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RC Laser North District Championship at West Lancashire Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 25 Oct 2016 08:10 BST 23 October 2016
RC Lasers at West Lancs © Tony Wilson

With the invitation to the dual Laser/Dragon 65 race day, it would be interesting to see who out of the now over 80 skippers on Alan T's mailing list would turn up and which class they would opt to sail in, as over half probably own both boats.

This was the North District Championships and the end to the series for the Lasers.

A midweek forecast check revealed that it should be a good day with a 15mph from the East, although maybe a little chilly.

On to the day was no disappointment. A nice drive in along Marine drive, with blue skies, oil rig on the horizon overlooking the Ribble estuary and the occasional runner in spandex jogging along the roadside. Yes it was going to be a good day.

A light-ish wind to start with and Laser skippers waving around their A sails in anticipation for the their trim warm up. Surely it wasn't as light as this on the forecast?

After Alan's pet talk and course briefing, B sails and even C rigs were taken out of the cars ready for the 2 laps of a triangle race.

A reduced to one minute countdown for the 14 Laser skippers, followed by a further minute for our only 2 DragonForce 65 skippers that had turned up.

This being the last in the Northern District series there was everything to play for.

We had the top 3 sailors; Dave Fowler from Kingsmill, Derek Priestly and Shaun Holbeche from Fleetwood who had each 2 x 100 pts for winning individual days in the run up to this one. My money would have been on any of these 3 winning the day, but only Dave or Shaun could have clenched the series.

Three races were run back-to-back in quick succession before a quick warm up for some and a cuppa. There was quite a bit of shuffling going on between skippers switching sails like a croupier dishing out cards at the casino. Could anyone say they had got it right for every race.

Four more races in the same easterly direction before lunch was said to be ready and waiting. No surprises to guess which guys were leading, but some of the mid fleet guys can give them a run for their money or even win the day. Skip R. and John Sharman seemed to be in their usual top form and Mike Parkington was putting in some impressive scores.

After lunch and it was much of the same with the wind being very up and down.

Derek not too happy with his B sail setting opted to go big style and put the A out for a change. At first it looked like he was nearly coping with his mistake, but in his own words not his best decision for the day. And then it seemed to go wrong for our Derek.

The same course was used for the whole day of 14 races, with just the start/finish line being moved further back and the angle being adjusted for the wind shifts.

You could say most of us had nearly changed our rigs with the same number of races, but it was mainly somewhere in between B and C.

Until the Winter series, hope you join us if you missed this.

RC Laser Results: (top five)

1. Dave Fowler
2. John Sharman
3. Shaun Holbeche
4. Mike Parkington
5. Skip Reasor

RC Laser Series Results: (top five)

1. Dave Fowler
2. Shaun Holbeche
3. John Sharman
4. Tim Long
5. Skip Reasor

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