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Medway RC Laser Winter Series event 11 at Barton Point Country Park Lake

by Jamie Blair 9 Mar 19:07 GMT 8 March 2020

Again, the wind did blow but the day dawned with beautiful blue sky and wind of 15 knots, gusting 20. The direction was SW. Too much battering and late skiing reduced the fleet to seven racers. D rig was the only option.

With the wind in the same direction as last week the shelter of the headland provided a smoother area of water for the triangle-sausage format.

Race 1 got under way after a practice start that for some it was key to be at the port end. Jamie (51) and Tim Townsend (45) were right at the pin end and clear of the rest of the fleet Jamie and Tim held on to the port lay line and followed each other around the windward mark. The rest of the fleet followed suit but those arriving at the starboard lay line took the advantage as right of way boats. An orderly scamp across to the wing mark and downwind with some water over the front for almost everyone.

So close were the second cluster of boats that calls for Mark Room caused some thinking for the rounding. Even the last tack to the finish at the end of the sausage kept heart in mouth for the final tack and often places were lost as the attempts to tack mounted. Gybing proved a valuable tool in the box!

Race 2 saw a new leader with Roger Gibb (32) starting at the starboard end of the line with a shift to the right giving him a clear weather lane. Jamie gave chase from the port end but Roger held on with Jon Moon (84) snapping at his heals.

Race 3 was a repeat of Race 1, again with Jon Moon chasing the leaders.

Race 4 saw Jon Moon take advantage of clear air and using the right side of the beat was first to the windward mark. Covering well and keep everyone behind. Roger was late at the start and then some extra mark rounding and a trip ashore gave him a DNF. Brian Lev'y (958) lost contact with his boat following a bump and like last week for another the impact had turned the power switch to off and sailed happily away with a rescue required. We also had to endure a heavy rain squall that lifted the breeze to nearly 30 knots. We thought that the day was over but the squall passed by and blue sky returned.

The race pattern was set and as usual it was imperative to make a good start. Our race officer Fiona policed this well with no favours. Jamie in his eagerness in Race 6 was called OCS and had to be amongst the pack for the whole race. Another new leader Mark Penny (03) with cheers at crossing the line with his first race win.

Eight races saw the first hour used up. Jamie's consistency of results put him 8 points ahead of Tim and Jon.

After the break the breeze a further seven races were completed - the starts and mark rounding always a challenge. Brian Lev'y was having difficulties in the strong wind so some off the water tuning after race 10 by Jamie saw some "Jamie dust" and a well earned 5th place achieved. Andrew Nicholls (613) was also having issues with the wind but with best foot forward in Race 11 clocked up a second place.

Jon Moon retained the most consistent set of results with a cluster of thirds and fourths as well as two race wins. Tim also worked hard to keep Jamie off the top slot with four race wins after the break. Indeed, Jamie in the last race whilst in the lead missed the windward mark and despite a rapid turn and rounding left Tim with a clear win.

14 races completed in the mornings race programme. All showed their improved ability in the strong winds with Jamie coming out a winner with Tim second and Jon Moon third.

We hope next week will be a chance to try out some of the other sails with Round 12 - Sunday 15th March. Details on http://www.rclaser.org.uk/events

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11R12R13R14R15Pts
1st51Jamie Blair12122‑511113‑612220
2nd45Tim Townsend2‑424‑5322231121126
3rd84Jon Moon333112‑4‑4424333335
4th3Mark Penny55(DNF)34133‑666244450
5th613Andrew Nicholls‑6‑7653465542565561
6th32Roger Gibb414(DNC)665735745(DNF)663
7th958Brian Lev'y‑765(DNF)7776775776784

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