Thames Valley Circuit Laser Open

Difficult sailing conditions on the Saturday Laser Open... 

Thames Valley Circuit Laser Open

Sat 21st June

On Saturday the 21st of June, The Welsh Harp Sailing Club, held it's first (after merging BTYC and SSC) Thames Valley Circuit Laser Open. It was part of the Laser Open weekend we organised together with Wembley. It is always difficult to predict how many boats/people will turn up for an event. When looking at the forecast I was not that hopeful that the we would get our estimated 25 boats on the water. We had 29 boats at the first start! Fantastic! 8 Lasers from the WHSC, 10 from Wembley and 11 from various visiting clubs. The forecast was not that accurate anyway as the wind varied significantly in strength (from good hiking strength to very little) as well as in direction. Lots of gusts and wind shifts. certain marks were difficult to round as the wind dropped to next to nothing. All-in-all, difficult sailing conditions!

It was warm and we had three races back to back (of which the best two counted). The traditional (!) bottle of water and Mars bar after the second race. Wembley treats the sailors on a bottle of water and Mars bar during their opens I remember one of those bottles as probably the best bottle of water in my whole life (sort of off course).

During the first race it was clear that the fleet could be divided into Gold (first 7 boats), Silver (next 9 boats) and Bronze (next 13 boats). Based on this division the results were as follows:

Gold:
1st: Nigel Rolfe (Parkstone YC)
2nd: John Peck (Silverwing SC)
3rd: Julian Bradley (Wembley)

Silver:
1st: Colin Carver (Aldenham SC)
2nd: Chris Nash (Maidenhead SC)
3rd: Neil Davies (Rainlagh)

Bronze:
1st: Peter Austin (Wembley)
2nd: Adrian Elwood (Wembley)
3rd: Mahmood Shamsuddin (WHSC)

Best (and only) woman: Yvon Kalmeijer (WHSC)

Our Laser fleet is in development and it is clear we have a lot to learn. It was a great opportunity to test our skills and hopefully we can repeat this successful day next year. The next three pictures give a good impression of the day:

I would like to express my thanks to the people who helped to make this day possible: Roger/Giselle (OOD), John S/Michael/Caro/Norm/Lydia (Safety), Catherine/Miriam/Ricardo/Lincoln (Food & organizing).

Kind regards,

Wiebe Nauta
Sailing Secretary
Welsh Harp Sailing Club