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Suntouched 2018 RYA Dinghy Show

RC Laser and DF65 Winter Series at West Lancashire Yacht Club - Day 2

by Tony Wilson 22 Jan 07:29 GMT 21 January 2018

As this was the second meeting in the Winter Series, it would be interesting to see how many would actually turn up this time on a day with not so favourable conditions. The last bumper crop had nearly 30 skippers combined.

One forecast predicted rain for most of the day with plenty of wind, while another showed the symbol for fog. Is there an actual difference between the two in how wet you get?

A short course was set out by Alan in the bay of the sailing club and the task was to complete 2 triangular laps in good pace with a southerly beat to start. The short warm up had all the Laser guys do a super quick change down to the D rig.

We had an equal split of 7 Skippers in each class. As they all made their way to the start line on cue came the first flurry of snow flakes to join in on the Lasers 1 minute countdown.

Shaun was on the start line ready to let go of the trigger, while Tony suddenly found that his boat wouldn't go. The mainsheet line had unhooked. Eager to get his Laser to the side, he suddenly found the rudder servo had decided to pack in at the same time. Game over for Tony, unless he could magic a new servo into the damaged craft within the time of a couple of races.

Race one out of the way and a couple more guys seemed to be making their way to the club house with physical and mechanical wear down. Cold hands were freezing instantly and didn't respond as you would like them to. A quick blast under the hand dryer to get them nimble and defrosted helped. Tony was soon at work with a spare servo lent kindly from Skip. Although a bit jittery, it was still way better than his non-responding one that he took out and now had to play catch up with his first 2 races as compulsory discards.

Derek had turned up after the first race and with conditions looking so bad that he had to really battle with himself into staying. Not very often full sized sailors decide not to sail, but the lake was completely void of any other sailing vessels.

Three races completed and Shaun was winning. Alan had pipped Tony to the finish line as he was a bit lazy in turning after the last mark. John Brierley was ahead and leading the Dragons. Time to put the kettle on and a break was called for about half an hour.

Races four to six had more of the similar placings, although Derek was notching his way up the Dragon Force fleet. Most had by now changed down to C rig, although Derek stuck with what he had.

Over lunch it was decided in the trying conditions to just race another two in the afternoon to complete eight races in total. The last race had Shaun miss a mark to let us catch up on him. Eventually he was back again in front to complete eight wins from eight. But it was good for half a race to have the four remaining Lasers grouped while it lasted.

As days go, most of us thought that we had done pretty well and couldn't remember the last time it was so testing. Next time promises to be better and it is the one most are looking forward to being the Dragon's first TT of the year with already 25 guys enlisted.

Thanks goes again to Alan and his crew for creating a great series.

Day 2 Results:

RC Laser
1 Shaun Holbeche (Fleetwood)
2 Tony Wilson (Fleetwood)
3 Alan Tickle (West Lancs)

DF65
1 John Brierley (Birkenhead)
2 Derek Priestly (Fleetwood)
3 Tim Long (Abersoch)