas WOODINGS1554404739141
41203969Dan THORNE‑LARGE3850274236143
42208970Tom POLLARD4730705320150
43196523Will HOPES5533284544150
44156348Andrew HOMER346525155152
45206782Krishan BHOGAL20BFD8567454154
46184951Tom RENNY19DNE85601931154
47181426Scott PARKER2239547342157
48208125Joe SCURRAH5663254333157
49211256Christine WOOD638446646161
50201942Bob CUDMORE1749464957161
51200839Alex WHITFIELD59681230BFD85169
52195242Imogen KEMP14BFD85633558170
53186435Graham COOK4221577852172
54195107Eleanor POOLEDNC85DNC85333123172
55211014Iain DUNCAN53413554BFD85183
56202543Leila MOORE3943396264183
57207703Thomas BRINDLEYBFD8512565265185
58134711Paul MOUGHTIN‑LEAY6845156561186
59206794Harry COWELL7438454859190
60200715Daniel THOMPSON16BFD85515570192
61209980Charlie SOUTH4652368271205
62210149Charlie ELLSE35357463BFD85207
63201405Franklin WRIGHT50DSQ85684149208
64201478Benjamin REASON6540486062210
65198310Ellie HUTCHINGS7047595947212
66198951Arthur CONNOLLY6662435751213
67185731Luke BEUVINK4158556963217
68205768Deborah HUGHES4969815050218
69209977Jake BOWHAY8BFD856761BFD85221
70192537Ben NICOLL64BFD85267168229
71208715Sam DAVIS2855797277232
72204068Martin COWELLDNC85DNC85415653235
73208152Haydn LAVENDER6044646775235
74201591William COOK67BFD85616843239
75209140Eloise TANGUY6942716473246
7620625George SUNDERLAND4357807076246
77207932James HALLBFD8522788069249
78208701Iona DIXON61NYF8569DNF8537252
79204537Jago STRONG‑WRIGHT584877BFD8572255
80209978Freya ANDERSON7161727567271
81211322Natalya WILLIAMS7370627666271
82198575Molly TULETT7666657979286
83179741Elizabeth BROWN7264827778291
84201696Noah REES7565838174295