Mike Hart and Zoe Thesiger were the overall winners of the Laser 2000 national championship at Rutland SC
The Crewsaver-sponsored Laser 2000 National Championship for 2003 was held at Rutland Water SC over the weekend 30-31 August 2003. A total of 59 boats travelled from as far afield as Glasgow and Cardiff to join competition in shifty Force 3 on the Saturday and more fickle Force 2 on the Sunday.
The race officer set a sausage/oblong course for all six races. The shifty cool northerly winds on Saturday provided for great gains and losses as boats attempted to get clean air on the edge of the course. As expected with such a large fleet, competition on the start line was fierce. Some of the more experienced Laser 2000 sailors choose to go for clear air, away from the rafts, and use their superior speed on the first beat to gain place at the first mark. The first race ended with circuit regulars taking the first three places, with Mike Hart and Zoe Thesiger taking line honours in front of series champions Skip and Chay Atkins and Andy and Ann Rodwell. Steve Cooper and Nigel Dixon from Draycote won the second race with Trevor and Caroline Bradley a close second. The third race saw Mike and Zoe return to the front with Steve and Nigel and Trevor and Caroline giving close chase to the finish line.
As predicted, Sunday saw a 90-degree windshift and lighter winds. Starts became more critical and even more congested. The fourth race was being lead by Mike and Zoe when their main halyard broke. At the end Steve/Nigel led Skip/Chay to the line. In the fifth race Steve and Nigel were judged to have been on course side, with line honours going to Skip/Chay followed by Geoff and Tom Philips and Mike/Zoe Note Mike and Zoe were towed ashore and managed a very quick repair in time to return for the fifth race which was sailed back-to-back. So with six races and one discard it was down to the final race to decide the champions for 2003. After a short lunch break the fleet returned to the race course. The sixth race was won by Mike/Zoe with the 2000 champion John Low holding onto second place in front of Skip/Chay. Prizes were generously provided by Crew Saver and Rutland Water SC.
1st Mike Hart and Zoe Thesiger – Royal Hospital School – 9 Points
2nd Skip and Chay Atkins – Stone SC – 14 Points
3rd Steve Cooper and Nigel Dixon – Draycot SC – 18 Points
4th Geoff and Tom Phillips – RYA – 36 Points
5th Trevor and Caroline Bradley – Littleton SC – 38 Points
6th Andy and Anne Rodwell – RAFSA – 38 Points