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RC Laser Northern District Championship at West Lancashire Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 17 Sep 23:15 BST 16 September 2018
RC Laser Northern District Championship © Rob Wheeler

Today was the concluding part of the Northern District series as well as the Northern District Championship title. With a somewhat indifferent weather forecast, only six Skippers turned up, or maybe some were taking a late summer holiday break.

We had Dave from Kingsmill, Hugo from Burwain, a couple from Fleetwood and two local Skippers that were going to man the running along with Trevor to do the scoring.

It was mild but overcast with drizzle that was off and on for the first hour or so, so a slightly delayed start was in agreement by all. By 10:30, looking like it might start to clear, Dave had given some direction and instruction to Colin for the whereabouts and placement of the buoys.

The wind suddenly swung 90 degrees to the west and we were good to go. All were at the start dressed in B rig with the 2 minute countdown apart from Tony who seemed to be having the rudder servo jitters. Two laps of a typical triangular course where performed in quick succession. Skip came to Tony's aid with a spare servo which seemed to be no better, if not worse than the last. Guess who had forgotten his spares bag, oh well, the spare hull from Dave to the rescue and we now had six boats on the start line with a shorter countdown of just a minute.

Skip had won the first race, then Shaun won a couple. Then Dave had a win followed by Hugo with a first. So we had had four separate winners in just a few races. It was going to be interesting.

The same format continued up to lunch, with Trevor hitting the start button as soon as all were back in harbour and ready to go again Eight races by lunchtime and we had only been sailing for an hour and a half.

A bit of warm up with a cup of coffee, a bowl of farmhouse vegetable soup and a wedge of thick cut bread before the afternoon session. Meanwhile Hugo had brought over a handful of spare servos for Tony to start operating on his hull, but now it seemed as if his receiver had started to play up. Oh well, back to Dave hull with the same personalised sail number 85.

Up until lunch it was looking as if we had been battling in pairs. Shaun was ahead of Dave. Hugo was ahead of Skip and Tony was really struggling with boat fatigue as now the transmitter was showing low and range problems seemed to be an issue. Hugo was also having some sort of argument with himself as he was getting a delayed radio response up at that windward mark.

There was some good grouping of boats and it looked like a few tactical manuovers were being performed throughout the races, so you were guessing to what order the boats would finish in.

A spare receiver pack and isolating the switch in Dave's boat for a race or two, then a handful of borrowed cells from Colin and Shaun before deciding the rudder servo is also playing up. Tony now transfers his sail to a third hull being the spare from Hugo. What would we do without these helpful guys?

The last few races seemed to go just fine for all and Trevor had squeezed in all sixteen races well before the 3pm deadline for a well earned cup of coffee and piece of cake.

Trevor totted up the scores and prize giving went ahead, and it was to no great surprise Dave had won both the day and the series. We had a brief chat about our next forth coming events and a reminder for any thinking about the final in the TT tavellers series at the end of October coupled with the RC Laser Nationals to be held at Gosport.

Thanks to the West Lanc's Club and all the stewards on the day and for the endless supply of spares. The weather had held up reasonably well with a good stiff breeze throughout the day.

Results for the day:
1 Dave Fowler
2 Shaun Holbeche
3 Skip Reaser

Results for the Series:

1 Dave Fowler
2 John Sharman
3 Rob Wheeler

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