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Medway RC Laser Club Winter Series Day 5

by Jamie Blair 2 Feb 2023 09:18 GMT 29 January 2023
Medway RC Laser Club Winter Series day 5 © Fiona Blair

No sun today but our largest turn out with twelve yacht racers wanting a piece of the action. Breeze from the S and starting at 8 knots. Early boats on the water brandishing a B rig but as the wind increased prior to the first race the C rig was chosen by all but one.

To make the course best for the wind direction and not having to walk through some sodden ground a triangular course was set with the leeward mark positioned in front of the start line.

The line provided a port bias and despite the starboard tackers honing in on the port end a group of boats made a port tack start for Race 1. This saw Tony Alexander (04) take to the front taking up where he left off from last week. Jon Moon (84) was also one of the port tackers along with Tim Townsend (45) find the way to the windward mark some 60m away from the drivers view. Similarly the wing mark often appeared out of the sun making judging the rounding for both a mixture of guess work and 3D perception. Tony won the 1st race. Was this an omen for the day. Sadly not for Tony but Jon and Tim continued their consistency throughout.

The Port tack start was closed out better with Tim and Jamie Blair (51) vying for position along with the crowd of boats for a starboard tack start and a tack on to port to cross the fleet. Race 2 saw Jamie make the start from the middle of the line and able to tack and cross the fleet going up the right side of the beat to get out of the short chop of the waves caused by the reflective action off the lee shore.

Jamie led to the top mark and continued on to the finish. Race 3 saw the same racers out front with the right side of the beat favoured by most. Small shifts in the wind up the beat lead to a number over-standing the starboard lay line and the early tack from the right often paid dividends with a lift on the approach to the windward mark. A very close last reach to the finish saw Jamie just ahead of Mark Penny (03).

The two lap race with the increase in wind was now over too quickly so for the rest of the morning 3 laps were set and would give more time for catch up or snake sliding when penalty turns taken. Fortunes changed for all in the following races. The Race Officer was super vigilant calling boats OCS that affected Roger Gibb (32), Jamie (on more than one occasion et alia. Three rounds brought in the question of how many rounds have we done; fortunately the RO was on the ball and with the course taking boats through the start line on every lap.

Brian L'evy back from a lay off was in the chasing packs; Andrew Nicholls (613) had worked hard for his 4th in Race 4 and Spencer Pope (62) a 4th in Race 3. Lucian Stone (75) had a new challenge this outing with his C rig in tatters the B rig posed its issues with "too much" but at times collecting a 3rd and a sting of 5th was a good achievement.

At the break after Race 6 Jamie had a taken his usual position at the head of the fleet but was closely followed by Mark Penny, Jon Moon and Tim Townsend, with only 4 points separating the pack.

Tim Townsend showed best after the break with a string of 1st places. Jamie was showing some poor judgement with the start allowing the leeward boats to push him over the line.

After Race 8 Tim Townsend had moved into the top place after a string of bullets and Jon Moon second.

By now the wind strength had increased to just short of 18 knots and the temperature keeping everyone cold so after eleven races we called a halt. Jamie had learnt by his starting errors and Tim was the OCS boat with Jamie as the leeward boat. The chasing pack was kept at bay with a high level of cover.

Some stats - 4 boats got bullets; Mark Penny had 6 podium places in 11 races; Charles Pegram (72) a string of three podium finishes after the break.

Tim was the overall winner for the day and Mark Penny second.

Our next set of races will be on Sunday 4th February 2023.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10R11Pts
1st45Tim Townsend3‑62‑6211114419
2nd3Mark Penny‑825133‑6421324
3rd51Jamie Blair511416‑953(DNF)127
4th84Jon Moon2432‑1024283‑930
5th72Charles Pegram487‑124‑102356544
6th75Lucian Stone(DNS)3118553(DNF)65248
7th4Tony Alexander179‑116886‑102855
8th32Roger Gibb79107‑1245104(DNF)662
9th62Spencer Pope6‑124‑1087108971069
10th76Bob Woolford1011‑1257(DNF)7779770
11th613Andrew Nicholls9563‑119‑12111181173
12th958Brian L'evy111089911119‑1210‑1288

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