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RC Laser National and Northern District TT at Fleetwood Model Boat Club

by John Armstong 19 Jun 14:42 BST 16 June 2019
RC Laser National and Northern District TT at Fleetwood © Amy Brown

On Sunday a superb turnout of 22 boats turned out at Fleetwood Model Boat Club for the second part of the 2 event weekend RC Laser Travelers Trophy series. Boosted by a large turnout of home club boats. This followed the TT event at Lytham St Annes the day before.

On arrival at the club we discovered that there was a light to moderate southerly breeze. The worst possible direction with the breeze coming from over the road through the houses. Early boats on the water went out with a mixture of A and B rigs. However before the start of the first race it became very clear that some of the gusts coming through were way beyond A rig conditions!

For the first couple of races the course consisted of a 2 lap series of zig zags up the lake giving a couple of windward beats and downwind legs. Despite the number of entries the starts were orderly with just a couple of individual recalls being called. Tactics for these races were basically being ever vigilant to the shifty nature of the wind. No surprise then when local sailor and current national champion Derek Priestly took the first race.

Before race 3 the wind started to move a bit to the west allowing a longer beat down the lake. The course then became a simple triangle. The decision then became whether to start at the left hand end of the start line and beat up the near shore or start at the right hand end and tack over to the far bank. Most races the near bank looked good with the leading boats having a good lead only to run out of wind and have the far bank boats sail past them. The first windward mark was also very congested with the large entry. For the last few races before lunch the windward mark was moved further down the lake which helped this situation.

By the end of the morning Derek Priestly had a commanding lead having won 5 of the 7 races sailed. In second place was John Sharman who won the last race of the morning having spotted the wind having fewer gusts and changed up to an A rig. The only boat to do so. The other race winner in the morning was Shaun Priestly.

The afternoon saw only 3 races sailed as we adjourned late for lunch. The course remained the same but the wind had increased a bit with all boats back on B rigs. Derek took 2 more race wins with the other going to Peter Baldwin of Birkinhead.

The day had been a huge success with all boats having moments of glory and great battles throughout the fleet. Derek Priestly was a worthy winner with John Sharman of Burwain putting together a very consistent series to take second place. Third place went to Mike Parkington of Fleetwood.

Thank you to Fleetwood for once again organizing a great event and we look forward to returning in September when they will be hosting the 2019 RC Laser National Championships.

Overall Results: (top three)

1st Derek Priestly 10pts
2nd John Sharman 20pts
3rd Mike Parkington 31pts

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