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Ocean Elements 2018
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Laser Northern Travellers at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by Chris Massey 14 Jun 2018 13:29 BST 10 June 2018
Laser Northern Travellers at Hollingworth Lake © Chris Massey

A steady force two greeted the fleet of ten Lasers to HLSC, despite the poor forecast. However, whilst the OD has his back turned giving the briefing the wind died to nothing. Gambling a grumpy response from the fleet, the OD decided to lay a start line anyway and see what tricks the wind gods might play.

With the wind starting to show its face a start sequence began on schedule, only for a 180 degree shift to force a postponement. After a short pause a new breeze could be seen at the far end of the lake and after another 5 minute sequence the fleet set off in good wind. Ian Jones from Dovestone led out of the blocks and held that position to the finish, pursued closely by Adrian Sandilands (UKLA). Some big shifts finely judged by Jones and Sandilands provided a big split back to 3rd after the first lap. 3rd was hard fought for, with George Pullman (Dovestone SC), Ian Lees (Scammonden Dam SC) and Richard Marsh (Hollingworth Lake SC) all exchanging positions. A tacking battle up the last beat settled the score with Pullman 3rd, Lees 4th and Marsh 5th. Julian Parry of HLSC took a comfortable 6th with the following pack not causing him any concern.

After the complimentary fine lunchtime grub provided by HLSC long standing members Bruce and Janet Mager the fleet set out for back to back races.

With only a few seconds to go before the start of race 2 a shift to port set in. Julian Parry was the first to spot it and took the the pin end. As the fleet tacked onto Port he clearly had the best start. His lead was to be short lived though, as Jones had spotted the shift back to starboard coming down the lake and took a beeline for it, tacking onto starboard as it hit and just managing to cross the fleet. By the end of the first lap the whole fleet were still together and anyone could have taken the lead at the penultimate mark of the course. But by the 2nd lap usual service had resumed, with Jones clear ahead and Pullman half a leg behind in 2nd. Craig Bower was the one making most gains, jumping from 10th to 6th in the closing legs. It was all looking promising for Bower until the last windward mark, when Julian Parry tacked tight on his bow on the Starboard layline, forcing Bower to miss the mark and needing to gybe round the back of the remaining fleet to have another go at a rounding. This put him back in 10th where he would finish.

Heading into race 3, at least 3 boats were still in contention for overall 2nd. Tactical moaning from current holder of that position (Pullman) did not deter the OD, and the sequence was started. Another late port shift came in, only this time Jones was ready for it. Again sighting the starboard shift coming down the lake he defied everything we were told at sailing school and started at the starboard end on Port with Sandilands next boat up the line. By the time the starboard shift hit they both tacked onto a very comfortable cross and continued on racing only each other. Mid race saw a gap in the breeze bring the fleet almost to a halt. Unfortunately for Sandilands and Jones the wind began to fill in again on the run. With the fleet now bunching (and Richard Whitehill taking a momentary 3rd) Sandilands could not afford a battle with Jones. A push for a win was too risky, all he needed was 2nd to take 2nd overall. With most of the fleet sailing high, all vying to be first in the new breeze, the tension was clear. Heading into the leeward mark Jones and Sandilands took a high defensive line, which meant a slower descent into the mark. Richard Marsh (another contender for 2nd overall) sailed low early, taking a faster line in and put himself right at Sandilands stern followed closely by Pullman. In the following upwind battle Sandilands not only held Marsh and Pullman back, but crept into the lead. Marsh was now focussed on keeping Pullman and Lees behind with Gary Butler and Richard Whitehill settling 6th place behind them.

The final lap saw Jones take the lead back from Sandilands and with Pullman falling back, the fight for 3rd had become a dual between Lees and Marsh. Heading toward the last windward mark (to be rounded to Port), Lees found himself on Starboard heading for Marsh on Port. Marsh tacked below and slightly ahead knowing that there was at least one more tack needed to get up onto the layline. Lees pushed further than he needed to in an attempt to keep the position, but Marsh was ready and as soon as Lees tacked Marsh had tacked with him, pinning Lees on the port tack and controlling when the tack onto the layline would happen. By this time though Sandilands was already heading for the finish line to secure 2nd overall. 3rd was not enough for Richard Marsh to keep hold of 3rd overall, the last podium spot going to George Pullman.

Thanks you to all our visitors and for everyone involved in organising the day. A great day's racing was had despite the forecast.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1Ian JonesDovestone SC1112
2Adrian SandilandsUKLA2524
3George PullmanDovestone SC3255
4Richard MarshHollingworth Lake SC4336
5Ian LeesScammonden Dam SC5448
6Gary ButlerHollingworth Lake SC76612
7Julian ParryHollingworth Lake SC67DNF13
8Richard WhitehillHollingworth Lake SC88715
9Craig BowerHollingworth Lake SC1010818
10Evan ParryHollingworth Lake SC99DNF18

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