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UK Laser Association Laser Performance Masters Nationals and Eurocup at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Niall Peelo (with assistance from Mark Lyttle) 27 Jun 11:33 BST 22-24 June 2018
Startline action during the Laser Masters Nationals at Hayling Island © Peter Hickson / HISC

The UK Laser Masters circuit gathered on Friday 22nd June 2018 in Hayling Island SC for their primary event of the year, the three-day Masters Nationals and Eurocup event.

In excess of 100 sailors, not just from all over the UK but with visitors from Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Netherlands and USA, counted 59 in the Standard and 48 in the Radial fleet. Notably, the entry included two Legends (sailors over 75 years) in Roger Williams and Ninian Eadie, and no less than 15 Great Grand Masters (over 65 years). Many of these visitors were no doubt hoping for a little last-minute practice for the Masters World Championships which takes place in Dublin in September where entries currently exceed 300 boats.

The fleet was greeted by superb Hayling weather: sunny, warm and a great forecast for the more sun and heat... but one thing was lacking in the forecast - WIND!

At the briefing, Race Officer Tim Hancock was hopeful that some wind would make an appearance, but having looked at four different forecasts he felt there could be as little as 4kts or as much as 12kts, and the direction was variable. Not very encouraging...however, as competitors left the briefing hopeful of a suntan, a few beers, good food, and maybe winning a spot prize or two, there only seemed an outside chance of some decent sailing. One competitor had even floated the idea of Masters go kart racing competition, given the forecast!

Nevertheless, the fleet launched in a light southerly sea breeze. On reaching the race area, all were surprised that there was in fact enough wind to race. The efficient and professional race management team from HISC wasted no time in getting set up and were straight into a sequence.


Rupert Bedell lived up to his rhetoric of being highly competitive without having trained at all by leading at the first mark in a steady 8 knot wind until he was passed on the final run by Mark Lyttle and a very fast-finishing Nick Harrison, and Thomas Mueller from Germany.

As the wind built for the second race, the Masters eased into their toe-straps and it was Lyttle being chased by Alan Davis, former champion (multiple times), Mueller and Stuart Hudson. Bedell let his exuberance go this time with a UFD for an early start.

The final race of the day was enough to ensure most of the fleet had aches and pains by the end, but it was Tim Law putting the pain of the serious knee injury behind who closed Lyttle throughout the race after the latter got away at the start.


The Radial fleet had a general recall before getting a clean start. After a very close first beat, it was Ian Gregory who led at the first mark, followed closely by Ben Elvin with the rest of the fleet in hot pursuit. The wind built steadily as the race progressed. Ian and Ben were battling it out at the front with a sizeable lead over the rest of the fleet. Elvin managed to work past Gregory to win the first race. This was to be the first of many wins for Ben. Roberta Hartley managed to keep ahead of the remaining boats to finish third.

The sea breeze continued to build and race 2 got under way with minimal delay. Elvin continued to show his superior speed with a huge lead at the first mark. Niall Peelo was a distant second, just ahead of the rest of the fleet. This is how it continued until the finish (Elvin being so far ahead, no-one could actually see him!). Andrew Byrne finished 3rd.

Most sailors were sceptical that there would be any racing at all on the first day, so by the start of race 3 most were surprised that the wind was at 15kts. Yet again Elvin led, Andrew Holdsworth (formerly from Yorkshire but now living in San Francisco), found the conditions to his liking and finished 2nd with Ian Jones in 3rd.

The Masters circuit is much more than just sailing. Back on-shore the social side kicked off. Most sailors started in the bar, where there was nothing but admiration for the race committee after three fantastic races. HISC is a great location for a big event as at 7pm the restaurant opened and the social continued over food. Spot prizes for day 1 included David Binding winning a Southeast Sailboats voucher. The irony is that David has bought almost everything Southeast Sailboats sell, so Max Hunt will need to design something new just for him!

There was also a very interesting presentation from Michael Beckett (British Sailing Team) on what life is like training and competing in regattas around the world. Many of the Masters sailors were amazed to hear people actually train for regattas!

The social for some moved back to the bar, and after closing time the stragglers were last heard singing and playing guitars on the beach late into the night. The Masters fleet really does cater for everyone!

