Topper NW Areas & Laser Open
While other parts of the country were hiding from torrential rain showers, 41 entries in this weekend’s open meeting were praying for some wind, on an overcast Saturday afternoon.
Racing did get underway a little late though the winds were light. As the afternoon went on the wind swung, and faded from time to time. Despite the light winds, Isabel Wallwork hardened up at the start of race 2 and broke her mast! – she clearly doesn’t know her own strength…
With the risk of it disappearing altogether, the OD opted to do try and have three races back to back, but by the time the tailenders had finished race 2 the wind had gone. After a short break, the wind seemed to fill in sufficiently for a final race of the day. The wind was light but enabled the fleets to drift over the line. Within a few minutes the wind started to fill in from the SW and propelled the fleet around the course for an extra lap.
Team Bass mastered the Laser fleet taking the first six places overall. After problems with his outhaul in the first race, Dave Lawson made a great comeback winning the second race, and taking the lead in the final race at the penultimate mark, snatching the trophy from Tony King who had won the first race.
In the Toppers, West Lancs’ Samuel Cooper held Molly Nixon at bay all afternoon to become overnight leader. The light winds prompted some protests for pumping, and one protest against Joe Baker was upheld removing one of his three first positions.
Club racing was playing second fiddle, and had to make do with whatever was thrown at them. First of all they started from the opposite side of the Bates, and then they had to sail a course that kept them outside the Laser/Topper racing area – it just happened to hug the shore in the area of least wind. The second race looked very ominous – could they get across the lake to 5 and back to 0 in very light conditions? Reminiscent of Thursday evening sailing perhaps? Six boats were prepared to try, and must have been relieved when the wind filled in from the SW….
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On Sunday the wind swung to the NE and freshened to allow some great sailing conditions. Three further races were sailed in the TopperNW areas and Joe Baker continued to out perform the competition, even after returning, being one of two premature starters, he still worked his way back to 2nd. He won the series with four 1sts and a 2nd.
The club racing was, well, different to say the least. Starting on time was unusual in itself but compounded by catching numerous sailors out. Then when they glanced at the unusually phrased course, it was funny to watch their second glance of disbelief! (For the uninitiated, the black space is read as the word ‘Then’)
Graham/Elaine’s excuse was that they couldn’t get a lift out to their mooring, they did reach the line on time but spent too much time laughing at Mike/Eric not realising they should have started.. Peter Winfindale was out in plenty of time but had a poor start some 90 secs late. Others just didn’t realise that no boats and no flags meant the race was underway! The OD happily left the sailors to determine whether they’d sailed the correct number of laps and course in general
The afternoon race was back to normality (of sorts). The fleet had the lake to themselves, along with a good breeze, and a more usual course.
Joan/Jack Hardie mastered the variety of conditions and challenges (well it was a fleet challenge!) to take the series trophy clear ahead of 2nd placed Ian Hall in his Solo.