Please select your home edition
Edition
Leaderboard brokerage

UKLA Super Grand Prix event at Queen Mary Sailing Club

by Guy Noble 25 May 2021 17:01 BST 22-23 May 2021

When the rough-and-tumble of club racing meets the smooth skills of the super Grand Prix circuit sailors there can be a certain grinding of the gears! And so it was at the UKLA Super Grand Prix event held at Queen Mary Sailing Club on the 22nd and 23rd of May.

What caught everybody by surprise was the sheer volume of entries. A normal regional event would attract no more than 50 boats so a limit of 75 was put on the event. Very soon it became apparent that demand for places had been dramatically underestimated. After some last minute arm-twisting of volunteers (god bless them all) QM delivered, expanding the entry to over 90. Anyone who has done the Bloody Mary knows that Queen Mary Sailing Club is quite capable of putting on events for literally hundreds of boats, but that takes a huge amount of forward planning and an incredible number of volunteers. This was supposed to be a far smaller event.

For those who are not familiar with the subtleties of the ILCA / Laser calendar, the Super Grand Prix are designed to be a notch up from what are used to be called the traveller circuit, now slightly confusingly called the Grand Prix.

Super Grand Prix are the brainchild of Tony Woods. He identified a need for good training for sailors to learn how to race with a bigger and a more competitive fleet. The events are divided into two. A day of UKLA training and the following day a series of races to put into practice what was learnt.

As the weekend approached it became clear that light winds for the Saturday would provide perfect conditions for those a little nervous about racing in a bigger fleet (a review of the training will follow in a few days). However Sunday's forecast looked much more feisty. Although many were looking forward to the breezy conditions other very capable sailors opted to race with ILCA6 rigs.

Forecasts in recent times have been particularly inaccurate. Rumour has it that this is partly due to the fact that aircraft, normally providing enormous amounts of meteorological data, have been sitting on runways rather than whizzing around in the air.

What we actually got at Queen Mary was two days of exceptionally changeable weather. In fact it would be fair to say we had almost everything bar fog and snow.

Although four races were scheduled for each fleet, only three were possible. With everyone set for some serious hiking in a predicted 15 to 20 kn of wind the first race got under way in no more than seven or eight. Condition improve as the day unfolded but rain, massive wind shifts and very chilly conditions tested everyone.

The ILCA7 fleet was dominated by local hotshot Orlando Gledhill taking the first two race bullets and, with a fourth race looking increasingly unlikely, took the series win. Ben Flower retired from the first race after a close encounter with a rather over enthusiastic Queen Mary sailor. Pushing hard in the final two races Ben was only one point behind Orlando. Roger O'Gorman tied with Charlie South for third and fourth with Roger just sneaking ahead of Charlie on count back. A welcome return to racing for Tim Law saw him take fifth.

Sebastian Kemp, also of QMSC managed to secure first position in the ILCA6 fleet just in front of Alistair Brown - both tied on three points Sebastian, again won out on count back. Luke Anstey was a clear 3rd and Master Ian Gregory fourth (another master making a welcome return after recovering from a long illness).

The slightly smaller ILCA4 fleet was won by Antonio Pascali, with Noah Evas second. Imogen Palmer, Anne Friedboug and Edward Day all finished on 8 points but on countback finished 3rd, 4th and 5th respectively.

Man of the Day has to be Joe Woodley. He brought an old Laser 169XXX and got it racing for under £500. For some odd reason he had several twigs in the holes drilled into the bows (apparently where the semi-permanent fender had been placed by the previous owner). Joe managed to get into the top 10! This just shows that you don't need mega bucks to race.

Ovington, Sailingfast and Southeast Sailboats provided a fantastic array of prizes for the winners. A big THANK YOU to all the team, Tony Woods for organising, Paul and his team for the Race management and all at QM that helped make this such a memorable and enjoyable weekend.

Overall Results: (top five)

ILCA7
1st Orlando Gledhill - QMSC
2nd Ben Flower
3rd Roger O'Gorman - QMSC
4th Charlie South
5th Tim Law - Salcombe SC

ILCA6
1st Sebastian Kempe - QMSC
2nd Alastair Brown
3rd Luke Anstey
4th Ian Gregory
5th Tim Evans

ILCA4
1st Antonio Pascali
2nd Noah Evans
3rd Imogen Palmer
4th Anne Fredborg
5th Edward Day

Full results here...