Day 2 for many started with a hangover. The standard cure for this seems to be one of HISC's fry-ups followed by a full day's sailing. Three races were scheduled, and despite lighter winds and tricky conditions, the race committee managed to deliver the three races.


Five Standards were black flagged in the first race but it did not stop Tim Law leading from start to finish. The second race of the day caught many sailors out with a big right shift, but not Bedell, who led at the first mark closely followed by Chris Whalley until Lyttle and Law eased past with Bedell slipping back. Unlike the Radials after them, the final race saw a return to more predictable conditions with the usual suspects up front.


This day will be remembered for several reasons; the day that provided tricky choppy light conditions; the day Elvin didn't win a race (Byrne managed to break the winning streak to take race 6 after a very tricky shifty short race); and the day of the black flags. Nine sailors fell foul of the black flag, but Gareth Edwards was obviously influenced by the World Cup managed to score a hat trick of black flags!. Max Hunt, fresh back from Kiel Week and not wanting to let Gareth feel alone, also scored a black flag hat trick.

There was also a protest, just to tick all the boxes a top regatta must have!

On arriving back at the beach, the fleet were greeted by Joel from Laser Performance, one of the event's very generous sponsors, with his wife Sian who were handing out free beer and cider in the dinghy park. This kick-started the social for Saturday evening which culminated in more spot prizes and a draw for the Wildwind holiday won by Allison Hutton of the Radial fleet.

The Laser Masters fleet claims to be the only sailing fleet with its own band, and after the prize draw, sailors were treated to tunes from Tony Woods (saxophone), Rupert Bedell, David Trout, Gareth Edwards (guitars) and David Freeman (vocals). A true "Laser Performance"... we hear the Isle of Wight festival are looking to sign them up for next year, provided there is no clash with a Laser event!

Day 3 started warm with no wind. The Race Officer postponed, confident that the sea breeze would kick in. The breeze did kick in, and the sun continued to shine for the remainder of the races.


Lutz Hirsch from Germany won Race 7 by a country mile with Roger O'Gorman finally finding his pace in second from Whalley. Tony Woods didn't let his performance the previous night get in the way of his best result of the weekend in fourth just behind Andy Le Grice and ahead of Michael Hicks, the leading Great Grand Master.


Yet again Elvin led the way around the race course, with Hartley and Ann Keates taking up the next two places. Rob Cage, UKLA Vice Chairman, finally found his mojo and posted two 4th places. After Black Flag Saturday, it was a welcome change to cross the finish line and see the white board showing no sail numbers, instead '1/2 time England 5 Panama 0'!

Once ashore, the prize giving was held. Thanks to such great sponsors and organisation of the whole event being led so superbly by Gareth Edwards, some commented that they had never seen so many prizes at an event! Thanks go to Laser Performance, Southeast Sailboats, Tideway LLP, Rooster, Fernhurst Books and Phoenix Marine, as well as several sailors in the fleet who have helped fund new perpetual trophies.

Mark Lyttle (1st overall Standard fleet) summed up the event by saying it had been superbly run both on and off the water, and to spread the word because Laser Masters sailing is "the best gig in town".

The next UK Masters event takes the fleet to Pevensey Bay SC 1st and 2nd September 2018, and promises to be another superb event. A number of the Masters also plan on heading to Plymouth for the UK Laser Performance National and Open Laser Championships 21st to 27th July 2018 – the event promises to include great racing and social for Laser sailors of all ages.

Overall Results:

