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Laser Stratos Nationals at Lymington Town Sailing Club

by Mike Beggs 10 Jul 2010 19:52 BST 3-4 July 2010

The Laser Stratos Nationals were held on 3rd & 4th July at Lymington Town Sailing Club. Lymington lived up to its reputation for windy Nationals, with strong but steady South Westerlies on both days, increasing to 22 knots on Sunday.

The previous national Champoin Mike Beggs volunteered to be Race Officer giving the extra frisson to the event that there would be a new Champion.

In the first race with the wind at 15kts Andrew Meek and Judith Harding from Manor Park S.C., although newcomers to the Class, showed they were going to set the tone, with a blistering pace on the first beat. Although David Swift and Rob Burgess from Warsash S.C. put in spectacular downwind planing they were unable to catch the leaders and had to settle for second. M.Rowe and C.Best from Slaughden S.C came home third with Lymington's Declan Clamp and Vicky Leen in 4th.

With steady wind and the same course Meek and Harding again dominated the second race, with those behind in the same order.

Following a wind shift the course was changed and this opened a chance for Swift and Burgess who made their downwind performance pay gaining the win, while behind them Meek and Rowe sailed a safe race for 2nd and 3rd. In this race, with increasing wind, Brian George and Ian Vince made their Stratos Keel show it's pace to come in 4th.

On Sunday, with wind up to 20kts, Meek and Harding increased their dominance, pulling out good distance on every beat. At first they did not use their assymetric, but had to hoist when pressed. By this means they again won, with Swift second and George 3rd.

Rowe sat this race out, but returned for the fifth race with reefed sails as the wind further increased.

In the fifth race Meek and Harding again built up a commanding lead but when pressed hoisted their spinnaker. Luckily their lead was just sufficient that, when dropping the kite under the boat at the last leeward mark they were able to carry on fishing on the beat to the finish, crossing the line one second ahead of Swift, with George again third. The Championship was therefore decided and as the wind further increased the last race was cancelled. Andrew Meek and Judith Harding were therefore worthy Champions having dominated in testing conditions, especially as Judith had never sailed on the sea before.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st217Andrew MeekJudith HardingManor Park SC11-2114
2nd303D SwiftRob BurgessWarsash SC-221227
3rd273M RoweC BestSlaughden SC333(DNC)DNF14
4th302Brian GeorgeIan VinceDabchicks SC5-743315
5th734David OsborneRichard EasthamLTSC6554(DNC)20
6th161Declan ClampVicky LeenLTSC446(DNC)DNC23
7th568Sayling LowRic AddisonFishers Green SCDNF(DNC)DNC5DNS27
8th789Peter CarterDavid BeechingWhitstable YC(DNC)6DNCDNCDNC33

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