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RC Laser and DF65 Winter Series at West Lancashire Yacht Club - Day 1

by Tony Wilson 10 Jan 06:15 GMT 7 January 2018
West Lancs RC Laser and DF65 Winter Series Round 1 © Tony Wilson

With a crisp frosty morning this was going to be the first outing for the RC Lasers and to Dragoneers as this was a joint event with both classes.

The wind coming from the East was quite a refreshing change for us at West Lancs and a start line heading left at 90 degrees to the clubhouse was to remain for the full day.

A record attendance of 15 Lasers and 11 Dragons were to sail a triangle in anticlockwise direction twice with a splitter at the leeward mark. After the second race the rotation was changed round to the clockwise direction. The car park still seemed to be filling, but this was the annual group of skinny dippers for their usual yearly icy cold dunk. Visiting Skippers came from Yorkshire, Cumbria, North Wales and a newly bought couple of RC Lasers that belonged to a family of Australian origin based in Chelmsford and had travelled the whole way just for the day.

Five races had been drawn out until the awaited hotpot lunch and pudding was served. All had teetered along in the light airs with the A rig and the Dragon Force 65s were using the new addition to their sail selection, the A plus sail.

Dave Fowler in the RC Lasers was getting away with his usual well-timed starts and John Tushingham, along with Tim from Abersoch and John Brierley, were fighting it out amongst the Dragons.

After lunch the same course was sailed although we were leaving out the spreader that had been causing a bit of confusion for some. A couple of races into the afternoon and the wind started to pick up. A few Lasers persevered with the A rig to their peril, while the rest went for a smaller rig. The Dragons on the other hand still managed to cope with their over sized A pluses.

Many had struggled through out the day with correct sail settings, and it can sometimes take you the best part of the day to eventually get it right. A couple of the stragglers from early now seemed to be moving up the ladder, while others were starting to weaken.

Races 9 and 10 were like a drag race as, if you could make the windward mark in one go it you got it right as the wind had moved round a touch, but it was really too late now to change the buoy placement for those last couple of races.

The midday sun was a bit of a blinder for this time of year being so low in the sky and best normally shielded with some good sunglasses or peak cap.

A great day was had for both classes with great weather and no rain for a change. With the large amount of boats in attendance you would have thought carnage and maybe an odd cross word, but actually all were well behaved and just goes to prove that when the courses are set out right and with the correct timing gaps, collisions can be avoided.

Are you looking forward to the next event? It's in a fortnight on 21st January.

Day 1 Results:

RC Lasers
1. Dave Fowler 10pts
2. John Sharman 20pts
3 Roger White 34pts
4. Tony Wilson 47pts (on countback)
5 Skip Reaser 47pts

DF65s
1 John Tushingham 16pts
2 John Brierley 18pts (on countback)
3 Tim Long 18pts
4 Roger Lincon 34pts
5 Alan Watkinson 48pts