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RC Laser National Travellers at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Colin Hartley 24 Aug 2010 10:13 BST 8 August 2010

22 boats arrived at Fleetwood to contest a National Travellers Trophy event - one of a number that count towards the prestigious national title. This open event attracted not only 13 local Fleetwood boats, but also skippers from Yorkshire, Merseyside, the Midlands and, a long journey for one competitor, from Hampshire.

The conditions were perfect. A nice westerly breeze swept up the lake enabling race officer Colin Hartley to set a very long course. Coupled with a long start line this helped avoid collisions by keeping the large fleet spaced out as much as possible.

With a moderate breeze the fleet started the event using the medium sized ‘B’ rigs. The race ended with a first place for national champion John Tushingham and a second place for Dave Fowler. These positions were repeated on a number of occasions during the day and reflected the final overall tally.

By race three local One Metre sailor, Derek Priestley, got into gear and started to put together a run of third places. His consistent form gave him overall third place for the event.

Disaster struck two of the club skippers during the morning session. Richard Price knocked his keel lock as he launched his boat. The keel stayed in place until he reached the middle of the lake only to slip out and, without a weight to keep the boat upright, it capsized and remained stuck until it was retrieved by the club’s rescue boat. In race 6 Fred Robinson was delighted to find himself in the lead and with the finish line in sight victory looked certain - but, the Fleetwood jelly fish had other ideas! With one wrapped around Fred’s keel he could only look helplessly on as two boats sailed past him leaving him with a consolation third place.

By race six everyone’s racing blood was up and the start line was a battleground. In this skirmish John Tushingham and Derek Priestly were judged to be over the line and sent back. Adam Kissick took his chance and sailed away to win the last race before lunch.

After an excellent hot pot and apple pie lunch the skippers were persuaded to resume racing rather and spending the afternoon sleeping in the sun. The wind seemed to be dropping but was it a temporary lull or a sign of things to come? Some skippers decided to change to the larger ‘A’ rigs. John Tushingham was one who opted to stay in ‘B’ rigs and as a result chalked up his worst result of the day. Dave Fowler wisely moved into an ‘A’ rig and took first place from Adam Kissick in second spot and Chris Jackson third.

By the second race of the afternoon all the boats were using ‘A’ rigs. John won all the remaining races to put his stamp on the day.

These events are only possible due to the support of willing helpers. Eric Watkinson and Elaine Hartley ensured the results were properly recorded and scored whilst Tom Pearsall and Fred Baker served a very tasty lunch.

22 boats on the lake and sailing the full length was a magnificent sight and one enjoyed by many passing locals and visitors who sat on the grass eating ice creams watching the racing. It really doesn’t get any better than this!

Overall Results:

1st John Tushingham, 10pts
2nd Dave Fowler, 14pts
3rd Derek Priestley, 29pts
4th Adam Kissick, 31pts
5th Shaun Holbeche, 40pts
6th Chris Jackson, 51pts
7th Richard Price, 54pts
8th John Sharman, 56pts
9th Andy Kissick, 56pts
10th Dave Swainson, 68pts
11th Fred Robinson, 74pts
12th Skip Reaser, 77pts
13th Liz Tushingham, 95pts
14th Peter Iles, 102pts
15th Tony Cardwell, 111pts
16th Fred Charnley, 112pts
17th John Plant, 127pts
18th Tom Hammil, 132pts
19th Tony Cropper, 132pts
20th Dave Hooley, 139pts
21st Fred Baker, 147pts
22nd Tom Pearsall, 148pts

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