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'Big Monday' at Parkstone Yacht Club

by John Keates on 7 Jul 3 July 2017
‘Big Monday' at Parkstone Yacht Club © Gary Hind

It has become a tradition amongst Laser sailors at Parkstone that one of the regular Monday night sailing sessions be deemed, 'Big Monday'. The idea behind the title is to encourage as many people as possible onto the water. And so it was that on Monday July 3rd, 48 Lasers answered the call, plus another four who acted as race team for the evening.

We were greeted with fluffy white clouds in a blue sky and a sparkling south-westerly F4 – perfect for the more experienced members of the fleet but quite challenging for those still learning the art of sailing the Laser. Nevertheless, they sportingly answered the Fleet Captain's call: the rescue boat was kept pretty busy though!

Following our normal format of two short races with a gate-boat start, the usual close tacking combat took place. Predictably the first few boats to reach the windward mark had an easy time of it. Following boats had a very different experience, and the general level of excitement increased in direct proportion to the numbers of boats arriving at this first turning point. Somebody usually ends up in the water as a result of this coming together and tonight was no exception, (see previous note about the work of the rescue boat!).

The subsequent reaches and run were a little less frenetic. There was even time to enjoy the occasional exhilarating gust. With 48 boats on the water though, the roundings of both the gybe and leeward marks kept sailors on their toes since there were many gains (and losses!) to be had.

It was great to see Standard and Radial rigged boats as well as the odd 4.7 making their way around the course. The age of helms ranged from 17to 60+ and both sexes were well represented with 12 female helms taking part.

Thanks to Ann Keates and David Hartgill for providing us with fantastic racing for the evening, especially for managing to reposition marks so quickly and effectively. But the biggest thanks must be reserved for the Fleet Captain who used class funds to provide everyone with a free drink in the bar after racing!

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