A total of 27 boats turned out for the Laser 4.7 national championship at Swanage SC

The first Laser 4.7 national championship was held at Swanage SC over three days (31 August and 1-2 September, 2001) in conjunction with the Laser Standard and Laser Radial World Qualifier event, and a total of 27 boats turned out.

The Laser 4.7 uses all the standard Laser equipment but has a smaller sail (4.7 sq m) and a pre bent lower mast section. Most Laser techniques can be used with the 4.7 rig, which makes it ideal for aspiring lightweights (62kg and under) to enjoy Laser racing without being blown off the race course in moderate to strong winds. Also the sailor can simply step up to a Radial rig as they grow. On the Friday a gusty northerly breeze tested the ability of the young sailors and, coupled with a strong east to west tide, gave rise to a short steep chop, making exciting sailing. The first race winner was Tom Smedley followed by James Royston and Keir Clarke.

The second race was equally taxing and the youngsters had to dig deep into their energy reserves. A superb display of racing was given by Keir Clarke to win the race, finishing ahead of most of the Radial fleet who started three minutes earlier!

Saturdays and Sunday’s racing was very close as the wind became lighter and ever more shifty. The standard of racing of the top five sailors, Mathew Lindsey, Ben Mansfield, Tom Smedley, James Royston and Kier Clarke, was particularly impressive to watch and showed considerable promise. The top girl was Charlotte Clay from Frensham Pond SC. Others such as Jo Bradley and Chris Carden showed flashes of brilliance with a couple of top two places. Judging by the smiles of all the Laser 4.7 sailors the event was both challenging and enjoyable.

Overall Results

1st Tom Smedley 5 pts

2nd Kier Clarke 8 pts

3rd Matthew Lindsey 13 pts

4th Ben Mansfield 14 pts

5th James Royston 15 pts

6th and 1st girl : Charlotte Clay 26 pts