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Henri Lloyd 2016 Freedom

RC Laser Northern Summer Series Round 8 at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson on 9 Oct 8 October 2017

The wind was 12mph from the West North West, which is good for Fleetwood. It then should be straight down the lake enabling us to start near the hut.

On arrival it looked like it was going to be a busy day. The car park was starting to fill up and there was even the sight of the odd camper van. Peter Isles was well underway with the row boat and strategically placing buoys around the lake for the best usage of the wind direction.

After registering for this double bonanza bumper day, most skippers were debating whether to use A or B rigs as it looked bang in-between. One or two were trying out both. The problem being either not having enough horse power or with the bigger sail causing the boat to heel too much. The consensus in the end, after a half an hour of fiddling, had all boats using the big suit.

Trevor set a course that would allow for a large triangle followed by sausage and finish on a run towards the clubhouse and, for a large fleet of 16 skippers that had entered for the day, a long nice stretched out start line was used.

To have so many boats nicely lined up at the beginning of each race is a great sight, and it just goes to show that the RC Laser seems to be coming back into fashion.

Unlike other classes, where it could take you a while to change rigs, the RC Laser has the simplicity of just lifting the mast out and unclipping one hook - it's as easy as that.

The first race was sent underway and there was no longer any doubt as to which was the correct rig was to be sailing with. The wind started to ease until everyone was just drifting near the top windward mark. Were we ever going to finish this, just the first race?

Eventually, after what must have seemed a lifetime with folk starting to think about lunch, everyone finally made it in. John Sharman jumped in the boat this time and brought in a couple of the outer marks towards the centreline. The sand hills were blanking off too much of the wind on the far bank as there was more North in the wind direction than anticipated.

A 'W' shaped course was set for the next couple of races and just one lap to be sailed. Believe it or not, we managed to get in a total of six races before lunch as they were now starting to speed up a touch.

After the break it was back to the original course as the lake had filled in and everywhere was looking to be sailable. There was no doubt as to who the leading guys where, but to who was winning was guesswork. We had a mixture of Fleetwood skippers, a couple from Burwain and the two regulars from Furness. It was also nice to see that we had a couple of newbies to join in for the day and they were certainly coping well.

Another six races were held and a spreader had been included near the finish to separate the boats towards the finish to help Trevor on his sometimes daunting task of recording. Shaun Holbeche was the winner for the day, but who was up for the Northen Series as this was the last event? All had a weed-free day and there was nothing said about any of our resident jellies. The only hint of a smaller sail being used was when Eric Reid had decided to use his B rig for one race half-way through the afternoon. He actually did alright in this race as the wind had got up, then it was back to normal as the wind abated.

The prize giving and a short raffle revealed Dave Fowler to have won the series with a clean 300pts for the best of 3 from eight race days.

Thanks to all that helped out on the day and to those for providing some worthy raffle prizes including bits to help maintain our boats and transmitter muffs to keep our little handies warm in the coming Winter months.

Overall Results: (top three)

Northern District Round 8
1 Shaun Holbeche (Fleetwood) 21pts
2 Rob Wheeler (Blackpool and Fylde) 24pts
3 John Sharman (Burwain) 25pts

Summer Series:
1 Dave Fowler (Blackpool and Fylde)
2 John Sharman (Burwain)
3 Rob Wheeler (Blackpool and Fylde)

For a more in depth breakdown of the scores please visit the Fairhaven website at sites.google.com/site/fairhavenlasers/results

The next RC Laser event is Sunday 15th October at West Lancs with the start of the Link Trophy Series for Autumn/Winter.

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