Adrian Heard has been communicating with RC Laser sailors around the country to get an understanding of what RC Laser sailing is happening in their part of Australia. Here’s news on where fleets are growing, major RC Laser sailing events on the calendar and the preparations and some insights for the RC Laser Championship of Nations (CON17).
RC Lasers Queensland
RC Laser sailing club competition continues to be strong around the country. The Paradise Radio Yacht Club (PRYC) in Queensland, which is hosting CON17 has an excellent fleet. Under the leadership of Peter Burford and Peter O’Grady it features ‘The Seven Amigos’, who I gather are the hard core of Gold Coast radio-controlled yachting. I am sure the Amigos will feature strongly when many of us are racing at Emerald Lakes later this year. I am told that Malcolm Kampe is the PRYC RC Laser sailor to watch out for.
RC Lasers NSW
At Dobroyd Aquatic Club (DAC) in Sydney, Noel McPherson keeps a close eye on one of the top RC Laser sailing fleets in the country. Graham Brown continues to dominate the winner’s podium with Robin Tickner, Noel and others keeping him honest. Noel describes the RC Laser sailing fleet as expanding, and that all of them are ‘dead keen’. New members include David Moont and Geoff Lucas, both of whom are starting to find their feet in the RC Laser sailing DAC fleet. There is a regular fleet of about eight RC Lasers and the standard of racing is high. Noel anticipates having a highly competitive DAC outfit at RC Laser CON17.
At North Lakes Radio Sailing Club (NLRSC) at Belmont in NSW there is a fleet of up to eight RC Lasers on race days. The 16 Footers Club at Belmont is arguably one of the best clubrooms enjoyed by an RC Laser sailing fleet in Australia. Three new members have joined the fleet in recent times. With RC Laser CON17 getting ever closer the North Lakes fleet will be doing some Tuesday morning sailing at Grahamstown Dam near Newcastle. Currently there are eight NLRSC entrants in RC Laser CON17 and Daniel Bergan expects that number to grow.
As if NSW RC Laser sailing isn’t strong enough and the envy of the nation, the NSW RC Laser Series brings the DAC and NLRSC fleets together and includes others such as Jason Rootes from Lake Macquarie Radio Yacht Club making a fleet of about twenty boats. Jason and Graham Brown have featured strongly in this series so far.
RC Lasers Victoria
In Victoria, Scott Fleming reports that RC Laser sailing numbers at Patterson Lakes Radio Model Yacht Club (PLRMYC) have been down due to people travelling. The Victorians plan to ramp up their RC Laser CON17 campaign by coming over to SA in August for the SA RC Laser titles. Needless to say the SA fleet will be doing everything possible to be competitive against the Victorians.
RC Lasers South Australia
At Mawson Lakes Model Yacht Club (MLMYC) in Adelaide there are six active RC Laser sailors, who are locally known as ‘The Tupperware Terrorists’. We have sailed four rounds of our SA RC Laser Series so far, with John Berry and Don Turnbull being the two most recent (and highly enthusiastic) additions to our fleet. I am leading the series, but with Jurgen Luther not sailing RC Lasers at the club level this year the MLMYC fleet is in a rebuilding phase. MLMYC will have six entrants at RC Laser CON17 and, with our own state titles this year, we intend arriving at RC Laser CON17 well prepared.
RC Laser Championship of Nations 2017
Many RC Laser sailors around the country have already entered the RC Laser CON17, with close to 40 Australian entries at the time of writing. However, Peter O’Grady and others in Queensland have put a huge amount of work into being highly organised for this event and I think that around 50 Australian entrants and a total of 60+ total entrants is what they would be hoping for. If you know of RC Laser sailors who are yet to enter or other radio control yacht sailors who would be interested in competing in an international competition, please give them a gentle hurry on. We need them to be there, so that Australia can turn on the best RC Laser Championship of Nations ever. To enter the RC Laser CON17, please register here
Cliff Bromiley of Radio Control Sailing Australia is doing his best to ensure that there are at least a couple of representatives from either the USA or Canada at the event. With around 10,000 RC Lasers in the USA alone it would be great to have representation from North America. Dirk Tesmer from IRCLCA in Germany (he will be at RC Laser CON17) would be more delighted than anyone to see a sailor from the USA at RC Laser CON17.
Who are Australia’s top contenders for RC Laser CON17?
Obviously one could not go past Kirwan Robb, the 2015 and 2016 national champion. However, Kirwan is yet to enter. The other standouts are Graham Brown and Scott Fleming. These two sailors are always at the top end of the fleet and will be right up there at RC Laser CON17. Geoff Smith from PRYC tells me to watch out for Malcolm Kampe and his excellent knowledge of Emerald Lakes. Malcolm is a very good IOM sailor who has adapted to RC Lasers well. Also add Peter Burford to the list, because he has local knowledge and a strong record of sailing at Emerald Lakes and in national titles.
As for the international entrants, there are some very good RC Laser sailors amongst them. Taco Faber from the Netherlands and Dirk Tesmer from Germany are highly likely to be top ten finishers. All in all it beckons to be a great series. Personally, I can’t wait to be there!!
RC Laser State Titles 2017 Dates
With RC Laser CON17 being so close there is an amazing line-up of state titles coming up, which give the enthusiastic RC Laser sailor a smorgasbord of opportunities to sharpen their sailing skills.
The RC Laser state title dates are as follows -:
29th July South Queensland RC Laser Titles
19th August South Australian RC Laser State Titles
20th August New South Wales RC Laser State Titles Round 1
24th September New South Wales RC Laser State Titles Round 2
7th October Victorian RC Laser State Titles
14th October Queensland RC Laser State Titles
None of us can say that we haven’t been given an adequate opportunity to prepare for RC Laser CON17.
Remember to enter for the event by registering here
Written by Adrian Heard
Photo by Mark Easton at Mawson Lakes Fleet, SA