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Laser 5000 Inland Championships at Rutland Sailing Club

by Mark Reynell 20 Oct 2011 12:28 BST 15-16 October 2011

The weekend of the 15th & 16th October saw 5 crews gather at Rutland Sailing Club for the 2011 Inland Championships, the concluding event of a great 2011 season that started with a training weekend at Grafham in May, followed by class events in Poole, Filey, and Loch Lomond throughout the summer.

Three races were held on Saturday in difficult, light and shifty conditions. Race 1 got off to a great start with all five boats in close proximity to each other for the first lap. Thomas Sauvel and Alistair Farman in GBR5231 showed good light air boat speed and handling to win races 1 and 2 with solid starts and well executed tactics, keeping their nerve in race 1 when Mark and Susie Reynell in GBR 5300, only half a boat length astern, headed for the finish after lap four leaving Thomas and Alistair to start another beat.

5300 soon discovered it was a six lap race and re-joined to fight for 2nd with Thomas Lambert and Niall Ferguson in GBR 5301, whilst 5231 had it right and extended their lead to a healthy margin to take the pressure off and seal the victory. Meanwhile, close behind, the fleet were hot on their heels with frequent position changes in the shifty conditions.

5300 got off the start line first in the last race and held on to the lead to win the third race with 5231 close behind in second. Taff Owens and Nigel Simms in GBR 5233 fought closely with 5301 and Neil and George Luckett in GBR5035 throughout the first two races with frequent place changes to share 3rd,4th and 5th positions. 5035 unfortunately had to bring their regatta to a close before the start of the third race.

5231 ended the day as overnight leaders, one point clear of 5300.

With another three races scheduled, Sunday dawned to a mirror finish on Rutland Water, allowing competitors the chance to catch some rugby world cup action before the AP was finally lowered as the breeze began to fill in.

By the time race 4 got under way the breeze had built to a solid 10 knots, gusting into the low to mid teens. Racing on the outer loop of the trapezoidal course, windward and leeward marks were placed within 30m of a parallel shore, making for exciting sailing on a congested race course. Positions changed throughout the fleet, the lead changing between 5231 and 5300, with 5300 eventually getting the bullet.

Race 5 saw more close racing on a course re-laid for the right hand shift in wind direction, moving competitors further away from the shore. 5300 lead from 5231 culminating in a nail biting final close reach to the finish, 5231 holding their kite whilst 5300 chose to go for white sails only. Eventually, a short leg and a couple of badly timed gusts transpired against 5231, securing 5300 the win.

Close racing throughout the weekend meant that settling the final results came down to last race duels between 5231 and 5300 for 1st and 5233 and 5301 for 3rd. Pre-start saw aggressive match race manoeuvring between 5231 and 5300 on a pin end bias line. This theme was continued up the first beat with some close quarter action and matched tacking, with 5233 and 5301 also in the mix. 5300 reached the first mark ahead, followed by 5301, 5231 and 5233 respectively.

5300 went on to extend their lead to the finish and secure the overall win, whilst positions changed behind to see 5231 coming in 2nd, followed by 5301 and 5233; 5301 doing enough to secure 3rd overall on count back. Following completion of the course, it transpired that 5231 had been deemed OCS amongst the pre-start excitment.

Inland Championships results:

1st GBR5300, Mark Reynell/ Susie Reynell, Poole YC
2nd GBR5231, Thomas Sauvel/ Alistair Farman, Grafham Water SC
3rd GBR5301, Thomas Lambert/ Niall Ferguson, Draycote Water SC
4th GBR5233, Taff Owens/ Nigel Simms, Army SA/ Dale YC
5th GBR5035, Neil Luckett/ George Luckett, Felixstowe Ferry SC

This event marks the end of a great 2011 season of strong class racing to build on for 2012, starting with training at Grafham in April and including the European Championships on UK shores in Plymouth in July.

A special mention is reserved for the loss of Thomas and Alistair from the UK fleet as regular circuit competitors as a result of Thomas moving back to France - we haven’t stopped trying to tempt them back, they will be missed.

Final Travellers Series positions:

Mark and Susie Reynell - 1st with 12 points
Taff Owens and Nigel Simms - 2nd with 14 points
Alister Kinsman and Paddy Adler - 3rd with 15 points
Thomas Sauval and Alistair Farman - 4th with 16 points
Mark and Nicky Rushton - 5th with 19 points
Paul Burns and Ed James - =6th with 25 points
Ade Bevan-Smith and James Williams - =6th with 25 points
Alan Moss and ? - = 6th with 25 points
Neil and Ben/George Luckett - =7th with 27 points
Ben Julian and ? - =7th with 27 points
Tom Hill and Alec - =8th with 28 points
Alan Butler and Ed - =8th with 28 points
Niall Ferguson and Tom - =8th with 28 points

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