We are seeing some good racing in SA with the South Australian RC Laser series underway. And there is the likelihood that three SA skippers will compete in the national championship in Yarrawonga over the weekend of 17-18 September.
Following is a report from part of the South Australian RC Laser series from SA RC Laser sailor Adrian Heard.
South Australian RC Laser Series Round 3 – Saturday 2nd April West Lakes
Results – 1st Jurgen Luther, 2nd Adrian Heard, 3rd Lou Lamberts
This was a round very different to all previous rounds. Firstly it was at West Lakes in a southerly, where the outer mark is far away and judging getting around it on a starboard tack is none too easy. It was blowing 12-15 knots and B rigs were near the limits of their range. The expanse of West Lakes meant there was sufficient fetch for the wind to develop a small but significant choppiness on the water that made boat speed critical, getting about more difficult and getting into irons a hazard. Quite simply, Jurgen had the best upwind boat speed all day, and was almost without exception the first boat to the first windward mark. In the three races where Adrian beat him, Jurgen was just pipped at the finishing line on two occasions and had gear failure on a third. Also Jurgen’s dominance increased as the day went on, because the wind increased in strength slightly, and Adrian and Lou had increasing problems getting into irons. All in all it was an impressive display, leaving Adrian and Lou scratching their heads and mindful of just how much improvement they have to make to be competitive in moderate winds and choppy seas.
South Australian RC Laser Series Round 4 – Tuesday 3rd May Mawson Lakes
Results – 1st Linsay Sawyer, 2nd Adrian Heard, 3rd Jurgen Luther, 4th Mark Easton, 5th Lou Lamberts
This was to be the round when Scott and Jayne Fleming, who were visiting South Australia for the State International One Metre Titles, were to join the South Australian fleet at Mawson Lakes. Unfortunately, this did not eventuate due to difficulties in securing a loan boat.
The competitors were greeted at Mawson Lakes by intermittent showers accompanied by squalls of over 20 knots, with winds of 15 knots between the squalls. Jurgen and Adrian opted for B rigs, while the rest of the fleet chose C rigs. A severe squall at the windward mark put paid to their chances of winning the race as the downwind leg became a series of nosedives for both of them and the remainder of the fleet sailed well ahead. With C rigs in place for the second race, Adrian failed to give way to starboard and attached his boat firmly to Jurgen’s, so again Linsay, Mark and Lou took the first three places. With two wins already under his belt, Linsay proved this was no fluke by winning the third race and showing his strong wind credentials. By this time the strong winds were starting to have a telling effect on some boats, with Lou having repeated problems with his mainsheet attachment. Also with regular checks of equipment and changes of rigs, a couple of sailors forgot to monitor their boats and had to be rescued from reed beds near the sailing area.
After the third race, Jurgen and Adrian had a major crack at reclaiming the lead after poor early showings. Adrian won one race, which was literally too close to call and then followed up with a second win when Jurgen had another crack at using a B rig. Back on a C rig, Jurgen won two of the last three races, with Adrian claiming the other race. Meanwhile, Linsay was sailing very consistently in heavy winds to pick up 2nd and 3rd placings, so consistently in fact that he emerged the winner of the round. The heavy weather was by now also effecting Mark’s boat and both Mark and Lou had to miss or withdraw from two of the last three races. Adrian and Jurgen had a very close and competitive round with both finishing one point behind Linsay, and Adrian taking second place on a countback.
by Adrian Heard.