Please select your home edition
Ovington Boats - VX One

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

British University Fleet Racing Championships
Bournemouth, Plymouth & Southampton take Fleet Trophies A record entry for the annual BUCS Fleet Racing Championships - over 230 student sailors from 25 universities - competed at Draycote Water SC over the first weekend of November. Posted on 17 Nov
Laser Inlands at Grafham Water
150 helms race across the three fleets 43 Laser Standards gathered at Grafham Water SC to compete in the 2017 Laser Inland Championships. Notoriously shifty and unpredictable, the Inlands can throw up some real surprises and it really means that anyone can win. Posted on 9 Nov
Belize Sailing Association Nationals
Joo emerges as the Opti Fleet Champion After delays and a postponements to inclement weather and poor wind conditions, the Belize Sailing Association's (BzSA) National Championships for the Optimist class boats got underway October 28th and 29th at the BTL park in Belize City. Posted on 3 Nov
Enoshima Olympic Week
Views from USA and AUS teams US Sailing Team Laser Radial athlete Erika Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) won gold at the conclusion of a stormy Enoshima Olympic Week, the first large multi-class regatta to be held at the site of the Tokyo 2020 sailing competition. Posted on 30 Oct
Entry opens for 2018 RYA Youth Nationals
To be held at Largs from 30 March to 6 April Entries are now open for the 2018 RYA Youth National Championships at Largs Sailing Club from 30 March – 6 April. Posted on 27 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan overall
Typhoon Lan approaches as five more champions crowned Five more World Cup Series Japan champions were decided in Gamagori as the inaugural World Sailing event in the land of the rising came to a close. Posted on 22 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 5
Typhoon approaches as first medals decided The first medallists at the inaugural World Cup Series event in Japan have been decided after a wet Saturday in Gamagori. Posted on 21 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 4
First set of sailors book Medal Race places The line-up for the first set of Live Medal Races, on Saturday 21 October, were confirmed today at the World Cup Series Japan in Gamagori. Posted on 20 Oct
Lasers at Hayling Island
Noble Marine Autumn Qualifier 2 The second of the Autumn Qualifiers returned to Hayling Island SC last weekend, with the Laser 4.7 ladder running alongside making for a crowded beach but lively atmosphere, even if the weather was mostly overcast. Posted on 19 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 3
Japanese sailing legacy born Another frustrating day at World Cup Series Japan, as the wind never really materialised meaning that no racing took place across any of the eight Olympic events present in Gamagori. Posted on 19 Oct