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Laser Open at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by David Smith on 14 Jun 11 June 2017

Eight visitors joined eight home boats on a blustery day with some vicious gusts to contest the annual Laser open meeting. A southerly wind direction allowed for a main beat the entire length of the lake. Sunshine added to the champagne conditions.

Race 1 started in a force 4/5 and became something of a battle of attrition for many, with 5 boats electing not to finish. A gybe mark in front of the clubhouse kept spectators entertained with some high speed planing and spectacular capsizes. Richard Marsh (HLSC) took control of the race early on and was never troubled, giving a masterclass of heavy weather boat handling. Ian Lees (Scammonden) moved up from 3rd to 2nd and George Pulman (Dovestone) rounded out the top 3.

During the lunch break, many sailors chose to reduce sail to radial rigs, such was the wind strength. Two further races were scheduled for the afternoon, to be held back to back.

At the start of race 2, Julian Parry (HLSC) got the bit between his teeth, making a port tack flier and crossing the fleet into a lead. However, his radial rig lacked the horsepower of the standard rig of Richard Marsh who flew into the lead on the downwind legs. Graham MacWhirter (Halifax) overtook Parry to take 2nd place and almost stole the lead on a shortened course finish due to a rare lack of tactical awareness by Marsh. With 2 wins from 2, Richard Marsh won the meeting with a race to spare.

Race 3 saw a battle royale between the standard rigs of Marsh and Malcolm Marsden (Blackpool & Fleetwood) with the lead changing hands several times. Ultimately Marsden ground out a lead which he held to the finish. MacWhirter came in 3rd.

Marsden's win in race 3 secured him 2nd overall on count back from MacWhirter in 3rd overall.

The prizes were awarded by HLSC Commodore Steve Caladine and Richard Marsh gave the vote of thanks.

Marsh's victory is noteworthy as being the first win in the history of the Laser Open meeting by a home boat.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmRigClubR1R2R3Pts
1163024Richard MarshLaserHLSC11‑22
2182219Malcom MarsdenLaserBlackpool & Fleetwood4‑815
3196166Graham MacWhirterLaser RadialHalifax SC‑8235
4163518Ian LeesLaser RadialScammonden SC24‑56
5200999George PulmanLaser RadialDovestones SC3‑747
6178491Julian ParryLaser RadialHLSC(DNF)3710
796166Adrian SandilandsLaser RadialUKLA55‑610
8185302Kaye TickleLaser 4.7WLYC + LLSC66‑812
9196385Stephen MasonLaserHLSC79(DNS)16
10207009Richard WhitehillLaserHLSC1110(DNS)21
11204973Andrew RobinsonLaser RadialDovestones SC9(DNF)DNS26
12143207Howard WolstencroftLaser RadialDovestones SC10(DNF)DNS27
13189541Kevin ParryLaserHLSC(DNF)DNFDNS34
14163353Evan ParryLaser 4.7HLSC(DNF)DNFDNS34
15196382Gary ButlerLaserHLSC(DNF)DNFDNS34
16196384James WheeldonLaserHLSC(DNF)DNSDNS34

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