Standard Rig

PosNatSail NoCategoryHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stGBR211165GMMark LyttleQMSC111‑8115111
2ndGBR195867GMTim LAWSalcombe YC8‑1221237225
3rdGBR174621GMNick HARRISONStokes Bay SC265554‑8532
4thGBR213699GMAlan DAVISOxford SC‑12233111110646
5thGER173330MThomas w. MUELLERSCLM3347824‑26857
6thGBR204644MStuart HUDSONKeyhaven and Spinnaker104‑232162111661
7thGBR210671GMTony WOODSQmsc / Sbsc147813712‑16465
8thGBR213145GMChris ELLYATTQueen Mary SC158114108‑181470
9thGER205207MLutz HIRSCHMühlenberger Segelc519346651(DNC)76
10thGBR154030AMChris WHALLEYParkstone YC17131693‑1931980
11thGBR209122AMRoger O'GurmanQMSC111510(BFD)121621581
12thGBR213646MGareth GREENFIELDOxford SC7‑371817151341286
13thGBR213640MAndy LE GRICEWarsash(DNC)266152569390
14thGBR209265GGMMichael HICKSQueen Mary SC62514112210(DNC)795
15thGBR209121AMDave FREEMANQueen Mary91471920(DNF)201099
16thGBR182979AMTim PEARSEStokes Bay SC1999(BFD)4203511107
17thGBR209000GMTim DICKINSONHISC21171916‑28181525131
18thGBR210595AMJim FifieldKing George SC3821(DNC)182391313135
19thIRL185730AMRupert BEDELLQueen Mary4(UFD)12BFD926179137
20thGBR213005MNeil PETERSPevensey Bay SC305381030(UFD)621140
21stBEL206433MMichel MAJONCN Altea25101524‑44142829145
22ndGBR197237AMOlly BUSHWeir Wood SC20‑45222026151428145
23rdSUI207315GMMarkus OCHSWSV Doordrivjers13‑32241221322322147
24thGBR208270AMNeil DaviesQueen Mary1622272818‑362520156
25thGBR214073MDavid GODDARDWeirwood SC272330331921‑4218171
26thFRA202123GMFrançois MEESEMAECKERC N Wimereux24242914243524‑37174
27thSUI208305GMBeat HEINZRoyal Varuna YC221625(BFD)31372223176
28thGBR201942MBob CUDMOREParkstone YC‑5211132136403326180
29thGBR206716GGMPeter SHERWINChew Valley Lake34401722172527‑45182
30thGBR212061MSimon HARDIMANBartley S.c.2918413214‑423035199
31stGBR211257GMDavid CastleQMSC2835‑373132222130199
32ndGBR20539GMIan SWANNHISC2620352650740(DSQ)204
33rdGBR201939GMAshley DEAKINOvery Staithe183926(BFD)33333817204
34thGBR191029AMSimon RIDDLEStokes Bay SC‑5751402713461227216
35thFRA211183GMGilles GRENIERC N Schoelcher33272134‑39393433221
36thGBR213463GMGuy NOBLEQMSC32333923‑41313738233
37thGBR206890GMPatrick HAMILTONBurwain473120414530‑5124238
38thGBR214299MPeter MCCHRYSTALBlackpool & Fleetwood YC3741423527(UFD)2943254
39thGBR147122MCraig PALMERLancing353045‑4840343240256
40thAUS210150GGMJohn ROBERSONRoyal Perth YC3629(DNC)4355283632259
41stGBR208888GMSimon RADFORDBosham SC39‑49333847174739260
42ndGBR194879MMark RahnDovestone SC40484730372344‑55269
43rdGBR210979GMDavid HARTGILLParkstone YC503628505329‑5431277
44thGBR204915GMTim KNIGHTRLymYC4247‑503746491941281
45thGBR207700MJulian WilkinsChichester YC4444324929‑523947284
46thGBR201625MRob WHITTONStokes Bay SC‑4638443934384646285
47thGBR182219GMMalcolm MARSDENBlackpool and Fleetwood YC GG45‑52464035274350286
48thGBR142040GGMKim BowermanVNSC23‑53523652444144292
49thGBR211374MSteven FowlesQMSC4342364643‑514834292
50thNED213990MRutger FLIERMANWSV Doordrijvers4843‑494248453136293
51stGBR69MColston NICHOLSParkstone YC513431(DNC)42475342300
52ndGBR187515GMDavid BatesQMSC3150‑552551504951307
53rdGBR214266GMCarl DOWNINGStokes Bay SC4946‑514538434549315
54thGBR211363MMichael PryerQMSC412843(DNC)DNCDNC5048330
55thFRA213626GGMLogie 53‑57542954415554340
56thTRI204014GMIvan WESTERNWest Wittering545448444954‑5752355
57thGBR211406MAndrew CROSHERAldenham SC‑5855534756485653368
58thSUI158155GMMonica Bodmer 56565651585352(DNC)382
59thFRA68041GMPlovier BernandDYC55(DNF)DNC5257DNCDNCDNC404

