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Laser Pico Nationals at Rydal Penrhos School, Colwyn Bay

by Rosina Hearn 16 Jul 2010 17:09 BST 2-4 July 2010

The 2010 Laser Pico Nationals was held at Rydal Penrhos School, Colwyn Bay over the weekend of 2nd, 3rd and 4th July.

A total of 38 competitors entered this years Nationals, held for the first time in the North. The competitors sailed either single or double handed in the Championship or Regatta fleet. The event was sponsored by Laser Performance, Marine Holiday Park Rhyl, Pochin Construction, Colleg Llandrillo and P&B.

On Friday there was a coaching session run by WYA Coach Ben Illife, with the aim of the afternoon to practice starts and mark rounding. The sun was out but the gusty winds did mean that there were a few capsizes. All those who took part found the coaching very useful and were all raring to get started with the championship racing the following day.

Saturday brought with it more sunshine and a strong breeze, which suited the Championship sailors. The fleets were released from the beach by ARO Liz Gowers, who was working under the guidance of PRO Mike Butterfield. Six races were scheduled for the day, coming in after three for lunch in the boat park.

The first race was a short one lap race in the Championship fleet, this saw Jack Lawson (Killington SC) take the lead with Nicholas Bellamy (Rydal Penrhos) a close 2nd and Harry Ormerod (Rydal Penrhos) 3rd. The second race was longer with the positions changing and some close racing on the final beat. Edward Bellamy (Rydal Penrhos) had a much better race than he previous one, winning this ahead of Jack Lawson (Killington SC) with Harry Ormerod achieving another 3rd place. During the final race of the morning, Rhys Jones (Rydal Penrhos) finally started to find his form but was narrowly beaten by less than a second by Jack Lawson (Killington SC) who took the line honours with Edward Bellamy (Rydal Penrhos) a close 3rd.

Rhys Jones continued to improve in the afternoon winning race four with Jack Lawson slipping down to 7th. Nicholas Bellamy sailed another consistent race, achieving his best result of the championship of 2nd and Thomas Warrington (Rydal Penrhos) 3rd. It was all change again at the front of the fleet in race five. Edward Bellamy had a good start and held on to his lead to win with Thomas Warrington improving on his previous race to cross the line in 2nd with Jack Lawson and Rhys Jones battling it out for 3rd and 4th respectively. After a shift in the wind the marks were re-positioned for race six. Rhys got a good start and managed to retain his lead throughout the race while the Jack and brothers, Edward and Nicholas worked hard to take to the lead from Rhys. Rhys sailed over the line first, closely followed by Jack, Edward then Nicholas.

The overall position after one discard at the end of Saturday saw Jack in the lead with Rhys second and Edward lying in 3rd position.

The Regatta fleet also sailed six races on Saturday. The Regatta fleet was dominated by Sam Frost-Huskisson from the Staffordshire Sea Scouts who won every race. The other top five places changed for every race. At the end of the days racing Sam had an unassailable lead over Felix Zinkann (Sedbergh School), 2nd and Alex Azurza and his crew Robert Warrington were lying in 3rd position.

All competitors and their parents were invited to a BBQ at the school. It was a lovely sunny evening, perfect conditions for the ‘It’s a Knockout’ competition. Six teams of eight competed, ranging from the young to the slightly older for the converted ‘It’s a Knockout Pico Nationals Winners’ Gold medals. Games included wellie throwing, Frisbee throwing and a space hopper relay. There was a great atmosphere and many laughs were had by those taking part and those watching and cheering on. The eventual winners were the Instructors and competitors from the Staffordshire Sea Scouts. They were all very pleased with their winners’ medals and were still sporting them on Sunday morning.

The forecast for Sunday was very bad and for once the forecasters had got it right. The wind increased steadily during the early part of the morning. It was announced at the race briefing that racing was to be abandoned; the committee boat was recording gusts of 44 knots. The sailors in the Championship fleet were all disappointed not to be sailing the final three races. This meant that the results from Saturday were now final in both Championship and Regatta fleets.

The Cowes Town Cup was awarded to 2010 National Champion Jack Lawson (Killington SC), 2nd place and the Pico Challenge Trophy was awarded to Rhys Jones (Rydal Penrhos) and 3rd place to Edward Bellamy (Rydal Penrhos). The Pico Challenge Double handed trophy went to Patrick Shellcock and Simon Colley from Sedbergh school who were the highest place double handed boat, 9th place overall. The Wight Cable Cadet Cup was awarded to the winner of the Regatta fleet Sam Frost-Huskisson (Staffordshire Sea Scouts).

Rydal Penrhos would like to thank Simon Ogden and Ian Harrison from Laser Performance for their support over the weekend. The race officers Mike Butterfield and Liz Gowers, the Bay of Colwyn Sailing Club for providing the committee boats and volunteers on board. Peter Weekes and all his safety boat crews. Thanks must also go to all the schools, organisations and friends who lent Picos and RIBS for weekend. Finally a thank you to all those who helped with the many jobs on shore. A big thank you to you all for making the Laser Pico Nationals 2010 a great success.

Overall Results:

Championship Fleet (Pico ChallengeTrophy)
1st Jack Lawson (Killington/Bass SC)
2nd Rhys Jones (Rydal Penrhos)
3rd Edward Bellamy (Rydal Penrhos)

Double Handed
1st Patrick Shellcock/Simon Colley (Sedburgh)
2nd Brad Farrell/ Harri Taylor (Rydal Penrhos)
3rd Jamie Chan / Meg Cardy (Rydal Penrhos)

Most improved, Tom Watson (Rydal Penrhos)

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