Congratulations to Jurgen Luther, winner of The 2016 South Australian RC Laser Series
Jurgen won five out of the nine 2016 South Australian RC Laser Series rounds (one round was abandoned) and finished second in two other rounds.
Adrian Heard finished second, three points behind Jurgen, and Lindsay Sawyer, a further eight points behind Adrian, was third. Lindsay was also recognised as the most improved RC Laser sailor for the year.
And what an exciting year it has been…
2016 welcomed John Nieuwenhuizen and John Berry to our fleet, and with six boats starting in three of the last four rounds, it certainly has been a great year of RC Laser Sailing, with a well supported series.
A well deserved shout out goes to:
Adrian Heard for organising the 2016 South Australian RC Laser Series;
Mawson Lakes Model Yacht Club for providing the facilities;
and last but not least to all the RC Laser sailors for their enthusiastic participation.
We look forward to good size fleets in the 2017 series.
The last three rounds of the 2016 South Australian RC Laser Series are outlined below.
Round 8 : Saturday 3rd September Mawson Lakes
1st Jurgen Luther; 2nd Lindsay Sawyer; 3rd Adrian Heard; 4th Mark Easto; 5th John Nieuwenhuizen; 6th Lou Lamberts
Another gusty north-westerly day with winds varying between 5-15 knots and a moderate chop on the lake.
Over the eight races, it was hard to decide between B and C rigs, with only Jurgen using a B rig for all races.
After winning the first two races, Jurgen had a downwind collision with Adrian, which led to him being dismasted and having to retire from the race. Lindsay prospered in the strong winds and could have won the day had it not been for a collision at the start line of the last race with Jurgen, which saw both of them retiring from that race.
Lou developed problems with the spring on his mainsheet nylon line and only sailed three races.
Mark had a consistent day in the middle of the fleet, and John had a couple of thirds.
The general consensus was that it was a tough day, with lots of nosediving and some difficulty getting about in strong gusts. On the final result sheet Jurgen and Lindsay had nett 10 points and Adrian 11 points.
Jurgen won on a countback – close racing at its best.
Round 9 : Saturday 1st October West Lakes
1st Jurgen Luther, 2nd John Nieuwenhuizen, 3rd Mark Easton, 4th John Berry
With Adrian Heard and Lindsay Sawyer both on leave after the national titles, there were four starters including newcomer John Berry.
All sailors started on A rigs but after two races dropped to B rigs.
Three races later all were on C rigs and wondering if they would soon be pulling the D rigs out of the bag.
With the wind out of the northwest there was a shifting wind near the windward mark.
As the afternoon wore on the sun glare on the water became a big problem making the windward mark very difficult to see. When sailing the boat on starboard tack across the lake it almost became invisible. This was the major factor in the decision to call it a day. With the time taken for numerous rig changes we managed to complete eight races.
Other than John B, who was having his baptism of fire, everyone managed at least one win.
Mark sailed well earlier in the day but struggled somewhat as the wind got stronger. Considering his short time in RC Lasers John N. handled the conditions very well. At the end of the day he and Mark were separated by only one point with John claiming second overall.
The conditions got increasingly difficult for John B who had gear issues and was without a C rig. He couldn’t continue after race five but I’m sure he learnt a lot from the day and will be back again much stronger.
Other than a DNF with rudder problems, Jurgen’s experience kept him at the front making him the winner on the day.
Round 10 : Tuesday 1st November Mawson Lakes
1st Adrian Heard, 2nd Jurgen Luther, 3rd Lindsay Sawyer, 4th Mark Easton, 5th Lou Lamberts, 6th John Berry
A very pleasant day with six boats on the water, but with the westerly wind varying between 5-10 knots it was difficult to decide whether to carry an A or a B rig over the eight races.
Lindsay and Adrian sailed all but one race with B rigs, but Mark, Jurgen, Lou and John persisted with A rigs.
Lindsay, who despite his final position, was always near the front of the fleet, often got off to flying starts on the first windward work, usually with Jurgen in tow. Much to the annoyance of these two, Adrian had good downwind speed, and often caught the two of them for the final windward leg. Needless to say these three often had close finishes, with Mark and Lou sometimes up there as well.
John had two fourths in the first two races, and managed to finish all other races – some with an overpowered A rig.
Race six, which witnessed some extraordinary scenes at the leeward mark, was eventually won by Lindsay.
Leading up to this, Lou (A rig) and Adrian (B rig) were at the front of the fleet followed closely by Jurgen (A rig) and Lindsay (B rig). Just as Lou and Adrian reached the mark, they were hit by a 12 knot gust causing their boats to nosedive and swing wildly to windward. Enter Lindsay and Jurgen, with Lindsay maintaining control and going cleanly around the mark and Jurgen’s boat pirouetting in sympathy with the others.
After Lindsay’s sweet manoeuvre, Adrian recovered next, followed by Jurgen and Lou.
A great 2016 South Australian RC Laser Series was had by all!
Words: Adrian Heard
Photo: Joy Sawyer