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Laser Thames Valley Grand Prix at King George Sailing Club

by Peter Edel 10 Jun 19:28 BST 8 June 2019

The sixth outing of the Laser Thames Valley Grand Prix took part on Saturday 8th June, on what was a near gale. With 35 knots gusting the fleet was depleted, but nonetheless enthusiastic to get afloat.

Five standards and five radials hit the water for three back-to-back races. Race officer, Vince Horey, made sure races were swiftly and kept to a nice length, whilst the rescue crews ensured that everyone was accounted for with boats ideally the right way up.

The first race got away after a small postponement, the South-westerly proved more than challenging with a host of swims along the way by many. If you didn't manage to capsize, you wouldn't have know it as by the time you reached the windward mark you were soaked by the waves. Needless to say, Tony Cooper proved to be more than a bandit in the radial rig (he admits he didn't fancy wearing his big boy pants and sailing a standard) having blasted around the course he took his first bullet of the day. Jim Fifield however kept pace with him and showed us all how to keep a standard rig under control in the conditions.

Race two had a similar theme to race one, albeit that David King proved that he also had what it takes to tame the boat in the horrific conditions. Whilst Aaron Evans from Silver Wing proved that the juniors can mix it amongst the adults by getting a second in the radial fleet.

Race three, once again, swiftly off. A nice shift towards the windward mark ensured Tony Cooper rounded first, only to suffer a capsize at the gybe mark, alongside a few others. At this point a few of us were done for the day and called it quits and left the high wind masters to it. Tony and Jim, both respectively and deservedly gain wins in their fleets.

Overall Results:

Standards
1st Jim Fifield
2nd David King
3rd Gary Bullock

Radials
1st Tony Cooper
2nd Aaron Evans
3rd Richard Clay

The spot prize, sponsored by Sailing Chandlery, was awarded to Leila Moore, for her bounce back from injury to finishing all of the challenging races.

Looking further ahead, there are still nine more meetings scheduled, with six needed to qualify. It would be great to see as many faces as possible attending.

15th June - Island Barn Sailing Club
23rd June - Wembley Sailing Club
29th June - Maidenhead Sailing Club
13th July - Fishers Green Sailing Club
31st August - Welsh Harp Sailing Club
14th September - Frensham Pond Sailing Club
21st September - Datchet Water Sailing Club
28th September - London Corinthian Sailing Club
12th October - Burghfield Sailing Club

Furthermore, I would like to thank Sailing Chandlery for their support towards the series.

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