Sponsors:

Sailingfast - Duncan brings his battle buss down from Scotland for most the big events, which is so ridiculously well equipped, you could replace everything on your boat. Although based in Scotland they will get anything to you super fast. sailingfast.co.uk

SouthEast Sailboats - Max brings bespoke quality at affordable prices to the class. His passion for detail has made his products a must have for anyone who wants quality. He also supplied many great prizes for the event. southeastsailboats.co.uk

Ovington Boats - Chris Turner lives dinghies and has been a significance presence in the boat building world for decades. OB are now the official UK builders of ILCAs. Thanks for the great caps! www.ovingtonboats.com

Noble Marine - Ian MacManus (the man behind the name) has crafted a very competitive and excellent insurance product for all Laser/ILCA sailors. A very personal service and a extremely useful website help make this the 'go to' company. www.noblemarine.co.uk

Related Articles

Let's get season ready!
Replacement ILCA / Laser sails back in stock at Rooster Replacement ILCA / Laser sails back in stock at Rooster. Posted today at 8:15 am
Oceanbridge Regatta needs your entry this week
Yachting New Zealand are running Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta, but need an early entry Yachting New Zealand are still looking to host next month's Oceanbridge NZL Sailing Regatta and believe they can do it safely under the red setting of the Covid Protection Framework. But an early entry is required this week. Posted on 24 Jan
A really good news story for sailing
Demonstrating how sailing can benefit in the long-term from the boating boom For sailing to benefit in the long-term from the boating boom of the past couple of years, then inclusivity, accessibility and a welcoming environment are three of the key pillars to realising increased participation. Posted on 24 Jan
Dun Laoghaire Frostbite Series 2 Day 4
Difficult day on the water... for all! From as early as Thursday evening, the wind forecast for Sunday afternoon and the Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites was dodgy, 3 knots gusting four was the prediction! By Saturday that had improved slightly to 6knots gusting to 8. Posted on 24 Jan
ILCA NZ Nationals - Day 4: Winners decided
Saunders adds NZ Laser Championship to World title; Armit wins Youths and Wild wins Masters Favourite Tom Saunders continued to dominate the 41 boat ILCA7 fleet, adding the 2022 New Zealand championship to his recent ILCA World Championship win. Youth sailor Caleb Armit dominated the ILCA6 fleet. Phil Wild wins Masters. Pilkington tops Womens. Posted on 23 Jan
ILCA NZ Nationals - Day 3: Leaderboard unchanged
In the ILCA 7's it was again a two out of three bullet day for reigning World Champ Tom Saunders Patience was the name of the game for the beginning of day 3. The fleet was on course for a 1pm start as scheduled, with a light easterly blowing. Posted on 22 Jan
ILCA NZ Nationals - Day 2: Saunders and Armit lead
Three races were sailed on Day 2 of the ILCA 6 and 7 NZ Championships from the Queen Charlotte YC Three races were sailed on Day 2 of the ILCA 6 and 7 NZ Championships from the Queen Charlotte Yacht Club, Picton. There was no change to the ILCA7 overnight leaderboard, with current World Champion Tom Saunders, posting two wins and a second. Posted on 21 Jan
ILCA NZ Nationals - Day 1: Two wins for Saunders
Familiar faces at the top of the leaderboard after Day 1 of the NZ ILCA Nationals Recently crowned World ILCA Champion, Tom Saunders, won both races in the 2022 ILCA NZ National Championship being sailed at Picton. Youth sailor Caleb Armit turned in the same scorecard in the ILCA6 fleet. Posted on 20 Jan
ILCA Nationals: Saunders headlines big fleet
World ILCA Champion out to improve at ILCA Nationals at Queen Charlotte Saunders will headline the ILCA nationals, which will also feature the country's best women's, youth and masters sailors in the four-day regatta. The event has already received 91 entries with racing due to get under way on Thursday. Posted on 20 Jan
Dun Laoghaire Frostbite Series 2 Day 3
3rd Time Lucky! Racing underway at the third attempt After two Sundays of high wind forecasts leading to the cancellation of racing the Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites Series 2, post-Christmas, got under way yesterday in bright sunshine and good winds. Posted on 18 Jan