Photograph Susan Sharman
The 2017 RC Laser National Championships, were held at West Lancs Yacht Club over the weekend of 8/9th July. Drawing many of the best skippers from across the country, to include two past National Champions and the current European Champion, the competition was always going to be challenging.
Conditions varied over the weekend from B to A rigs, with marks being set and reset almost every other race depending on directional windshifts. Further challenges included courses out of necessity being set some distance from the shore making distance judgements difficult for many (resulting in collisions and missed marks) and also the occasional interference from weed. Challenges aside, the weekend afforded tremendous sailing and competition for all at a wonderful venue.
Three 'Burwain Boys' entered the fray, with John Sharman (GBR 428) topping the team with a creditable 4th place overall. Hugo Chandor (GBR 455) was heading for a 5th place or higher until scuppered by weed in the final 3 races of the day but nevertheless finished with 6th place. Richard Whittle (GBR 801) doubtless would have taken the award for the unluckiest skipper as after numerous good starts and mid fleet positions, his transmitter would, at the furthest part of the course from shore, instruct his boat to switch to 'failsafe mode' and become inoperable. Despite this he still somehow finished every race and closed the weekend with a tenacious 18th place.
...And the winner?
Unsurprisingly the seemingly unstoppable Dave Fowler from Blackpool and Fylde (GBR 840).
After generously providing a theoretical sailing workshop for attending skippers on Friday afternoon, he then gave us a masterclass over the entire weekend to demonstate how it should be done in practise. Congratulations Dave.
Yacht and Yachting review