Laser 4.7 Inlands, Rutland Water, 25
Sponsored by Noble Marine
By Alex Butler
The Laser Inland Championship was held this year at Rutland Water on the weekend of 25 –26 October. The forecast leading up to the event was for breezy conditions, but dry, on both days, and, for once, the weather forecasters got it right.
All fleets launched promptly on Saturday, and with a downwind run to the start there was plenty of time to work out the bias and to try a few practice beats.
The 4.7s were the second start and sailed the outer loop, but with a windward mark approximately three quarters of the distance of the Standard fleet who had started first and were also sailing the outer loop. Also, there was no gate, only a leeward mark. This made for some busy roundings and, occasionally, carnage as the wind picked up and boats capsized at the mark following a gybe.
The line on Saturday was fairly even, but it definitely paid to go left as this seemed to be where the most pressure was and there were consistent left shifts here as well. It was also important to avoid the water tower in the middle of the first beat because there was a big lull to leeward of this that could really mess you up – thank goodness the 4.7s were on the outer loop!
Saturday finished with William Heritage leading, Jack Elsby-Hartman was in second and Sol Thornton in third.
Sunday was very much a repeat of Saturday only with the wind, still from the south, turned up a few knots. This proved much more challenging with many capsizes and even some broken rigs.
Once again the Race Officer, who did a brilliant job all weekend, got the fleets away quickly. Going left was again the order of the day from the even start line. As the day
went on some of the gusts coming through were getting close to 30kts, which made for some tremendous reaches between the top marks, but also some hairy runs which ended in more than one death roll.
After the six races with one discard, William Heritage ended in first place and the new Laser 4.7 Inland Champion – counting only first places. Second was Jack Elsby-
Hartman with Ben Childerley in third.
Thanks to Rutland Sailing Club and all involved for putting on a great and enjoyable event.
1 William Heritage, 5pts
2 Jack Elsby-Hartman, 9pts
3 Ben Childerley, 18pts