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Essex Rigging Laser open meeting at Thorpe Bay Yacht Club

by Wesley Absolom 20 Jun 16:32 BST
Essex Rigging Laser open meeting at Thorpe Bay © Steve Hopper

Thorpe Bay Yacht Club held the Laser Open Meeting on 15th/16th June, which was sponsored by Essex Rigging.

The forecast was SW 10 knots increasing early afternoon to 15 knots. With a fleet of thirteen Lasers assembled in the starting area the postponement flag went up due to the unstable shifting SE. The race officer, Howard Warrington, was patient and waited for the breeze to veer to the SW and it quickly built to about 15 knots.

Race 1: the fleet got away first time on the 1-mile beat in choppy seas. Rick Paxman was first round the windward mark closed followed by Mark Dell, Robin Foster-Taylor and Adam Smith. Places remained the same downwind but half way up the second beat Paxman's outhaul parted and ended his race. Dell went on to take the win from Foster-Taylor with Smith third and Chris Clarke fourth. In the Radial Wes Absolom was first with Ben Warrington second and Ellie Morgan third.

Race 2: and the wind was up 20-22 knots. Foster-Taylor was first round the windward mark followed by Dell, Clarke, George Warrington and Smith. Positions mid fleet we're changing with every leg but the leaders pretty much stayed the same despite some very close racing. In the Radials Absolom was first, Warrington second and Morgan third.

Race 3: an excellent start and first beat from Dell and Clarke saw them lead the fleet round the windward mark but were closely followed by Foster-Taylor and a re-rigged Paxman. Shortly after rounding Dell capsized and handed to lead to Clarke who minutes later also capsized in a gust. Foster-Taylor went on to win with Dell managing to sail back up to second place with Paxman third. In the Radials it was again Absolom followed by Warrington.

On Sunday the breeze was 22-24 knots and building with gusts of 34 knots. The fleet were held ashore until the course had been laid and then only 8 lasers venture out.

Race 4: Foster-Taylor led from the start and sailed a great race but was pushed all the way by Dell in second and Chris Tong third. The downwind legs were pretty lively as were the gybe marks and a number of boats had some spectacular windward capsizes, one of which broke his mast.

Race 5: the fleet was now down to six as the breeze continued to build. After just one lap, a mile beat/downwind leg, the race officer decided to shorten the course to everyone's relief. Dell sailed another great race and took the win closely followed by Tong in second and Smith third.

Standard Fleet Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1213572Robin Foster‑Taylor2111(DNC)5
2150714Mark Dell1‑22216
3210975Adam Smith35‑65316
4215429George Warrington‑6454417
5203301Chris Tong77‑73219
6113260Harry Boygle564RET(DNS)29
7190711Chris Clarke43RETDNS(DNS)37
8205892Rick PaxmanRETDNS3DNS(DNS)46
9210237Glenn RatcliffeRET8RETDNS(DNS)53
10195192Richard SandsRETDNSDNSDNS(DNS)56

Radial Fleet Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1213565Wesley Absolom1111‑14
2147142Ben Warrington222RET(DNS)28
3142406Ellie Morgan33RETDNS(DNS)48

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