The Crewsaver Laser 2000/3000 national championship took place last weekend
It was a bright sunny morning, with no wind, on Saturday 21 September when 52 Laser 2000 and 15 Laser 3000 gathered for the Crewsaver-sponsored national championship at Rutland Sailing Club.
Competitors from far afield including the Isle of Man, Scotland and Devon enjoyed a weekend of competitive racing throughout the fleets. The wind gradually increased and the race officer Bruce Bonar allowed the fleets on the water for the first race, which was held in a fickle, chilly Force 2. As the fleets struggled with lulls and swirls, it was the Laser 2000 open meeting champions, Skip and Zoe Atkins from Stone SC, who took first, while Tim and Alec Filamore from Draycote led the Laser 3000 fleet home. The second race started in a more stable Force 2 which dropped off towards the end and saw Keith McQuillin and Ritchie Birchenall form the RAF Sailing Association win the Laser 2000 race and James Hamerton and Guy Draper from the Royal Hospital School win the Laser 3000 race.The race officer then abandon racing for the day with the promise of more wind on Sunday.
So after an excellent evening function, care of Rutland Sailing Club, the fleets gathered in a blustery Force 3-4. Racing became tight with fast planing boats picking their way through the fleet still making their way upwind. Keith and Ritchie again took line honors in the Laser 2000 race with Sarah and Philip Williams of the Devon Schools Sailing Association winning the Laser 3000 race.
The fourth race started in a steady Force 3, which gradually dropped off as the clouds departed to reveal a bright blue sky. It was last year’s champions Paul and Rebecca Procter from Paignton who led the Laser 2000 fleet home and James and Guy who again managed to win the Laser 3000 race.
After lunch the race officer ruled there would be one more race. With five boats having a good chance of winning the Laser 2000 championship it was far from decided. The race started with the clouds gathering in a Force 3 but as the fleets moved up the first beat the wind strengthened to Force 4 with gust of Force 5. The final Laser 2000 race was won by Keith and Ritchie while Sarah and Philip won the Laser 3000 race.
The Crewsaver-sponsored prizes were awarded by Fiona the Rear Commodore at Rutland SC. RAFSA awarded a trophy for the best of the nine RAFSA boats. Kodak provided a camera, which was given to Tarig Melham and Niki Russell from Oxford Sailing Club for turning up without their jib.
1st Keith McQuillan and Ritchie Mirchenall (RAFSA)
2nd Paul and Rebecca Procter (Paington)
3rd Keith and Zoe Atkins (Stone)
Best Youth Team Stuart Williams and Alyss Kingham (Oxford)
Laser 3000 1st and Best Under 18: James Hamerton and Guy Draper (RHS)
2nd Sarah and Philip Williams (DSSA)
3rd Tim and Ben Houghton (DSSA)