A very exciting days racing at the Beach Park Pond in Irvine for the first RC Laser event to be held in Scotland under the auspices of the Scottish District of the MYA. Not as big a turn out as had been expected with nine skippers attending including two from the newest SD club (Rhu Lasers) and one member from Paisley. Pat Johnston, from Greenock MYC kindly acted as RO for the day having a hard time of it continually revising the courses due to a constantly veering wind starting the day being from the South East and finishing from the South West. This was an interesting experience for Pat, who had never been involved with RC Laser sailing before and has committed himself to acting as RO for the RC Laser Nationals to be held at Castle Semple in September.
The course was a “standard” triangle / sausage with the finish being down wind back across the start line. The windward mark was maybe just a bit too far away making the fetching and rounding of the mark more than a little difficult, particularly with the glare from the sun making the boats, and the mark, practically invisible at times! Needless to say, some robust contacts made here! And a good few misses of the mark.
The days racing commenced with C sails, rapidly being swapped for B sails followed by A sails, down to C again, and finally, for the rest of the day, the D sail. All of this sail changing within the first four races! RC Laser sail changes are so easy – clip off, clip on and away we go. Bruce Davidson battled hard in the first four races with Ian Duncan of Rhu Lasers, Gordon Neil from Ayr Bay and Gordon Allison from Paisley, Bruce taking a 1st, two 2nds and a DNS, with Ian taking one DNS and three 1sts, Gordon Neil taking 5th, 4th, 3rd and a 2nd with Gordon Allison taking 2nd, 3rd, 5th and a 3rd.
Ian Duncan was really coming in to top form, but in the fifth race, while having a tussle leading the race with Gordon Neil hard at his heels rounding the windward mark decided to try to walk on the water – no matter how good you think you are, this is NOT recommended! As a consequence that particular race was abandoned and Ian took no further part in the proceedings.
The wind strength increased throughout the day. The D sail being overpowered fairly regularly, with submarining boats and wild fluctuations in course when running downwind as skippers tried valiantly to steer a proper course. The racing was curtailed after eighteen races, as all skippers were tiring rapidly with winds increasing to almost unmanageable levels.
The Results :
1st Bruce Davidson, Ayr Bay. 37pts
2nd Gordon Neil, Ayr Bay 41pts
3rd John Patterson, Rhu Lasers 49pts
4th Gordon Winton, Ayr Bay 61pts
5th Norman McDonald 73pts
6th Ian Gordon 99pts
7th Gordon Allison 106pts (retired race 9)
8th Ian Duncan 133pts (retired race 5)
9th Ward Graham 174pts (retired race 2)