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Laser / ILCA Spring Open at Royal Harwich Yacht Club

by Chris Woodard 12 Jun 2021 08:57 BST 29-30 May 2021

The Laser/ILCA Spring Open Meeting at Royal Harwich Yacht Club, held over the weekend of 29-30 May, was blessed with glorious weather and near-perfect sailing conditions.

The 30 Lasers/ILCAs entered comprised a strong turnout from the growing home fleet together with four visitors who were taking advantage of the long-awaited opportunity to travel to open events. All three rigs sailed together as one fleet, and although the Standard/ILCA 7s were marginally the largest contingent, the Radial/ILCA 6s mustered almost a dozen entries, nearly all Youth sailors, and there were four 4.7/ILCA 4s for the lightest sailors.

Saturday's wind was a fairly steady force 3-4, which stayed due East for most of the day, an ideal direction for Race Officer Bob Portway to take the fleet slightly down river for the day's racing against the picturesque backdrop of historic Pin Mill. Sunday's wind was a little more challenging, with a similar wind strength but now from the NNE with some significant shifts throughout the day, and a brief period where a sea breeze threatened to take over, causing some big holes and gusts to catch out the unwary, but fortunately this was short lived and the gradient wind held.

Throughout the weekend the tidal stream was the Race Officer's friend (and indeed the competitors!) tending to hold the fleet back from the line, and consequently across the 8 races there was only one general recall, and very few individual recalls. Nonetheless the Race Officer commented afterwards "the fleet's line discipline was excellent, and yet race after race the ODM was obscured by half the fleet barely a split second after the start" - full credit to the sailors!

In the Standard/ILCA 7s at the front of the fleet it was generally a close battle between Stephen Videlo and Paul Davies, with Stephen predominantly coming out on top when it mattered to record 6 bullets. Just behind, and sometimes up amongst, these two Toby Tracey recorded two 2nds and two 3rds, and the others getting a look in for the podium positions were Graham Ireland, John Russell, Will Finch and Dom Knights.

In the Radial/ILCA 6s it was even more clear cut at the front, with James Deaton dominating proceedings to score seven bullets, often finishing well up towards the front of the Standard/ILCA 7s. Behind him George Ellis Miller and James Russell shared most of the 2nd places, with Ethan Davey and Robin Dean also securing a runners-up spot each.

The small 4.7/ILCA 4 contingent was generally led home by Imogen Palmer, counting five 1sts, with a close battle behind her between Harry McTieman and Nathan Russell tied on points for 2nd and 3rd respectively.

All in all this was a great Open Meeting, with a very respectable turnout despite it being a Bank Holiday weekend during school half term when many families were away, and with slick race management enabling 8 races to be sailed with very little hanging around, - many thanks to everyone involved, competitors, officials and volunteers alike.

And looking ahead... the Laser/ILCA fleet at Royal Harwich YC has seen a significant increase in numbers over the past 12 months, with a notable influx from Waldringfield and Alton Water, and it is now probably the largest racing fleet in the area, with club racing turnouts often in the mid-high teens and peaking at 20. We plan to host another Laser/ILCA Open Meeting in the Autumn, this time a one-day event on Sunday 10th October 2021, so please put the date in your diary now!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
Laser Class
1st146560Stephen VideloRHYC1‑211‑21127
2nd198291Paul DaviesRHYC‑413(OCS)122110
3rd189322Toby TraceyWSC2324‑6‑75319
4th188081Graham IrelandRHYC344345‑6‑823
5th183408John RussellRHYC‑1056234‑9626
6th160690Will FinchRHYC585‑9‑1037432
7th200680Chris WoodardRHYC66‑11‑7564532
8th188248Dominic Knights 7‑9‑95793738
9th168091Dave Sheppard 8776‑98‑10945
10th141023Jeremy HalfhideRHYC91088811(DNC)(DNC)54
11th146653Richard MaidstoneRHYC‑11‑111011111081060
12th201129Alan HallRHYC12121212(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC80
13th52334Melissa FisherRHYC13131310(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC81
14th8242Simon Ruffles (DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC96
14th85374Scott Cobbold (DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC96
Laser Radial Class
1st215271James DeatonRHYC‑1‑31111116
2nd208672George Ellis‑MillerRHYC‑9122‑332313
3rd8James RussellRHYC223(DNC)5‑73217
4th210236Ethan DaveyRHYC3‑6‑84624423
5th170494Robin DeanRHYC745525(DNC)(DNC)28
6th212783Max Shiel ‑10763‑845530
7th188220William ThorogoodRHYC‑654‑6466631
8th193490Edward EelesBSC48777‑98(DNC)41
9th2Ben EelesBSC5‑10‑98987744
10th130992Cathryn Brady 89(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC65
11th161551Melissa FisherRHYC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC10109DNC65
Laser 4.7 Class
1st218036Imogen PalmerRHYC(NSC)121‑31117
2nd205148Harry McTiernanBSC121244(DNC)(DNC)14
3rdNo NumberNathan RussellRHYC2‑333222(DNF)14
4th198827Joseph HendersonWHSC(DNC)(DNC)44133217

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