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RC Laser Northern Series at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club - Round 1

by Tony Wilson 8 Oct 21:24 BST 7 October 2018
Fleetwood RC Laser Northern Series round 1 ©

Fleetwood was the first location for the six part RC Laser Autumn/Winter series being held at three separate lakes. We had a frosty morning which is fine and now with overcast skies and a moderate breeze from the South West it was going to be good.

The usual sail swapping with the folks went on, just wondering which was the right one for the opening race. The A sail was soon set aside as it was more likely to be the B rig or even the C sail. Only seven skippers entered this open event and all were locals from the Fleetwood club.

We now have a second Eric that has joined us recently and Ian also who had just picked up his full Laser package this very weekend. Both new guys have sailed other classes so weren't absolute newbies to radio sailing.

Trevor made his boat ready as we had some interest from a passer-by, which left volunteer Bob as race officer for the day, A short discussion among the lads and a rectangular shaped course was agreed on. The first race went ahead and it was evident that we were missing a working vital beat to that windward mark, and was being achieved basically on just a reach.

The second race was started from under the bridge with now an adjusted diagonal line and a reduced start time of a minute for all of the remainder two lap racing. We soon started to rattle off the races getting back to the finish in usually just under 10 minutes for the whole fleet. It helped by using the top half of the lake thus eliminating lots of walking.

Eric Reid had won our first race, then Tony won one and then Jim, so it was going to be a bit of a mixed bag of results. By mid morning the remaining few B sails were taken down and finally all including Peter settled for the C sail. We completed eight full races by a slightly delayed lunch break, but it was still well before 1pm.

Midway results had Tony well in the lead and would need some catching, so was it going to be a couple more races, four more or were we going to get in another eight to give us a full three discards.

We raced three more races, but then the wind etched up a notch and folks started to grasp their storm sails. Everyone changed along with Ian whom had just come back from a minor repair to join us. We managed a full house of sixteen races and it was our other Eric that won the last couple. Eric Reid had set his sail for him in the previous week, but wasn't doing too well for himself.

It had been a close day of racing all day and it would be good to see how skippers past and present would have compared to the fleet. Ian had also awarded himself with a first and fully enjoyed the running and maiden of his new boat. We were all well behaved and well mannered only Jim was having a few stern words with himself and occasionally mentioned how much he didn't like the D sail.

Bob did a great job in keeping us on the move and he seemed to be the only one that was a tad cold. Not being able to sit in his car on the slipway for the start line was a shame, but under the bridge in the open elements. Maybe we could knock him up one of those protective Pope pods to shelter in and keep him warm.

And for our two Rookie Newbies sailing alongside well-seasoned Laser Skippers of many years, by no means were they out of their depth and they are certainly ones to keep an eye on in the future.

The next event is in only a week's time over at West Lancs' Southport Sailing Club. Plenty of time to make an impression as it's your best three from six results to count.

Top Three Results:

1 Tony Wilson 23pts
2 Eric Austwick 36 pts
3 Jim Lydon 39 pts

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