Please select your home edition
Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

UKLA ILCA 7 Nationals - Stories from the Fleet: Norman Struthers

by Norman Struthers 31 Aug 07:30 BST 24-26 August 2020

Norman Struthers, a Canadian and member of Stokes Bay Sailing Club (UK), has been training hard over the last few months. Competing in the fiercely competitive ILCA7 Nationals 2020 in Weymouth Norman made it into the top 10. Here he brings to life an on-the-water moment...

I'm Norman, better known as the Canadian in the UK ILCA 7 fleet (although now one of 2 Canadians with Ben Flower joining me). This week's racing in the ILCA 7 fleet was hotly contested with many keen to show off the hard work they had done since Quarantine started in March. This excitement led to tight and dramatic racing throughout the racecourse. I wanted to highlight just one of these moments throughout the week, which happened in the first race of the final day of racing (R4). After a rest day due to Storm Francis winds stayed high and from the west, leading to shifty conditions that gave the experienced masters the opportunity to use their knowledge to challenge the hiking legs of the younger sailors. This all culminated in the final downwind of Race #4.

Coming around the final windward the battle for 9th place was on. 5 boats, including Krishan Bhogal, Jake Farren-Price and myself fought with the leading masters: Mark Lyttle and Nick Harrison. Mid-way down the run it was anyone's best guess who would round ahead, with the group dead even and fighting for positioning. Things became even more interesting when the infamous Ben Flower, who had rounded in 7th and was ahead of the group hit "a massive jellyfish or seaweed or something" which lead to his boat stopping in its tracks and death rolling. Righting his boat just ahead of the charging group behind him, he was swallowed up and it turned into a 6-way battle for 8th position.

Entering the leeward mark, Mr. Flower and myself were just able to edge ahead of the group behind us in the battle for buoy room, leading into what would be a hotly contested final reach for positions. The reach was on, with each of the competitors giving their last bit of energy to collect some ever-important points. Unfortunately, I got a little too excited, earning myself a yellow flag on the reach to fall out of the group and lose some valuable places. Ben Flower was able to hold his lead on the group and steal 8th place, with Jake Farren-Price just behind in 9th, followed by Nick Harrison who just edged out the young (and long) legs of Krishan, and finally by Mark Lyttle.

Although tough and often frustrating at the time, battles like these are what make ILCA sailing what it is. The final result comes down to the decisions and effort put in by the sailors. These situations are what make sailing so enjoyable and light the fire to work harder and learn from these positions. I want to thank all of the competitors for coming out and competing throughout the event, making each sailor work their tail off to get ahead of the other. A big thank you to the Masters Sailors like Nick and Mark who showed us younger sailors what experience in sailing can do, and to Elliot Hansen and Micheal Beckett for giving us a great show of just how much you can get out of an ILCA. And finally, a big thank you to the Race Committee, organizers and volunteers that made this event run so smoothly no matter what challenge was thrown at them. A special hats off to Paul Jackson RO and his team - this was a perfectly run event!

Related Articles

2020 Laser Masters Europeans in Andora overall
Two races held on the final day in difficult conditions The 2020 Laser Master European Championships successfully concluded today in Andora, Italy, after five days of competition. Posted on 22 Oct
2020 Laser Masters Europeans in Andora day 4
Much stronger winds with a 2 metre swell Sailing conditions changed dramatically on the fourth day at the 2020 Laser Master European Championships in Andora, Italy. Sunny days with light breeze and flat water were over and switched to dark grey sky with 12-16 knots from the East. Posted on 22 Oct
UKLA Noble Marine ILCA7 Autumn Qualifier
Weymouth hosts first and only autumn qualifier It was a rather cold affair with the first and only autumn qualifier getting under way at WPNSA. The racing was once again in the harbour and on the Saturday there was 10-12 knots of breeze coming from the East. Posted on 21 Oct
2020 Laser Masters Europeans in Andora day 3
Two races held for both fleets after a long postponement A light breeze in the morning forced a postponement on shore. The Race Committee removed the AP flag at 13:50, sending both fleets to the course for two new races in the afternoon with around 6-8 knots from NE – ENE. Posted on 20 Oct
2021 Catalyst IT Laser Nationals preview
Sam Meech is planning to make the most of the available domestic racing opportunities With limited ability to travel, Sam Meech, the 2021 New Zealand Laser Olympic representative is planning to make the most of the available domestic racing opportunities on the calendar. Posted on 19 Oct
2020 Laser Masters Europeans in Andora day 2
First scoring race held as light winds continue This second day of competition started with very light breeze. The Race Committeee could start a first race in the morning but the wind died after three legs and the race was abandoned. Posted on 19 Oct
Liam Glynn secures PB
At Laser European Championships in Poland Ballyholme Yacht Club's Liam Glynn has secured a personal best and 43rd overall after six days of racing against 126 international competitors in Gorki Zachodnie, Poland. Posted on 19 Oct
2020 Laser Masters Europeans in Andora day 1
No racing possible due to light winds The 2020 Laser Master European Championships racing started today in Andora, Italy, but unfortunately no racing could be held due to the light wind conditions. Posted on 18 Oct
ILCA/Laser - High Performance Tips with Sam Whaley
In the video Sam gives us his set up top tips on getting the best performance In the video Sam gives us his set up top tips on getting the best performance from the Laser on the race course. Posted on 15 Oct
2020 ILCA 7 Masters at Pevensey Bay
Six high quality races held for the 23 sailors A great weekend of wonderful racing, for both the experienced Laser/ILCA sailor and the club sailor (over 33 years old) with Orlando Gledhill becoming the new ILCA7 Masters Champion. Posted on 14 Oct