The first event in the Crewsaver Laser 4000 UK Series took place this weekend at Grafham Water SC

A good turnout of 54 Laser 4000s gathered for the first major event of the 2002 calender at Grafham Water this weekend (13-14 April). The sailors, including a large Scottish contingent, were greeted by a brisk northerly breeze and the occasional glimpse of sun.

Race one began with a general recall followed by the black flag being hoisted, which remained in force for the rest of the weekend. Andrew and Katie Shorrock started as they meant to go on, working their way to the front of the fleet, but were passed by Luke McEwen and Emma Evans who sailed away to a convincing first race win.

A strong port bias for the start of race two saw many teams in trouble from the start, but large gains downwind enabled Andy Palmer-Felgate and Jon Modral to take a good lead after the first lap. Some excellent sailing by Iain and Hamish Calder enabled them to catch up, eventually taking first, with the Shorrocks nearly catching Andy and Jon at the finish. Saturday’s racing ended with Luke and Emma scoring another win, and the consistent team of Paul Robinson and Fraser Hayden were again at the front of the fleet, but had their hoped dashed by falling foul of the crew weight limit having been randomly selected for a post-race weigh-in.

Grafham Water SC laid on an excellent dinner followed by a disco on Saturday night which was well supported by the 4000 and 5000 fleets.

The fresh breeze required to blow away hangovers on Sunday morning failed to materialise, and it was Chris Gould and Saskia Clark who managed to sniff out the zephyrs up the first beat of race four, with Andy and Jon snapping at their heels. A wind shift up the last beat enabled Paul and Fraser to take the lead, and at the finish Ronald Millar and Peter Marshall just piped Andy and Jon for second place.

The Dutch team of Joost and Jetske got the best start in race five, but were quickly overtaken by Iain and Hamish, then Andy and Jon who eventually took line honours.

The last race was a play off between the Shorrocks and the Calders to see who would win. Andrew and Katie left nothing to chance, winning convincingly and taking overall victory, Matt Johnston and Claire Wood put in a good effort at this their first Laser 4000 event to end the last race with a third place. Some quality prizes were provided by Crewsaver and presented by Richard Gibson from Laser, and Grafham Water SC were congratulated for providing a great weekend on and off the water.

Overall Results

1st Andrew and Katie Shorrock (Frensham Pond SC) 14pts

2nd Iain and Hamish Calder (Dalgety Bay SC) 17pts

3rd Andy Palmer-Felgate and Jon Modral (Castaways) 19pts

4th Printware, Luke McEwen and Emma Evans (Locks SC) 31pts

5th MGt, Ronald Millar and Peter Marshall (Dalgety Bay SC) 31pts

6th Preferred IT, Doug and Hilary Baker (Hayling Island SC) 38pts