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Laser Masters Qualifier at Pevensey Bay Sailing Club

by Guy Noble 23 May 19:50 BST 18-19 May 2019

The omens weren't good for the Laser Masters Qualifier at Pevensey Bay Sailing Club. All the forecasts predicted a very light 3 or 4 knots easterly but the competitors arrived to a good 6 to 8 knots and the 50 helms entered were eager to start racing. Indeed a bit too eager, after two general recalls the standard fleet needed a black flag to calm everyone down and get proceedings under way.

With a stonking tide lifting boats up to the windward mark those who pushed out on starboard made the biggest gains - Orlando Gledhill, Sergio Messina and Andy le Grice taking the three top spots.

As predicted the wind eased and race 2 was looking like a tricky contest. The RO started us under a black flag, this caught a couple out but the majority trundled out left on starboard. After initially looking like they were on the better side the wind eased and the brave few who tacked off early found a bit more pressure on the right with Chris Ellyatt making big gains after a poor start.

Chris, Will Apps (from Lancing SC, making his debut in the Masters), Guy Noble and Alan Davis all rounded ahead of the pack. The slow broad reach against the tide was tense and rewarded those who kept their cool. Mike Hicks and Roger O'Gorman made some big gains: Roger by going high and gybing in later and Mike by just going fast - always a good strategy. With the course shortened the final leg was a procession: Chris Ellyatt getting the gun Alan Davis second and Roger O'Gorman third.

The majority of the competitors stayed for a terrific evening barbecue laid on by the club. There was much talk of the following days decision on whether the Laser would be included in the 2024 Olympics - a topic that every Laser sailor understandably has an opinion about.

Sunday's conditions looked iffy and so it proved although the first race was sailed in a reasonable 5 or 6 Knots NNE. However with the strong 3 knot tide it wasn't possible complete the whole race although that didn't stop Orlando Gledhill stretching out a very impressive lead to take the win. Alan Davis's lead was now under threat, if Orlando could finish in the top three and beat Alan he would go home with the chocolates.

The last race was just about to start when the wind shifted 20 degrees to the right and the RO (Peter White) rightly ran up the AP flag. With the course reset those who pushed out to the left found more pressure and moved ahead. Unfortunately Orlando was about fourth or fifth... err. from last. and Alan was narrowly leading the fleet.

The wind was now dying but the Laser Masters find it hard to give up and Orlando just kept on going. In the end it wasn't enough, recovering to finishing ninth and Alan took the win. Tony Woods drifted over the line in second and Sergio Messina third. A good two races for Sergio moved him up to second overall with Orlando third but the day and the regatta went to Alan Davis.

While the wind gods were away for the weekend Pevensey Bay Sailing Club did a great job of making the best of some challenging conditions and special thanks goes out to the RO Peter White and his team, the great food supplied by the kitchen team and the incredibly smooth running beach team.

This regatta saw great support from many clubs but it is worth highlighting two clubs in particular. First there was an impressive showing from Queen Mary Sailing Club with seven sailors finishing in the top ten: a reflection on the enthusiasm and dedication Tony Woods, the fleet captain, has put into helping build a great club fleet. Wembley Sailing Club are the new arrivals into the Masters fleet they had the second largest number of entries in the standard fleet. We hope to see you all at the Masters Nationals in July 5th, 6th and 7th at Torbay.

Once again thanks to our sponsors Laser Performance, Southeast Sailboats, Tideway Investments, Minorca Holidays, Wildwind Holidays and Fenhurst Books for their continued support.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st213699Alan DAVISOxford SC‑52215
2nd197693Sergio MessinaBough Beech Sc2‑14439
3rd202549Orlando GLEDHILLQMSC1‑121911
4th214415Chris ElllyattQMSC813‑2212
5th213640Andy Le GriceWarsash37‑9616
6th214610Tony WOODSQmsc / Sbsc69‑11217
7th209122Roger O'GormanIrelands Own43PI1‑517
8th209265Michael HICKSQueen Mary SC114‑12419
9th213463Guy NOBLEQueen Mary SC1566‑2327
10th213773Neil DAVIESQM1011‑14728
11th207357Jeff LOOSEMOREWitstable ScPI1107‑2131
12th179660Will APPSLancing SC165‑181233
13th209003Mark GREENSTREETWembley SC‑2119101039
14th215933John CURRANWembley SC‑201881440
15th213708Craig PALMERLancing SC14(DNF)20842
16th210595Jim FifieldKG&E Slipper SC121615(DNS)43
17th195867Tim LawSalcombe Sc78(DNC)DNC44
18th207700Julian WilkinsChichester YC1915‑221347
19th211870Joza CICWembley SC‑2413191547
20th214073David GODDARDWeirwood SC18‑23131647
21st197237Olly BushWeirwood SC1717(DNS)1852
22nd215376Nicolas VAN TIENENStokes Bay‑2520161753
23rd203159Geoffry BushWeirwood SC1321(DNS)2054
24th215302Tom TINDALLWembley SC23(OCS)211155
25th213639John DICKINSONChelmarsh‑2222171958
26th212459Garry KNOTTPennine(DNC)DNCDNCDNC87
26th215174Simon STONEHOUSERutland SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC87
26th180834Tom Flinton (DNC)DNCDNCDNC87

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