The fourth round of the Laser 2000 Crewsaver-sponsored Millennium Trophy series took place at Bala Sailing Club on 28 July

When the Laser 2000 fleet turned up at Bala Sailing Club for the fourth round of the Crewsaver-sponsored Millennium Trophy series on 28 July, the lake showed a mirror image of the surrounding hills, with not a breath of wind to disturb the flags. However, John Eaton, the race officer for the weekend, promised a sea breeze at 1400 which duly set in.

Three races were run in the afternoon. The light, variable breezes taxed the ability of the fleet to follow the wind shifts, or even to find the wind on occasions. Skip and Zoe Atkins still in form from previous rounds, took first in all three races, closely challenged by Alan Sandover sailing with son Ben. Third place was shared between the Frogleys, Williams and Helen Dancer sailing with fiancé Andrew Phillips.

After a pleasant evening in the hostelries of Bala the fleet returned on Sunday morning to a strong southerly breeze. In the first of the three races, Emma Newell and Richard Payne managed to hold the fleet nearly to the windward mark, but went for a swim, and lost their commanding position when tacking to avoid a starboard boat. The Frogleys rounded the mark first, but lost out on the downwind leg to finish second behind Skip Atkins.

The second race again saw the Frogleys first at the mark only to be overtaken by the Atkins and Sandovers downwind, although at the last gybe for the leeward mark they picked up a strong gust which sent them in a mass of white water to the final mark picking up several boat lengths in the process.

The final race of the weekend was held after lunch in strengthening winds. Skip Atkins maintained his traditional first place, closely challenged by the Frogleys who crossed the line a boat length behind after a fascinating race. In the middle of the fleet Helen Dancer took advantage of some confusion at the leeward mark to take fourth from the Smiths and the Williams, who were both caught out by the club boats rounding the mark on starboard, whereas the 2000 fleet was rounding on port.

At the series halfway point, it is team Atkins who are showing the rest the way, with three event wins, with any doubts about strong winds being their achilles heel firmly put to rest this weekend. The series moves to Derwent Water Regatta for the next round on August 10-11.


1st Skip and Zoe Atkins (Stone SC)

2nd Alan and Ben Sandover Carsington SC)

3rd Ian and Andrew Frogley (Thorney Island SC)

4th Helen Dancer and Andrew Phillips (Cardiff Bay SC)

5th Paul and Lindsay Williams (Huddersfield SC)

6th Tony and Ann Okotie (Carsington SC)

7th Andrew and Kathryn Smith (Carsington SC)

8th Emma Newell and Richard Payne (Draycote Water SC)