Jon Emmett wins second qualifying event of the season 27/3/06
The second Laser Radial Qualifier of 2006 was testing for race officer Ken Falcon and competitors alike. However, nearly 100 Radials raced at Swanage on the last weekend of March in everything from 5 to 25 knots of shifty off shore breeze.
Race one was meant to start at 1200 but thick fog meant safety was a real issue and the fleet was told to sail to shore. However, as soon as the flags were raised the breeze started to fill in and slowly the fog cleared. Before most sailors hit the beach they were sent back to the start area where 15 knots of breeze was waiting for them.
There were no general recalls and the start got away cleanly. Jon Emmett came out from the pin end and worked the left side of the beat to lead at the windward mark. Initially he pulled away from the fleet but near the gybe mark the wind died, and David Jessop sailed over the top of Emmett. However, Emmett repeated the favour on the second reach, rolling Jessop to take the lead again.
The final lap saw Emmett remain clear from Jessop, who was in turn clear of the chasing pack, which was led by Ross Harvey in third place. Harvey showed excellent speed upwind but was also low on the fleet, which worked well in the difficult conditions.
Race two and the fleet was badly behaved. Several general recalls and as many disqualifications finally allowed the race to get underway, led by the those who played the right hand side of the beat. Laura Baldwin was among the initial leaders but suffered a broken top section which put her out of the race.
At the top end of the beat Steve Cockerill emerged as the leader and was never challenged, but he failed to finish correctly, believing there was another lap, which allowed Jessop, Adam Fox and Penny Clark all to pass him.
Thick fog once again threatened racing on Sunday morning however, at 1300 things looked better and the fleet launched at around 1315 for what turned out to be the final race of the series.
Race three once again saw the leaders come from the left and Emmett was first at the top mark but once again ran out of breeze at mark two, and Adam Fox sailed under him and held a very narrow lead until the end of the run where he thought the race was finishing, despite shouting from Emmett.
Emmett carried on sailing for a comfortable win, with Steve Cockerill and Lizzie Vickers both passing Fox.
1st Jon Emmett Weir Wood 2 pts
2nd David Jessop Grafham Water 3pts
3rd Steve Cockerill Stokes Bay 5pts
4th Adam Fox Grafham Water 9pts
5th Lizzie Vickers Royal Thames 9pts
6th Penny Clark Navy 10pts
1st Youth (female) Anna Dobson
1st Youth (male) David Jessop