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Clipper Ventures

RC Laser and DF65 Winter Series at West Lancashire Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 4 Mar 11:42 GMT 3 March 2019
RC Laser and DF65 Winter Series at Southport (West Lancs) © Tony Wilson

As quick as that and one week on were back to Southport. The drive in along the bouncy promenade road shouldn't be taken too quickly and certainly not straight after breakfast.

Some already have two results in separate classes and another would complete their series. So the choice this week was the Laser or the small Dragon. The nicer weather had left us and if we weren't quick enough with the races, we could certainly see an odd shower before the afternoon concluded

By the time we had adorned our B rigs, light rain had already started. Nine of us for the Lasers this time and only 5 dragons. The dragons had opted for their normal stock 'A' rig and were first off the block.

A one minute start interval and the the lasers took to flight on a triangle sausage course. The smaller boats missed out the outer wing mark to keep some separation between the two classes.

Tony was off like a shot on the first race with John Sharman also going wide. John's head must have still been on holiday, because he went extra wide and was off towards the island, not really focused on where that windward mark really was. After tracking back and keeping the same order he gave the first win to Tony.

The next race went to John Sharman and then John Armstrong won a race. Before the fourth race started Alan and John S. jumped into the boat to adjust the start line and the odd mark. The wind was forecast to swing from the west to the east as the day went on.

The short interval was timed nicely for Peter to swap a rudder servo. Two years constant use isn't bad, but it was Trevor that's got the knack of quickly getting them clips switched back in place that sped up the process. It must be with him being left handed that seem to make it a lot easier, than us mere mortals.

'A' rig had now been beckoning as there seemed to be a drop in the wind. The dragons exchanged for their 'A' plus at a similar time. We had a couple more races that led us nicely up to lunch just as the wind seemed to die right off.

John S. had been sailing well and was ahead on points, with John A. and Tony on equal points.

A reversed course was to be taken and it looked like a change of sail could be imminent. Some took the wise decision and jumped straight to the B rig, while a few persevered, but you knew they would also join you very shortly.

Ken decided to stick with the big sail and he was doing extremely well until the final couple of yards, when he gave away a second place and being stalled let the rest of the fleet pass. Even John who had started the race late due to his boat not being switched on passed him.

Skip had been helping his West Lanc's students with some helpful tips and Colin seems to be getting better all the while. Ken stood his ground well at a near by mark and wasn't to be bullied into submission and he commanded water at the mark, in a repeated stern voice.

Eric R. wasn't having to good a day, he has recently returned with a pair of new eyes. Lasered and had his cataraks done or something. Thinking we would be in trouble as Eric knows all the racing rules, didn't really help him much. Something about not seeing the far marks and another visit to the opticians for a new adjusted pair of glasses was muttered.

We were all now in 'B' suit and had all been pre warned about the wind getting up. Halfway through the race and the wind just left us completely for a good five minutes of a drifting calmness. We were in the eye of the storm. The wind as soon as it had gone returned in like manner and it looked like we would all now change down another rig to 'C' rig.

All except John Armstong, who remained with his B for a couple of races. He knew his scores were close with Tony and needed the extra something different to make sure. He managed fairly well until finally giving in for the last race.

John Sharman had easily won the day with about half a dozen wins. Most skippers had had a win under their belt for the day and we concluded just before 3pm.

The dragons finished a couple of races earlier than us and felt that by the time they had re rigged their boats, too much time would have been lost so late in the day.

John Brierley won with Mike in second and Sue took third place in the dragon fleet.

We had a good day sailing and nobody had dropped out. The lake had it's usual activity of full size sailing and there was some high performance engine revving on the far distant bank that sometimes sounded like we were under gunfire when they occasionally backfired, but that was OK, each to their own enjoyment.

The rain had been persistent, although only light. Come the 3pm deadline and suddenly the heavens opened.

This week concluded the Df65 and in a fortnight's time we have the last of the DF95 along with the Laser.

Results RC Laser:

1 John Sharman 22pts
2 John Armstrong 32 pts
3 Tony Wilson 35 pts

Results DF 65:

1 John Brierley 9 pts
2 Mike Parkington 17 pts
3 Sue Parkington 29 pts

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