Fifty-four Laser Radials brave wind and rain at Felixstowe for the penultimate of the Laser Radials National Ranking events

A wet and windy weekend (29-30 September) at Felixstowe greeted 54 sailors for the penultimate of the Laser Radials National Ranking events. The Radial Master World Champion has already taken the top spot with four event wins but the series is still extremely hotly contested.

Felixstowe provide great sailing with good wind and waves but some extreme tide. Race one saw the fleet caught out by the tide, with Jon Emmett winning the port end start only to hit the mark and get stuck on it along with Nick Thompson and 20 per cent of the fleet.

Those who made a clean start were away and Steve Cockerill rounded mark one in the lead and was never challenged. Second round the windward mark was Adam Cockerill who showed excellent upwind speed but he couldn’t hold off a determined Emmett who grabbed second downwind.

Up the second beat, Ed Green did well to pull up to third comfortably in front of Topper national champion Giles Scott. At the finish it turned out Emmett had been OCS.

Race two saw Emmett lead around the windward mark and hold first place to the finish. In second was Nick Thompson who put the disappointment of the first race behind him to pull clear of Cockerill in third. Ed Green who was the most consistent performer on the Saturday had his worst race with a fourth.

With the breeze dying for the final race of the day, Nick Thompson made a superb start and built a commanding lead. Behind him the battle for second spot was between James Tilley, Ed Green and Jon Emmett. At the bottom mark Emmett tacked off early and slipped to fourth while Tilley carried on right into more breeze and pulled clear of Green. However Green’s downwind speed was enough to secure second down the final run with Tilley remaining comfortably in front of Emmett.

Overnight things couldn’t be much tighter with three race winners and two points separating the top four. Thompson was in the lead, one point clear of Cockerill and Green who were tied on points, with Emmett one point behind. Green had by far the best discard. Suzanne Hamilton was top girl overnight.

Sunday saw the breeze and the waves pick up a notch. Cockerill once again led round the first mark but was passed downwind by Emmett who held onto the lead to the finish. Andrea Brewster excelled in the breeze, scoring two top five finishes on the final day. Her third in race four and fifth in race five was enough to promote her to top lady overall. Despite his light weight Thompson did well to get fourth.

The final race was led from start to finish by Emmett, who took the event. Cockerill again took second place and therefore second overall from Thompson who took third and third place overall. Green need not have sailed the last race, and finished comfortably fourth overall. James Tilley and Adam Cockerill took fifth and sixth overall, with Youth World representative Natalie Lloyd finishing top girl.

Overall Results

1st Jon Emmett, Weir Wood 7pts

2nd Steve Cockerill, Stokes Bay 8pts (1st Apprentice Master)

3rd Nick Thompson, Lymington 10pts (1st Junior and Male Youth)

4th Ed Green, Llanishen 15pts

5th James Tilley, Restronguet 25pts

6th Adam Cockerill, Emsworth Slipper 28pts

7th Guy Tipton, Stokes Bay 28pts

8th Andrea Brewster, Frensham Pond 32pts (1st Lady)

9th Nick Livingstone, Oxford 32pts (1st Master)

10th Chris Grube, Bala 40pts

15th Natalie Lloyd, Merchant Taylors 57pts (1st Female Youth)