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Laser Thames Valley Series Open at Littleton Sailing Club

by Vanda Jowett on 2 May 15 April 2017
Littleton Laser Open © Martin Brown

Littleton Sailing Club welcomed 24 Lasers to the second event of the Thames Valley Laser series. With two fleets, Lasers and Laser Radials, including nine home club boats, a NE oscillating breeze of force 3-4 and sunshine it looked a great start to the day.

Race 1: In the Radial fleet Edward Brown (Broxbourne SC) took an early lead, but was overtaken by Mark Fowler (Littleton SC), ex-Topper sailor Leila Moore (Docklands SC), and Alison Stevens (Sesca). Just before the finish Leila snuck through to take first place from Mark, with Alison a very close third.

In the Laser fleet visitors Ross Williams (GWSC) and George Beck (Papercourt SC) made an early getaway, sailing out into clear air from where they could defend their lead more easily. There were a few changes in place between third, fourth and fifth, but eventually it was Simon Derham (Littleton SC) who finished in third place.

Race 2: The second race of the day saw little change in the conditions, apart from perhaps some stronger gusts. In the Radial fleet the race began with Edward once again leading, followed by Leila, Mark and Alison, but with several place changes in the shifty conditions it was Alison who pulled through to win, with Mark beating Leila by a hair’s breadth to take second.

Another clean start saw the Laser fleet away first time and the familiar names of Ross, George and Simon at the front. These three created some separation from the fleet and on the final beat the inevitable wind shift, left Ross out on a limb and allowed Simon and George to capitalise. In the end it was George who took the win, followed closely by Simon and Ross third.

During the lunchtime break the wind continued to oscillate between N and W and increase in strength with a fairly constant 12kt breeze and gusts of 18kts.

Race 3: Going into the third race after lunch the top three boats in the Radial fleet were all on equal points. After another close race, it was Leila came out on top, followed by Alison and then Debbie Robertshaw (Littleton SC) in third.

With race three underway familiar faces were seen at the front of the Laser fleet once again. Such dominance in the difficult conditions where alternate sides up the beat can yield quite different results are unusual, but it was the case that Ross was understanding the conditions the best and took another win followed by a new face at the front, David Williams (GWSC), and then Simon.

Race 4: First away in the Radial fleet was Debbie with Mark close behind, followed by Alison, then Leila, but tight competition throughout the race placed Alison in first and Mark in second at the start of the last lap. With these two concentrating on covering each other Leila Moore managed to find her own wind on the left-hand side of the course to slip through into first place and win her first Laser Radial Thames Valley Open Meeting, with Alison Stevens second overall, and Mark Fowler third.

In the Laser fleet a poor start by Simon and a timing error by Ross, resulted in some fresh names at the front of the fleet, including Adam Meekings (Maidenhead SC), Simon Hamment (Papercourt SC) and Ed Pepper (Littleton SC). However, the conditions were now getting very shifty and resulted in the second of the windward legs becoming a fetch. Indeed some shifts were also enough to cause the occasional capsize and a subsequent mixing of fortunes. Eventually Ross, recovering from his bad start and came through to clinch his third bullet of the day, with Adam Meekings in second and Simon Hamment in third.

Overall winner therefore went to Ross Williams, George Beck finished second overall and Simon Derham third.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
Standards
1st197369Ross WilliamsGrafham Water1‑3113
2ndX97369George BeckPapercourt21‑1047
3rd148905Simon DerhamLSC323‑78
4th195029David WilliamsGrafham Water‑962614
5th181358Adam MeekingsMaidenhead SC49‑12215
6th207731Simon HammentPapercourt7‑85315
8th209411Rob BeereFPSC856‑1019
7th210356Chris NashMaidenhead SC10‑134519
9th209086Sean MuldoonHaversham SC‑12471122
10th107420Mike BeanLSC‑1479824
11th195812Sammy Isaacs‑JohnsonMaidenhead SC61111‑1228
12th167994Ed PepperLSC11‑128928
13th160549Harry RickardsLSC510(DNC)DNC36
14th210360Dave KilleyMaidenhead SC13‑15131339
15th20501Richard DodmanLSC‑1614141442
16th194015Clive FriendLSC15‑16151545
DNQ   (DNC)DNCDNCDNC63
17th160458Julian RickardsLSC(DNF)DNCDNCDNC63
DNQ   (DNC)DNCDNCDNC63
DNQ   (DNC)DNCDNCDNC63
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