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Midland Laser Grand Prix at Shustoke Sailing Club

by Tim Mardon 26 Sep 2017 11:55 BST 24 September 2017
Shustoke Laser Open © Zara Turtle

The day started warm with a gentle West to South-Westerly breeze gusting 2 at times, and of course accompanied by lovely bacon butties!

The signing in (thanks to Betty & Geoff) revealed 13 Lasers would be on the water including 5 Shustoke Lasers. One of the Shustoke sailors Toby, who is very new to sailing and even newer to the Laser, managed to sort out the dilapidated club laser well enough to get it to float!

Our officer of the day Cole Brisco was able to set a challenging course and use the whole lake in the process with 8 marks to round. Thanks go to our Commodore Chris Padro for spending the last few months clearing the lower part of the reservoir from weed to enable this.

The start line had a slight starboard bias, soon filled with Laser's jostling for position. First race had the Laser Midland circuit sailors showing the Shustoke crowd how it should be done. With the Shustoke lot trailing behind, it looked like Lucinda had had enough toward the back of the fleet so on the next leg in the shifty conditions broke free to lead the Shustoke sailors and put the pressure on the away team.

Lunch break followed. After a little re-hydration, some traditional Shustoke Soup, and a rather fab orange and plum crumble (thanks Rachel!) the 1.30 race got underway. The first windward mark seemed to really influence how far up the fleet you ended up. What little wind there was around this mark was rather shifty and fickle. The task here was to thread your way past other boats, try to tack on the shifts, and hopefully not get caught on port. The shifty winds on this mark were still causing trouble on the final lap when Tim managed to get a good gust toward the windward mark on port, only to get rather over powered, and unable to regain any suitable control ended up hitting a boat on the return leg! These gusts never come on their own, and soon after this incident Tim was knocked in by another one only 15yards before the finish line!

By the third race the high standard of the visiting Lasers must have been rubbing off because Tim unexpectedly found himself in second place for much of the race. The windward mark really influenced your remaining race, after which it was mostly follow the leader (John Ling) for much of the way round. Tim eventually succumbed to the relentless pressure from James Dalby leaving him in third position at the conclusion of the race.

Overall it was a competitive day on the water with the final results very close throughout the fleet. Congratulations to John Ling for another convincing win and thanks to those inspiring Laser Sailors, who regularly compete in the Laser Midland Open circuit, for making the effort to come and join us! In my book the overall sailor of the day was Ellie Craig who surely would have ended up in the top 3 if her Radial handicap had been taken into account!

Final thank you goes to the dedicated help of the regular helpers at Shustoke Sailing Club for making it a successful event. Well done folks.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st212163John LingBartley1‑312
2nd211259Richard MasonNCSC21‑63
3rd201646James DalbyTrent Valley3‑425
4th207983Ben RichardsonTrent Valley‑5549
5th210230John BlundellStaunton Harold4(RET)59
6th30595Andy AllenTrimpley82‑1010
7th171462Tim MardenShustoke‑118311
8th207986Ellie CraigDraycote‑76713
9th186067Alexander HomerMidland67‑913
10th198166Lucinda ThorntonShustoke‑99817
11th161552Andy WardShustoke‑12101121
12th178350Tim MakepeaceShustoke1011(DNC)21
13th146371Toby WardShustoke(RET)121224