Round five of the Crewsaver-sponsored Laser 2000 Millennium Series took place on 11-12 August at Derwent Water
The previous sunny summer rounds were soon forgotten as the travellers arrived in a rain soaked Cumbria for round five of the Crewsaver-sponsored Laser 2000 Millennium Series on 11-12 August. Sailing in the Lake District is often testing and Derwent Water was to prove no exception. Competition at the front of the fleet was intense as no one fully mastered the conditions and six races saw five different winners.
The first of three back-to-back legs set off in early afternoon with a healthy breeze swinging south-westerly. A good start from Scotland’s Jim and Margaret Galloway saw them pull away from the fleet as the wind fluctuated from Force 5-2 in minutes and many were caught in holes only yards from severe gusts! The Galloways were chased home by Trevor and Caroline Bradley and Alan and Ben Sandover in a race that set the pattern for the weekend as these three became embroiled in the battle for honours.
Race two saw Oxford’s experienced Nigel Vick crewed by Pippa Saffin pick his way through the holes ahead of the Bradleys and Galloways. Emma Newell had a great race holding off the rest of the pack to take fifth place just behind Sandover. Further back in the field some over enthusiastic luffing contests caused some chaos on the downwind gate and finish line.
The final race of the day once again saw the Galloways out front chased early on by Paul and Lindsay Williams who slipped back after taking the wrong side on the run and Nigel Vick who held off a strong challenge from the quickly improving Ben Lister and Ceri Shave from North Yorks.
After a wet and stormy night which encouraged most people to stay in the bar until closing time, the morning dawned dry but overcast with very little wind.
Things picked up on the start line after a short delay and shift and the race got underway in fickle winds which split the fleet early. Williams was first round the mark followed by the Sandovers who clawed their way to the front on the second round. Only the Bradleys broke free of the pack to take a distant third at the line from Vick.
Race five saw the closest non-finish of the day as five boats edged to the ‘finish line’ only to realise that the 2000 fleet were being sent round again for another round! Williams led from Vick but both were at the wrong end of the line with kites still flying as the Bradleys nipped inside to take full advantage and the win next time round. Helen Dancer made up lots of ground on the final leg to take a well deserved third behind the on-form Sandovers. The Galloways took fourth after a port/starboard incident at the narrow gate slowed down their rivals.
The final race had all to play for as early leaders, series newcomers Lister/Shave and Williams’ held off the top three. The Sandovers once again pulled through to second but were unable to catch the leaders who took an excellent win.
This left the final points positions tied for first overall with the win going to Sandover on countback. The Galloways were extremely unlucky, despite being the only team to win two races, to finish third overall by a single point. It will take a good effort to prevent them from winning at the next round on their home water of Loch Venachar (29-30 September).
1st Alan and Ben Sandover (Carsington SC) 8pts
2nd Trevor and Caroline Bradley (Littleton SC) 8pts
3rd Jim and Margaret Galloway (Loch Venachar SC) 9pts
4th Nigel Vick and Pippa Saffin (Oxford SC) 11pts
5th Ben Lister and Ceri Shave (Craven SC) 14pts
6th Paul and Lindsay Williams (Huddersfield SC) 17pts