The Laser 2000 two-day meeting took place at Queen Mary Sailing Club on 4-5 May, forming the second in the Crewsaver-sponsored seven-match Millennium Cup series.
On Saturday the wind was Force 2-3 but with swirling and skittish nature which proved very challenging. Thirteen boats signed on to compete including five local boats. The first race was at 12 noon with a triangular course set including an upwind gate. First to the windward mark was the new comer to the Laser 2000 circuit but Laser employee Tom Rosoman sailing with his wife Susannah who is a novice. Regular Skip Atkins with new crew son Chay, aged 10, closely followed. Locals Tom Glanfield and Simon Baker were next around with regulars Trevor and Caroline Bradley in close pursuit. Places remained unchanged to the wing mark after which Skip and Chay made up ground and passed in front of Tom and Susannah by the leeward mark. Two laps were sailed with final places going to Skip and Chay, Tom and Susannah, Trevor and Caroline closely followed by Ian Frogley and his new light weight crew Tom Kennedy (12 years) – look out Skip two can play at that game! The second race was sailed after lunch with a course change to a triangular-sausage format. The fleet was closely packed up to the first mark with Tom and Susannah first around followed by Tom and Simon. Three legs followed with Skip and Chay passing up the fleet to take first place with Ian and Tom in close pursuit and Trevor and Caroline coming from the back of the fleet to take third place. In the third race the winds strengthened slightly and became steadier, again the fleet was closely packed to the first mark with Skip and Chay leading followed by Ian and Tom and locals Andrew Guhl and Andrew Sloper. The followers were caught in a swirl with Trevor and Caroline touching the mark.
Choosing to take their turn early they then touched Paul and Lindsay Williams who had also been caught in the swirl and were recovering from being caught in irons below the mark, resulting in a 360 degree turn escalating to a 1040. The race was won by Skip and Chay with Ian finding form with his new crew hot on their heels, Tom and Susannah were in third. The day therefore finished with Skip and Chay clear in the lead, with three first places. Sunday began sunny but quickly became over cast with stronger north-easterly wind Force 3-4 suiting the heavier crews. Racing took place on the eastern lake with a simple windward/leeward course with an up wind gate. First race was at 11am. First to the windward mark were Skip and Chay closely followed by Paul and Lindsay Williams with the Bradleys in third. The Rosomans tried a flyer at the pin end on the start line resulting in being over and having to turn back to dip the line. On the downwind leg, the Bradleys and locals Tom and Simon came into they’re own and passed in front. There was close match racing up the following beats with first place being fiercely contested between the Bradleys, Atkins and Tom and Simon.
The race was taken by the Bradleys with Atkins second and Tom and Simon third. Strong gusts and swirls lead to several capsizes in the fleet. Victims included Ken and Alan Ovington; A Barraclough and young daughter Alice who retired and locals Ian Simpson with crew Andrew who managed a triple capsize resulting in their retirement to the warmth of the club house for hot drink and warm food.
The fourth race had Tom and Susannah clear to the first mark followed by Tom and Simon, these places did not change for the rest of the race. The rest of the fleet were some distance behind. Third place was closely contested through the following three laps. Ian Frogley and Tom Kennedy were in third place on the second lap at the windward mark, but unfortunately dumped the kite to form a sea anchor allowing the Bradleys and Atkins past. Ian then made up to third place again by the final leeward mark but choosing the wrong side of the course to the finish allowed Skip and Chay to