14 June 2018

South Australian RC Laser State Titles, Mawson Lakes, 10th June 2018

sa laserThis year’s titles were our second ever titles and our first to be sailed at our home territory of Mawson Lakes. We again had a healthy clan of eight Victorian sailors, which when combined with some of our local fleet gave a total of eighteen boats. The briefing was held in very calm conditions, but the forecast was for a 10 knot northeaster and within about half an hour of the briefing the wind arrived. The six races sailed before lunch were all sailed with A rigs, although nose-diving became an increasing problem as the morning progressed. It also quickly emerged that Scott Fleming was a clear leader this year, as with the exception of one brilliant race by Jurgen Luther, Scott won four or five of the other races. Scott’s boat speed and his ability to pick wind shifts in the fluky conditions separated him from Scott Mitchell and the rest of the fleet.

The wind steadily increased from the north east during the lunch break and the ten afternoon races were all sailed with B rigs. The starboard and inshore end of the start line tended to be favoured for most of the afternoon making traffic near the mark very heavy. The two Scotts together with Brad Hein, Jurgen Luther, Terry Rowe, Luke Donovan and myself in tow were frequently seen tacking along the southern shore of the lake picking up neat wind shifts on their way to the windward mark. The racing in the afternoon was more even with Brad Hein, Scott Mitchell and myself all picking up a couple of wins. The rounding of the windward mark became known as the most notorious part of the course, with big wind shifts making it hard to know how far to sail on port tack before attempting a starboard tack rounding. I remember seeing Peter Yates and John Nieuwenhuizen amongst others being stuck at the mark.

Overall however, Scott Fleming emerged an easy winner, as Scott Mitchell wasn’t at his usual blistering pace. The Portland delegation performed very well with Brad Hein claiming 4th place, Luke Donovan 7th , Mick Doherty 9th and Gary Hein 17th. Of the major placings it was Scott Fleming first, Scott Mitchell second and a pleasing third place for me.

Thanks to Johno Johnson for doing a great job of officiating on the day. Mario Gulic did the scoring and was assisted by Lorraine Berry. Dean Bonnett and Peter Simmons ran the recovery boat and Barry Jones and Roger Wilkey were observers. Stewart Ross assisted Johno in setting courses, John Nieuwenhuizen was in charge of logistics, Meredith Reardon and Janet Luther covered catering and Gary Polomka organised drinks. Many thanks to all you wonderful volunteers – you helped make it such a great day.


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