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SailingFast Laser Qualifier at Sunderland Yacht Club

by Daisy Collingridge & Keith Videlo 4 Oct 2019 18:30 BST 28-29 September 2019
SailingFast Sunderland Laser Qualifier © SYC

On the weekend of the 28-29th September 48 keen Laser Radial, 20 Standard and 36 4.7s sailors made the journey to Sunderland to kick off the first of three winter World and European qualifiers. With high winds forecast for many areas along the South coast and tales of cancelled competitions elsewhere, we were all ecstatic to get six races in.

Laser Radial Fleet

Saturday brought offshore, extremely gusty winds. After a short delay to lay the course the Radials were off on their first race. Irish sailor Dan McGaughey took advantage of the pin bias and was able to flick over onto port early to take a controlling position. He led from British Sailing Teams' Ali Young. The two battled it out for the majority of the race until Young pulled away taking the win from McGaughey with youth sailor James Foster in hot pursuit.

The second race saw Young, Foster and McGaughey fight for first until the top reach. With the three sailors sailing high in an attempt to get past each other, Daisy Collingridge followed by recently crowned Youth World Champion Matilda Nicholls managed to take some distance out of the leaders. Collingridge sneaked past McGaughey on the final downwind to take third place meanwhile Foster championed over Young to take the race win.

The third and fourth races of the day saw Jon Emmett come into his own, taking both race wins from Young who scored two seconds followed by Collingridge behind with two thirds. The sailors returned to shore after a tiring but enjoyable day on the water.

The following day the sailors were presented with new conditions. With the wind coming onshore there was more of a sea state to play with. The first race saw a heavily pin biased start line which resulted in a general recall but we subsequently got away. Foster, showing his skill again, rounded the windward first with a babble of sailors close behind. He and Emmett opted for the go right leeward gate mark whilst Young followed by Collingridge picked the left hand side.

A slight left shift gave the two British Sailing Team sailors the advantage at the top mark. They finished in this order with Emmett finishing in third ahead of Foster.

The final race of the weekend closely followed. Collingridge and Foster were able to get off cleanly at the pin and rounded the top mark first and second. Young demonstrated her downwind speed to take the win by a convincing distance with Collingridge fending off Foster and Emmett to finish in that order.

Consistent sailing meant Ali Young triumphed in first place followed by Jon Emmett in second and Daisy Collingridge in third. First Under 19 boy went to James Foster, who finished in fourth and Matilda Nicholls finished top Under 19 girl in sixth position.

Full Radial Results

Laser 4.7 Fleet

In the Laser 4.7s Freddie Howarth enjoyed Saturday's stronger breeze by winning the three out of the four races and the series. Second was Oliver Allen-Wilcox with a very a consistent series with the worst race to count being a fifth. Third overall was Jack Graham-Troll.

In the Girl's event, Samantha Edwards showed great speed to comfortably win the series, followed by Jasmin Robertson and Lucy Davis.

Full 4.7 Results

Laser Standard

In the Standard fleet the racing at the top was very close, with one point separating the top three boats. Lorenzo Chiavarini showed why he is the European Champion winning the event from Michael Beckett and Elliot Hanson. Both Beckett and Hanson having to discard a black flag result after being pushed over the line by the tide in race 5.

Full Standard Results

Thanks, as always, to all the volunteers at Sunderland Yacht club and the race committee for a brilliant weekend, also SailingFast for sponsoring and supporting the event, and providing the prizes.

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