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Sailing Chandlery Laser Thames Valley Grand Prix at Welsh Harp Sailing Club

by Mike Smith 14 Sep 18:33 BST 31 August 2019
Sailing Chandlery Laser Thames Valley Grand Prix at Welsh Harp © WHSC

Saturday 31st August was forecast to be sunny with a moderate breeze from the SW. By the time the 26 eager competitors had registered and tucked into their bacon sarnies, the wind had increased a bit to about 15 knots, still SW.

Briefing over, the Lasers gathered at the start line: two 4.7 youths, four Radials and the main fleet on full rigs. By then, the ever mercurial Harp winds had changed to a westerly, necessitating a shorter line and first leg to the windward mark. Miraculously, all started on time and fought for the starboard line to the windward mark.

On the second race, the subs went back to SW and with at least six boats over the line required a recall and a black flag restart. WHSC put on a delicious lunch of home-made pizza and salads, and we were ready for two more races in the afternoon. Overall, there were good winds for all four races, and lots of close competition and overtaking in all parts of the fleet.

After tea we had prize-giving, sponsored by SailingChandlery, with some close scores.

David Jessop (Queen Mary) 1st
Jamie Blake (Great Moor) 2nd
Peter Edel (King George) 3rd
Danny Stegmeier (Wembley) 4th

Chris McKay (HOAC) was first in the Radials, and Kai Blackah (WHSC) first on the 4.7 youths. Special prizes were also given to Maurice Futerman (WHSC) for the most capsizes while still finishing the races, and to Edward Brown for surviving a resounding knock from his boom.

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

14th September Frensham Pond Sailing Club
21st September Datchet Water Sailing Club
28th September London Corinthian Sailing Club
12th October Burghfield Sailing Club

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

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