Radial Rig

PosNatSail NoCategoryHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stGBR208663AMBen ELVINStokes Bay SC11111‑3117
2ndGBR213589MIan JONESDovestone SC453222‑8220
3rdGBR204969MRoberta HARTLEYParkstone YC3‑946442730
4thIRL212225AMAndrew BYRNEKing George537551‑9834
5thGBR162576GMTerry SCUTCHERShotleysc67538‑1451246
6thGBR200510MIan GREGORYFrensham Pond & Queen Mary288(BFD)3266356
7thGBR209412AMNiall PeeloQMSC1021014‑197161170
8thGBR213641GMRob CAGEThames SC714307(BFD)54471
9thUSA213558MAndrew HOLDSWORTHST. Francis YC1442121422‑25977
10thGBR198605GMJimmy CARTERLSC1112111311‑3314577
11thGBR213052GGMDavid BINDINGWeir Wood‑271119871315679
12thGBR204031MDavid CATTOHunts SC81015(BFD)209101082
13thGBR197742MJames StewartNetley SC17‑3120491071683
14thGBR203275AMIan ALDRIDGELancing9‑26251166132191
15thIRL206943MSean CRAIGRstgyc15181616101112(DNC)98
16thGBR212403GMAnn KEATESParkstone YC132032(BFD)1612323119
17thGBR213093GGMMike KINNEARGrafham Water SC12‑4412924181827120
18thGBR177861AMAlison STEVENSASA181926251317‑3615133
19thGBR210848MAndrew HARTLEYParkstone YC216619172744(DNC)140
20thGBR200678GMRichard EllisCCYC36172420(BFD)82019144
21stFRA210940GGMDaniel DEVOSSNPH19‑30212322213020156
22ndGBR212531AMTulloch PRIESTBough Beech20‑37272418241728158
23rdGBR202547GGMDavid TROUTLancing SC2529‑351015193229159
24thGBR210047GGMGlyn PURNELLLeigh & Lowton2323333326‑341113162
25thGBR213565MWesley ABSOLOMThorpe Bay YC‑4022173721282714166
26thGBR205151GMBruce SNELLINGBurghfield‑3228232812252924169
27thGBR213579GGMIan RAWETGrafham Water SC24‑39341523362818178
28thGBR214300GMMax HUNTWhitstable28159(BFD)BFDBFD2417191
29thGBR202204LRoger WILLIAMSStarcross2625(DNF)2235232238191
30thGBR203323GGMKevin PEARSONThames SC3413311728(DNC)3534192
31stGBR201709GMRobert DRAPERStokes Bay‑4638401839162626203
32ndGBR212199LNinian EADIEQueen Mary SC3524182638‑393132204
33rdFRA211190GMClaudine TATIBOUETC N Schoelcher373514383420‑4133211
34thGBR203320GMGareth EDWARDSQueen Mary SC222129(BFD)BFDBFD1925214
35thGBR209188GMPete BELLRoyal Lymington YC / Highcliffe SC393636‑4029292322214
36thGBR185608MMike ShepherdStokes Bay SC413213(DNF)27313739220
37thGER205206MAlexandra BEHRENSMuehlenberger Segel‑club16343930(BFD)3221DNC221
38thGBR210360GGMDavid KILLEYMaidenhead SC3043‑453233153340226
39thGBR190738MPete ALLSOPOxford4216222730(DNC)DNCDNC235
40thGBR183526GMTom EDOMDCA‑4441372132304037238
41stGBR152585GMSue RITCHIENewport Boatc334044292540‑4630241
42ndGBR209453MElizabeth BROWNRoyal Burnham YC / Burnham SC‑4327283636384236243
43rdGBR198155GMSteve TAYLORChelmarsh3833383537(BFD)3435250
44thGBR207984GGMAlison HUTTONBudworth SC45‑46423140373843276
45thGBR191334GMJonathan JONESWOBYC294241(DNC)DNCDNC3931280
46thGBR206502GGMHilary THOMASLocks SC3147(DNC)3941DNC4341291
47thGBR200307MDariusz SADOWSKIBough Beech SC‑4745434142354542293
48thGBR201962GMNolan DAWSONOxford(DNC)DNCDNC343141DNCDNC302

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