Laser Open at Chelmarsh Sailing Club
by Gordon Bissett on 13 Mar
11 March 2017
Gordon Bissett presenting trophy to Chelmarsh Laser Open winner Cameron Smith © CSC
Thirteen sailors arrived at Chelmarsh reservoir for the second round of the Midlands circuit. Numbers were low due the overcast weather and the predicted 4 knots of wind. However the wind was a pleasant 5 to 10 knots south easterly that provided the sailors with close racing and very little of the predicted fluky winds.
The race management team of Matt Thursfield and Gareth Wilkinson sent the sailors to the far corner of the dam in the first long and clean beat. Cameron Smith (Chelmarsh) got to the mark first followed by Andy Allen (Trimpley) and the chasing pack of Wright, Taylor, Rowlatt, Coates and Bissett. The two leaders held their positions for most of the race and Gordon Bissett (Chelmarsh) pulled through to take third place for most of the race. The wind died on the penultimate leg of the first race and Alison Taylor (Chelmarsh) finishing third crept past Bissett who was stuck at windward mark 4. Adam Rowlatt (Chelmarsh) and Richard Coates (Chelmarsh) overtook motionless Bissett and they finished on a run in that order.
The second race was sailed back to back and the initial starboard line bias changed to a port bias just before the start. The boats at the port end gained a slight advantage with John Dickinson (Chelmarsh) reaching the windward mark first followed by Allen, Smith, Coates, Wright and Taylor. Dickinson fouled the third mark and took a penalty turn that pushed him back five places. Allen kept his lead over Smith for most of the race until Smith passed him on the beat. That was two bullets for Smith followed by Allen, Coates, Wright and Taylor.
After a hearty lunch Bissett made the best start in the middle with speed and clear air. He reached the windward mark first followed by the chasing pack of Smith, Allen, Rowlatt and Coates. The pack almost overhauled him at the next mark as Bissett was motionless but he managed to cling on for the rest of the race until Allen past him on the beat 150 metres from the line. Allen failed to cover Bissett who got a slight lift and sailed to the finish ahead of Allen followed by Rowlatt, Smith, Coates and Woodhouse.
1st Cameron Smith (Chelmrash) 1, 1, (4) 2pts
2nd Andy Allen (Trimpley) (2), 2, 2 4pts
3rd Gordon Bissett (Chelmarsh) 6, (7), 1 7pts
4th Adam Rowlatt (Chelmarsh) 4, (DNF), 3 7pts