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RC Laser experience day at Fleetwood Model Yacht Club

by Tony Wilson 23 Oct 09:59 BST 15 October 2023
Radio control unit for the model Laser class dinghy © Tony Wilson

The date had been reserved on the boating calendar, as a joint RC Laser and Mustang day. We still have a good handful of the Old Fibreglass hulled Mustangs at Fleetwood, but when most of these very few Skipper owners were away on vacation, does it really warrant getting just the one boat out on the water for a bit of race interaction.

Not to miss out a good opportunity for the Lasers, we had a few recent Newbies at our local club and with some of our Old hands on site, what a good time to help out on this non designated RC Laser league date.

When we first started out with an RC scaled down sailing craft, we may have thought to ourselves, this is going to be easy. How can it be harder than when I sailed a full size racing dinghy. We were all soon put in our place, when the experienced model boat operators left us on the start line fluttering. The RC laser might be hard enough to sail in itself when over canvassed, never mind the added sail settings etc....

Most radio boat operators use just the basic 2 Transmitter functions. Left stick forward, sail out and back in to tighten. Right stick for left equals left rudder and right is right. This is probably the norm and most can sail each other's crafts in an emergency. I have however seen variations of both. Some could argue that the tiller on a boat when pushed away to the right makes you go left. Now I'm confused.

On to some racing now. Sharon, Robert and Stuart were allowed a nice handicap start of a minute and a half, before the off and we all started with the big rig. Derek, Eric and Tony went on the button for what we kept as a nice basic anticlockwise up and down of the lake, finishing on a run. A short 2 lap race lap was replaced after the first 2 races for a larger one lap as the wind veered slightly off away from the awkward Northerlie.

The start advantage was gradually reduced to about a minute for individual triumph, as one seemed to be better than the other or not. John,another recent New addition to our Laser class also joined us part way through the day and now after putting aside the stock 'B' rig we were all racing with more speed on a 'C' storm sail and they were moving as the Westerly wind tightened.

We had had a good non stressed day with our boats and a good level of success. The start's were getting a lot tidier for all and everybody had had at least a couple of wins each.

The next official RC Laser sailing on the calendar is on the day the clocks go back, just in over a week's time. With only about 5 names so far on the enrolment list, the time is getting short for this joint Northern and Nationals one dayer, Sunday 29th October. Details on the webpage RC Not too late though, as I think you can just turn up and pay on the day. There may be a spare boat for the odd guest skipper.


1. Sharon - 26 pts
2. Robert - 28 pts
3. Tony - 29 pts

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