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Laser Thames Valley Series open meeting at Aldenham Sailing Club

by Mark Dickinson 13 Jun 16:29 BST 9 June 2019
Laser Thames Valley Series at Aldenham © ASC

A lovely blue sky day with light clouds and a southerly F2 greeted 15 boats, including five visitors, to Aldenham Sailing Club to contest four races for the club's Laser Salver which was first presented in 1981.

A day earlier we would have been blown away, and a day later; washed away!

Not surprisingly the locals took advantage of their home water intelligence with the usual mercurial Aldenham winds doing their best to thwart the unwary.

Race 1 saw considerable bunching of the fleet, but as the wind picked up Steve Fischer (ASC) initially took full advantage developing a strong lead followed by Rob Whitton (Stokes Bay) with Kelvin Jones (ASC) in third place. A gentle pace for most of the three-lap race saw positions being held with the chasing pack being unable to make up ground. Richard Holmes (ASC) was the hero of the race having to pull in to repair a broken outhaul but still managed to catch up to the pack by the end of the race. Steve and Kelvin pulled clear away by the end with Rob and Colin Carver (ASC) in third and fourth.

Race 2 saw Tim Le Couilliard (ASC), having returned from his holiday in the early hours, take advantage of a little breeze to come out from the middle of the fleet which was practically becalmed at times, followed by Steve. There was close combat between these two until the end of the race. Tim looked a certain winner as he rounded the last mark but was pipped on the line by Steve. The fleet was well spread out as the wind picked up. Steve, Tim, James Le Couilliard and Andy Crosher made up an Aldenham 1, 2, 3 and 4.

Returning to shore for an excellent lunch signalled the wind to pick up, but then drop right off and become very variable in direction when the fleet took to the water again. Steve having had the perfect morning was looking far from relaxed as anything could happened in the final two races.

Race 3 saw the fleet strung out in a line with no obvious advantage being gained from either end of the line. However, Tim developed a strong lead, emerging from the pack followed by several visitors who seemed to be getting the hang of the Aldenham environment, now in second, third and fourth. Tim smashed this one, leaving all behind, seeming to generate speed with no obvious wind. Steve who started mid fleet managed to claw his way up to an important third place by the end. David Lambert (ASC) managed to capsize during the race despite a complete lack of wind but then unfortunately cut his hand launching for race 4 requiring a visit to A&E.

Race 4 had another slow start with the fleet bunched early on. As the wind died out, the fleet was becalmed once more. This time however it was the visitors that took full advantage of whatever breeze they could find and Peter Edel (King George) came first, to add to his second in race 3, with Rob second and Andy third.

Overall Steve had done enough in the morning to keep Tim and visitors Peter and Rob at bay to secure the victory.

In the Radial fleet the youths of Alistair Brown (Great Moor) and Aaron Evans (Silver Wing) had a close fought battle both finishing mid fleet, but it was Alistair who took the Radial prize.

Overall Results:

Radial & Youth - Alistair Brown (Great Moor)
Master - Rob Whitton (Stokes Bay)
Grandmaster - Steve Fischer (Aldenham)
Great Grandmaster - David Killey (Maidenhead)
Spot prize, sponsored by Sailing Chandlery - Andy Crosher (Aldenham)

PosClassDivisionSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1stLASERGM208998Steve FischerAldenham SC113‑55
2ndLASER 203302Tim Le CouilliardAldenham SC‑62147
3rdLASER 210139Peter EdelKing George SC‑55218
4thLASERM201625Rob WhittonStokes Bay SC3‑115210
5thLASERM211406Andrew CrosherAldenham SC‑1047314
6thRADIALY208659Alistair BrownGreat Moor SC‑1474617
7thLASERM207086James Le CouilliardAldenham SC83‑10819
8thLASERGM209002Colin CarverAldenham SC4‑1261020
9thRADIALY202543Aaron EvansSilver Wing SC‑1268923
10thLASERGGM210360David KilleyMaidenhead SC7‑109723
11thLASERGM209005Kelvin JonesAldenham SC28(DNC)DNC26
12thLASERM166603Richard HolmesAldenham SC‑139111131
13thLASERGM188286Mike WilcockAldenham SC9‑14121233
14thLASERGGM207080David LambertAldenham SC111313(DNC)37
15thLASERGGM204718Paul ReynoldsAldenham SC1515(DNC)DNC46

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