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RC Laser and Mustang experience day at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 13 Apr 09:19 BST 2 April 2022
RC Laser next to a Mustang © Tony Wilson

For the last five years or so, the Fleetwood model boat club has set aside a couple of days for joint Laser and Mustang practise. The RC Laser although scaled down from the full size big boat, owes a bit of it's know-how and workings similarity to the Fleetwood's ageing Mustang of the 1970's.

Today's outing had only 3 skippers on the day and 1 visitor. It's an ideal opportunity for anyone to have a try or just see how one compares against the other. The Mustangs weigh about 17lbs, so best suited to heavier winds and so keep up their momentum. Whereas the Laser at probably half the weight is quicker off the mark but when stalled, may take a while to get moving again.

Bob Jones left his Mustang indoors to start with, as the wind was only light at about 6MPH. It had only filled in at about 11:00 so a slow start was accepted. Eric Austwick was sailing his beloved GBR 44 and Tony Wilson with his Open all hours 711, also had his spare boat GBR 85, although showing off a brand new 'A' sail with as yet no number.

Bob had a choice of boats and sailed N0 711 for the first race. The route was a running start and a rectangular box shape course with the wind coming from under the bridge. One lap round the four marks, double back around the first buoy and finish on a beat. Billy no number won the first couple of races with Eric in second as Bob was still familiarising himself with Transmitter and 711. Then a swap over with Tony to see if it GBR 85 was better suited to him.

Next couple of races were still not much better for Bob, but he was still gaining ground. Tony's visiting friend David arrived for a couple of goes and seemed to be doing alright. All the while the wind seemed to be increasing and just as it was at top end of 'A' rig, Bob decided to get his Mustang out of the stable. Eric dropped down a sail size and Tony decided to put up with the big rig. We added a mark to lengthen the course and had completed 10 races by late lunch break.

Six more races after lunch and Eric was back on the big rig with the wind dropping a touch and Bob went back on the Laser. We had some real close racing by the end and all boats were evenly matched. A good day, with blue sky glorious weather in good company, what more can you ask for.

Thanks goes to Chris for helping with scoring, although with swapping about boats and some misunderstanding to whether we were scoring Skippers or boats, we decided to call it a three-way draw.

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