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Laser Stratos Nationals at Swanage Sailing Club

by Mike Beggs 15 Jun 2005 17:15 BST 11-12 June 2005
Action from the Laser Stratos nationals © Sophie Jezierski

The 2005 Stratos Nationals were held at Swanage Sailing Club who made us very welcome and gave us good racing. With flat calm in Swanage Bay all Friday, it didn't look too good for the Nationals as the forecast was zero knots!

Luckily Saturday brought a brisk easterly early on, which moderated and swung south but gave enough to sail on.

Prior to the first race there was a rumour that Swanage S.C. were putting up a "ringer" and he turned out to be ex-Fireball Worlds sailor (and Stratos Class Association member), Andy Barker. Andy helmed with David Chalcraft as crew and showed the fleet how to sail to windward, getting pole position at the favoured port end and powering to the windward mark 50 yards ahead.

Unfortunately they passed the windward mark to starboard by some distance and then asked the rescue rib where the windward mark was. When told they had already passed it on the wrong side they returned, but not before the other local boys, Terry Warren and Greg Vaughn, had rounded in the lead. On the downwind leg various styles of downwind sailing were tried resulting in several lead changes with Mike Beggs and Amanda Eastwood getting to the leeward mark first. This they held to a shortened finish with Brian George and Ian Vince coming through in their Stratos keel to take second and the Noyce family Malcolm, Kerry and Alex in third.

In the second race, eagerness to get the port pin end brought several boats too early to the line with Nigel Sheppard and Mike Beggs gybing away and starting behind the fleet. Andy Barker again showed the way leading for the first 5 legs until Mike Beggs managed to get a few windshifts right and caught him at the leeward mark. Andy, having miscounted the laps then headed for the finish, letting Mike through to win with the Noyce family second before he got back to the correct course and held on to third.

The third race saw Mike Beggs first to the windward mark with Nigel Sheppard and Nigel Amphlett coming in second from Andy Barker in third. That ended Saturday's racing and a good time was had by all at a barbecue and live music at the Sailing Club.

Sunday began with a brisk westerly which freshened throughout the morning. In the fourth race Andy Barker again got port end pin and lead the fleet towards the windward mark but overstood enough to let Mike Beggs point up to get to the mark first. Marek & Sophie Jezierski edged up into second at the leeward mark but lost two places upwind during an uncontrolled tack, letting Andy & David through, followed by the Noyces. These positions were held to the finish.

For the last race of the series the wind piped up to Force 5 gusting 25 kts. This caused not a few swims and wild manoeuvres! At last Mark West and John James put it together and came home first with Marek and Sophie in second, Steven Woolnough and Bernie Grogan (all the way from Dublin) in third and the Noyce family in 4th.

This was enough to give the Noyce family second place overall on the same points as Andy Barker and David Chalcraft in third. Brian George & Ian Vince came in 6th after miscounting the laps in the final race but this was enough to win them the 1st Keel trophy.

Overall Results:

PosTypeSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubPts
1st c/b 161 Red Devil Mike Beggs  Amanda Eastwood Lymington Town SC 
2nd c/b 332 Stratospheric Luigia Malcolm Noyce Kerry & Alex Noyce Langstone SC 12 
3rd c/b 631  Andy Barker David Chalcraft Swanage SC 12 
4th c/b 343 Red Shift Marek Jezierski Sophie Jezierski Queen Mary SC 17 
5th c/b 647  Nigal Sheppard Nigel Amphlett Poole YC & Castle Cove SC 19 
6th keel 302 Stratovarios Brian George Ian Vince Dabchicks SC 19 
7th c/b 657  Steven Woolnough Bernie Grogan Skerries, Co Dublin 19 
8th c/b 635 Stratocaster Mark West John James Sutton Bingham SC 25 
9th c/b 648 Rosy Bunny Terry Warren Greg Vaughn Swanage SC 32 
10th c/b 418  Luke Boughton Trevor Boughton Bough Beach SC 42 

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