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Laser Open at Bough Beech Sailing Club

by Peter Young 7 May 13:55 BST 4 May 2019
Bough Beech Laser Open © BBSC

Despite a feisty forecast, 20 sailors arrived to be greeted by clear skies, sunshine and a cup of tea at Bough Beech Sailing Club on Saturday 4 May. The line-up included racers from the South Coast and plenty of inland specialists, such is the draw of Bough Beech's shapely and picturesque waters. All three flavours of Laser variant were represented with the Standards drawing the largest crowd.

The race officer, Karen Irons, set a "d" shaped course which allowed for all points of sailing and a start-line with a few degrees of port bias. Race 1 saw Olly Bush from Weir Wood set the pace to the top mark ahead of local lad Peter Young, only to leave him swimming after the next turning mark. Dave Freeman, a QMSC exile, moved forward to snap at Bush's heals but failed to reel him in. In the Radials, veteran Rob Cage set the tone with a win, despite some sparring with Steph Wicken. It was Caspar Barton who was to draw first blood in the smaller but competitive 4.7 fleet.

Race 2 was to be Freeman's. He led it from start to finish, extending his lead as lesser mortals practised their swimming in the 25 knot gusts. Few had noticed that Pevensey's Neil Peters had posted a second and a third as the fleet headed to shore for lunch. Another bullet was posted by Cage in the Radials but it was Luca Franklin that took line honours in the 4.7s.

After a sumptuous lunch, the fleet hit the water in a strengthening breeze. Bush worked the beat ahead of Young to the top mark, but threw it away with a nasty capsize to windward. Behind, Peters worked to close the gap and was rewarded with some pressure on the downwind leg to take the lead and post his first race win. In the Radials and 4.7s it was bullets for Cage and Franklin respectively.

Anemometers hit more than 30 knots as Race 4 got under way and all the fleets battled to windward amongst white horses. In the Standards, Peters led only to the top mark. Struggling to bear off in the squall, he found himself having to tack around to get back on course. Young, in second place, showed characteristic bravery and went for a gybe and found himself death rolling and swimming quite a common feature of the event. Peters hiked through to take line honours from Bush and an exhausted Freeman. Again, it was Cage and Franklin that showed their mastery in the Radials and 4.7s respectively.

Ashore, Neil Peters thanked BBSC's Laser Captain, Peter Winbourne, the Race Officer, kitchen team and volunteers during what was to prove to be a long and marginally entertaining acceptance speech. In all, it was another excellent, fun, and extremely enjoyable Open at Bough Beech SC.

Overall Results:

PosHelmClub
Laser Standard
1Neil PetersPevensey Bay SC
2Olly BushWeir Wood SC
3Dave FreemanQueen Mary SC
Laser Radial
1Rob CageWeir Wood SC
2Steph WickenWilsonian SC
3Miles VidlerCrawley Mariners YC
Laser 4.7
1Luca FranklinBough Beech SC
2Caspar BartonBough Beech SC
3Ed RonstoneNewhaven SC

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