Sailing Chandlery sponsored sailor Lydia Barber reports on her recent weekend in Weymouth attending one of the Laser class qualifier events.
The 19th & 20th October saw the next winter Laser Class qualifier, the third instalment of the Youth Series. After sailing on Wednesday we packed up the boats ready to take to Weymouth on Saturday morning. I left the boat at my halls during the week which was rather nerve-racking, as I wasn’t sure if somebody was going to move/take it. Thankfully it was okay and we set off promptly at 6am on Saturday morning.
The drive didn’t take to long. It took just over an hour and a half, compared with the 7 hours it took us to get to Weymouth from home. I’m not complaining! It’s so much easier living in the south of England as we’re a lot closer to most of the Laser events, there’s also more lasers at Stokes Bay to race against for the club racing. I traveled across to Weymouth with Adam and Chris in convoy.
We arrived at the WPNSA just after 8am, which gave us enough time to unpack 3 boats and give it a much-needed polish. This was my first big event since the disastrous nationals so it was the first time I’d seen my friends in ages.
Not massively windy, with a downwind run out to the start line, it reminded me how much I love Weymouth as a venue. South westerly wind.
I had a terrible start and felt like I was slipping sideways terribly upwind, however, I was going fast, just a pointing a few degrees lower than everyone else downwind wasn’t much better, I wasn’t last tho to my surprise! I got a 52nd.
I had a slightly better start, I managed to get a space ish, this time struggling to get the speed off the line rather than having a second row start. The beat went okay, again losing out downwind. Not ideal. Ended up with a 54th.
Another bad start struggling to get speed off the line, having to tack out from everyone. I had a decent upwind, again losing places downwind, a recurring theme here. The second beat I went right and lost out massively, I was waiting for a shift to tack on that never came as I was on a massive backer. I then lost 6 boats on the downwind to the finish to get a 63 in the race, my worst over the weekend.
Slightly windier, the wind was now coming from the North and would be shifting 3° to the left throughout the day. There were some decent gusts.
With it being a little windier, the boas had more power to get through the chop, I really concentrated upwind, tacking on shifts and trying to stop watching the other boats. I made good progress upwind and then lost again on the downwind. I made more gains and reached the reach mark in 30th place (yes I counted). I got a 39th in the race so I lost 9 places on the downwind.
This race was similar to number 1 I made huge gains on the 2nd upwind and was ahead of Chris who placed 41st. However I hit the mark and had to do a turn, and then lost out downwind again. Disaster.
I had a terrible beat going up the middle which didn’t work and then going left on the 2nd one which didn’t work either, I then lost more places downwind, I achieved a 45th as lots of boats got black flagged.
Overall I was pleased with the weekend, My starts were marginally better, and with clean air, I’m pretty quick upwind which I was happy with. My downwind sailing needs lots of work with both the angles of sail and the water state as surfing down waves I still struggle with. Also, I need more experience in fleet racing, multiple times over the weekend I’ve been sailed off by people when I know the right direction was the opposite way. It was great to see everybody again, bring on Hayling Island, a venue that i’m really looking forward to sailing at.
See you there on the 26th and 27th of October!
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