Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock - Deckvest - 728x90

Laser Midland Grand Prix Round 5 at Blithfield Sailing Club

by Paul Williamson on 9 May 7 May 2017
Laser Midlands Grand Prix at Blithfield © Hazel Williamson

Whilst rigging for the 2017 Blithfield Laser Midland Grand Prix Open, Round 5 of the 2017 Laser Midland Grand Prix sponsored by Wildwind Holidays and Rooster Sailing, the wind gradually disappeared. At the scheduled start time the race officer sensibly flew the postponement flag, however quarter of an hour later there was a shifty force two which was enough to get the 20 boat fleet away for the start of a fantastic day's sailing.

Jack Hopkins (Delph) and Richard Mason (Notts County) took an early lead in race one. The wind was incredibly shifty and the first 45 degrees windshift caught Jack out with a very near capsize, Richard spotting Jack's misfortune tacked on the shift to take him to the right hand side of the course and out of the wind. It was the boats that sailed to the left hand side of the beat that picked up the stronger wind to lead at the Windward mark. Craig Williamson (Hayling island) and Thomas Woodings (Carsington) were first and second, closely followed by Paul Williamson (Staunton Harold) and Jack Hopkins. Paul had good downwind speed to overtake Thomas but struggled to find upwind boat speed and was overtaken on the final lap by Joe Scurrah (Carsington). Craig gradually pulled away for a comfortable win with Joe in 2nd, Paul 3rd Jack 4th and Mark Abbey (Blithfield) in 5th.

Jack Hopkins didn't make the same mistake in the second race and capitalised on a good start and good upwind boat speed to lead at the Windward mark. Jack was followed around by Craig Williamson and Thomas Woodings. As the race progressed it again paid to go to the left hand side of the beat. Craig spotted this and went further than the rest of the fleet to take the lead. After some very close downwind legs Craig eventually won from Jack in 2nd. This time Mark Abbey used his local knowledge to finish 3rd with Richard Mason 4th and Thomas Woodings 5th.

The wind shifted by 90 degrees for the final race, however as the boats progressed up the first beat there were several 45 degrees wind shifts. This left people thinking they were winning one minute to then find they were buried in the pack the next. Joe Scurrah and D Johnson (Blithfield) took a more central route and took advantage of the final Starboard shift to lead at the windward mark. The race was highly competitive with many place changes throughout the race. A squall on the last lap led to many capsizes and place changes. Joe Scurrah who was on the downwind leg when the squall came through sailed into the distance to win. Thomas Woodings looked set for a second place, but capsized on the final run to let Paul Williamson through into second place. He recovered to finish 3rd with Julian Bassett (Blithfield) 4th and John Lees (Blithfield) 5th.

Overall Results:

1st Craig Williamson (Hayling Island)
2nd Joe Scurrah (Carsington)
3rd Paul Williamson (Staunton Harold)
4th Jack Hopkins (Delph)
5th Thomas Woodings (Carsington)

Laser Midland Grand Prix Series: (after Round 5)

1st Andy Allan (Trimpley)
2nd Thomas Woodings (Carsington)
3rd Joe Scurrah (Carsington)
4th Richard Mason (Notts County)
5th Paul Powell (Trimpley)

Related Articles

Laser Masters Worlds in Croatia day 1
No wind, no racing The 2017 Laser Masters World Championships kicked off today with a slow start. 350 Laser Master sailors spent the day ashore under sunny blue skies, hoping the weather forecast of light winds would prove to be incorrect. Posted on 24 Sep
Laser Standard Men's Worlds overall
Pavlos Kontides is the new champion The second electrical storm of the week at the Laser Standard Men's World Championships passed by Split today while the fleet were held on shore. Although it was not directly overhead, it was strong enough to destroy the gradient wind. Posted on 19 Sep
Laser Standard Men's Worlds day 5
Pavlos Kontides takes the lead Fears of wind coming from all directions on the second day of 'Finals' at the Laser Standard Men's World Championships were unfounded when a westerly breeze developed just after noon. Posted on 19 Sep
Laser Standard Men's Worlds day 4
High scores on the leaderboard in Croatia The weather changed again for the first day of Final Series racing in the Laser Standard Men's World Championship in Split, Croatia. The start of racing was delayed to wait for an impressive electric storm with golf ball sized hail to pass over the city. Posted on 18 Sep
Laser Standard Men's Worlds day 3
Gusting up to 27 knots on the final day of qualifiers The final day of qualifiers in Split, Croatia delivered the promised 20-knot southeasterly wind, gusting up to 27 knots and giving great surfing conditions downwind with a tough workout upwind. Posted on 17 Sep
Laser Standard Men's Worlds day 2
Nice places change in the top ten The single race held at the end of the second day, after a delayed start, was worth waiting for. The race committee expected light wind today and last night postponed the scheduled start by 2 hours. Posted on 15 Sep
Laser Standard Men's Worlds day 1
Pavlos Kontides in the lead in Croatia At the opening press conference, in Split, Croatia, the 2016 Olympic Gold and Silver medal winners predicted a tough championship with any one of 30 sailors capable of scoring a top five place in the 147 strong fleet from 52 countries. Posted on 14 Sep
Tokyo in mind for Thompson
As he prepares for Laser Worlds defence Two-time World Champion Nick Thompson says he has his eye on the long game towards Tokyo 2020 as he embarks on a title defence on Croatian waters this week (14-19 September). Posted on 13 Sep
Kielder Water SC September Open
Including events for the Lasers and Ospreys Kielder's September Open this year included an Osprey fleet, a Laser fleet and a handicap fleet. Posted on 13 Sep
Streakers and Lasers at Scaling Dam
A fleet of 20 helms take part A fleet of 11 Lasers and 9 Streakers, including visitors from Ripon, Tees & Hartlepool and Beaver SC arrived at the club on Saturday morning to find blazing sunshine but very little wind. Posted on 13 Sep