A record fleet competed in the inaugural South Australian RC Laser championships held over last weekend, 19-20 August. The Adelaide Radio Control Yacht Racing Club hosted at the popular Patawalonga Lake (aka “the Pat”) at Glenelg North in Adelaide – considered by many as one of the best RC sailing venues.
Congratulations to Scott Mitchell for becoming the inaugural South Australian RC Laser champion, to Scott Fleming for coming second (on count-back) and to Andrew Reid for taking third place. Here’s the full report from Adrian Heard.
Shifty start to South Australian RC Laser Championships
After a week of rainy days the morning of Saturday 19th August dawned with sunshine and a light north-easterly breeze. In the previous 48 hours an armada of nine Victorian sailors had assembled on South Australian soil, and together with nine local sailors and Mark Luland from Dobroyd in NSW, we had a fleet of nineteen boats for the event. By the listed 10.30am starting time the north-easterly breeze shifted to WSW, and around midday it shifted further to south-westerly and progressively strengthened during the day to a maximum of 7-8 knots. It was A rigs all day, with only Pat Parisienne, Bob Whitehead and John Berry daring to try B rigs after lunch.
After the first race was declared nul, due to the scorers being unable to read sail numbers at the distant finishing line, formal racing got under way. Scott Mitchell and Scott Fleming took first and second place in the first race, and this pattern or the reverse order was to be a regular feature of the day’s racing. Together they won twelve out of the sixteen races and occasionally by large margins. Other heat winners for the day were Andrew Reid (two wins), Rob Nowak (one win) and Jason Shilton (one win).
A real feature of the day’s sailing was the flukiness of the wind at the windward mark. This mark was set near the opposite side of the Patawalonga to the control area, and the distance and constant change in wind direction made judging the mark very difficult at times. We all had a bad moment or two at this mark. John Nieuwenhuizen had a couple of collisions early on, and Jurgen Luther and I had a farcial time trapped at the mark in race eleven. There were many other similar experiences by other sailors.
While the two Scotts were very consistent all day – Scott Fleming had to do only one 360 degree turn; remarkable in the conditions – Andrew Reid started slowly and improved as the day went on, and Rob Nowak could not find the consistency he needed to be able to win the title. Pat Parisienne was often near the front, and of the Mawson Lakes sailors I think Lindsay Sawyer and John Nieuwenhuizen should be pretty happy with their performances. For three of the eight Mawson Lakes sailors this was their first major regatta, and sailing in a fleet of nineteen boats was a potentially life-changing experience.
Scott Mitchell beat Scott Fleming on a count-back, by having one more second place. That’s how close it was. Congratulations to Scott Mitchell for becoming the inaugural South Australian RC Laser champion, to Scott Fleming for coming second and to Andrew Reid for taking third place. Also thanks to our PRO Johno Johnson who ran a great series, to the scorers Graham Ingerson and Bob Dagg and to the rescue boat operator Len Hearing. What a great mob they are at Adelaide Radio Control Yacht Racing Club. Yvonne and Peter Tiss were observers at the windward and leeward marks all day – a very busy job! Meredith Reardon helped with food and photography and John Berry organised the drinks.
All in all it was a very successful day, with smiling faces all around. There was resounding agreement that the South Australian RC Laser Titles are here to stay!