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J Composites 2022 - J99 LEADERBOARD

RC Laser Spring Series at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club - Week 1

by Tony Wilson 1 Mar 11:15 GMT 27 February 2022
RC Laser Spring Series at Fleetwood week 1 © Trevor Bell

With a near Southerly direction and dry, it looked possible for a sail after having to abandon the last 2 outings of the Winter series. On to the Spring race N01 and we had a decent breeze, coming from like yesterday across the clubhouse. Only 6 in attendance probably because half the skippers also sailed on Saturday. Unless your name is Eric, it might be pushing it for most to be able to get out and play with the toy boats for both days.

The course was decided upon to sail in the interesting top third, instead of a spread out course and start further up in the cleaner air. Maybe folk just didn't want to walk along the lake too much. The sail of choice for all was playing it safe for the first race and straight on to the factory set 'B' rig.

With a 'Run' to start the race on a diagonal to the far bench, beat across, broad reach back and a beat to finish, just one lap for a first quick race. Our Eric lead for the majority, until taking it well wide on the last mark, keeping Tony at arms length, but forgot and let Shaun cleanly tuck around the buoy and a straight line for him to seal the first win.

Race two was then stretched for a two lapper. Similar start off and then the spacings spread out on the second time round, giving Tony his only win of the day. Shaun was on great form again, so it was business as usual.

By race three and four, the 'C' rigs were coming out one at a time. The gusts were having a go at pushing you under, but again the near bank sometimes needed that extra bit as the lake was down 18 inches or so. The stress of the wind broke Tony's winch line or maybe it was already a bit frayed. so that was his first discard decided upon and a gentle walk around the lake to await his boat on arrival. Being out for race 6 and a lunchtime repair, this was the only major physical breakdown for the fleet all day.

After lunch, although well in the lead by now, Shaun and Tony's boat were strung together to uncomplete that race and another walk to the other side. Eric had secured himself now two wins, the last before lunch and again another to his list of 3 by the end of the day.

Race 10 and it looked like a close shave between Bob and Tony coming around the far first Mark. They both missed the buoy, then Tony was somehow in Irons. A brisk walk again around the lake before onlooking members of Public eagerly looking and ready to string and fish it out, to realise this time the sail sheeting had somehow unhooked.

Uncle Derek appeared before the last closing couple of races. Mr Smith thought his boat wasn't up to usual spec and asked if Derek would kindly race the next race and give him his approval. Two laps later and it was virtually a tie between Derek and Shaun to the finishing post, with Shaun clipping it by just a couple of inches. Boat GBR N054 approved or thereabouts.

Tony had been having a bit of trouble with the screen going blank on his Transmitter, nothing other than a sloppy connection on the battery lead. It was then race 14 and the last of the day, when another trip to the far side. Although this time also a sloppy connection but now in the boat. Some folk like to by - pass the switch and plug straight into the receiver as this is usually one connection less to fail. As the boat was fully sheeted out and heading for the far bank, this time the walking sprint wasn't quick enough for the boat to hit head on. A glass hull would not have taken this abuse and probably sunk. I've never usually walked so far, unless I'm Vane sailing.

Rather than a race report, this may seem to some, myself included like a typical MOT advisory or failure list. Although we did have a good day racing, just some tweaking of a couple of minor niggles. Smiffy gave us a good cleaning maintenance tip, as he says that 'Elbow grease' yellow spray in a bottle brings your boat up nice and sparkly.

Thanks for the day to race officer Trevor Bell.


1 Shaun Holbeche - 14 points
2 Eric Austwick - 26 pts
3 Bob Jolly - 43 pts

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