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Medway RC Laser Winter Series event 6 at Barton Point Country Park Lake

by Jamie Blair 14 Jan 15:27 GMT 12 January 2020
RC Laser Winter Series event 6 at Medway © Jamie Blair

Overnight the rain came down and the wind howled and even as the cars pulled up there was rain in the air. The sky was beginning to brighten and the blue sky appear. The wind had dropped but only to just under 20 knots.

With the SW direction the course was laid away from the café to get shelter from the nearby headland. Launching was a bit of a challenge with the waves breaking over the concrete walkway.

There was no prolonged conversation as to which rig - D rigs were broken out and set to work for the 10 racers. With the race area behind the headland the beat length was shorter than normal so a three rounds course of triangle sausage triangle was adopted.

Race 1 saw the windward end of the line favour and as previous weeks the line-up brought the initial pack close to the line for the last 20 seconds. A second gaggle were looking for the gap as the front line were swept down the line. Early sheeting in saw the boats jump forward but the line was clear with Jamie Blair shooting through. He was to leeward of the second wave leaving him and others pushed out beyond the port lay line. Jamie used this to his advantage by easing sheets and powering forward to reach the windward mark first and defend this position to the finish. Adrian Tomlinson chased hard with Tim Townsend taking third.

Race 2 a similar format but the number of rounds confused one sailor Jamie, who had to back track for the final triangle. Tim lead from the start with a start by the windward end of the line and whilst not with the front runners the windward position and clear air allowed him to control and cover the whole fleet. The strength of the wind was up and down (in excess of 25 knots in the gusts) and giving all a taste of difficult tacking and scary nosediving. Water in the electrics took Brian Lev'y out of contention and the usual challenges with Andrew Nicholls to be resumed next week.

The course reverted to the normal triangle sausage to help both the sailors and the RO to see who was leading and finishing. 5 races were completed before the coffee and bacon baguette break with Tim taking three of the wins giving him the lead position, followed by Jamie and Jon Moon. Our usual runaway boat Adrian Tomlinson was having a difficult day with mastering the D rig - not his favourite sail it would seem. Assessment of the starboard lay line at the windward mark and the port entry the way in for a number of boats there was always going to be a muddle. Penalties were taken and a number of boats bailing out with a gybe away to round behind the fleet.

What was in the coffee at break time? Jamie took the fleet by storm with wins in all races apart from race 11 which he should have had won but hitting one of the finishing marks and doing a penalty let Tim and Jon through.

We completed 15 races before the 12.30 cut off with the string of nine first places Jamie won the day. Perseverance paid off for the middle of the fleet especially for Richard Stone (83) and discarding two races when his boat failed saw him collect a number of second and third places, but still missing some of the marks! Races 11, 12 and 13 saw Mark Penny and Andrew Nicholls collect third places on keeping them close on points at the end.

Yes - it was a difficult day with the wind and waves but mastered by all and giving an adrenalin rush. Jamie mastered the conditions and won the day with Tim and Jon second and third.

In the overall for the Winter Series Jamie leads but the points are close in the top four. Many rounds to race so all still to play for.

Next for Round 7 - Sunday 19th Jan. Details of location & start times on www.rclaser.org.uk/events

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15Pts
1st51Jamie Blair1‑7222‑311113111118
2nd45Tim Townsend311141‑6332122‑5327
3rd84Jon Moon423312322325‑9‑6234
4th30Adrian Tomlinson255‑83‑884754762462
5th83Richard Stone63(DNF)5(DNC)529547374565
6th3Mark Penny54746‑9476‑96438771
7th613Andrew Nicholls(DNF)6467656‑868643673
8th4Tony Alexander7‑8675475475857‑977
9th17Sarah Mason8‑98‑987989899898108
10th958Brian Lev'y9(DNF)(DNF)DNCDNCDNCDNC10DNFDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC140

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