Jon Emmett wins first Laser Radial event of the season
The first Radial Qualifier of 2005 was certainly a cold one and many sailors found the conditions too tough to complete all three races on Saturday 12 March. However, this did not deter the 129 entries, including over thirty women, from competing at Stokes Bay with class chairman Ken Falcon as the race officer.
The first race was sailed in 18 knots against a strong tide. Steve Cockerill actually missed the first start which saw 80 per cent of the fleet over. On the restart the fleet was more careful with most boats getting away cleanly, but many over standing the first mark. Cockerill pulled away from the fleet which was tussling downwind. By the end of the second reach the order was Cockerill, followed by Jon Emmett and Mark Brewster and this was how it remained to the finish.
Race two and the tide was still a force to be reckoned with, and despite the wind dropping a few knots it was still extremely cold, and the fleet, obviously not wanting a general recall, chose to be well behaved. At the windward mark the leader was John Beatty who held his lead for the first two laps, before being overtaken by Emmett on the final beat. Behind the leaders Cockerill was on the charge and moved into third place on the last leg.
The last race on Saturday finally saw the current take a break, but so did the wind as well. At start time the fleet were well back from the line and Cockerill, starting on port tack crossed the fleet to lead at the windward mark. However Emmett passed him downwind to win the last race. Mark Brewster recovered from a disappointing second race to score another third.
Sunday morning dawned with very little breeze and the postponement flag was raised. Unfortunately the breeze continued to die, and at midday there was a vote held and sailing was abandoned for the day, meaning the results from Saturday (two of three races to count) stood.
Overall Emmett took the event from Cockerill by one point, with Mark Brewster a comfortable third. Ben Paton just beat John Beatty by a single point to take fourth spot. As expected there was nothing to separate the women, with 1 point between Lizzie Vickers, Charlotte Dobson and Andrea Brewster, with Vickers coming out on top on this occasion. Olympic representative Laura Baldwin capsized in the first race, which resulted in an ankle injury which prevented her from sailing further. Weymouth National Ranker winner Penny Mountford also did not have a good event, picking up two black flags.
1st Jon Emmett Weir Wood SC 2pts
2nd Steve Cockerill Stokes Bay 3pts
3rd Mark Brewster HISC 6pts
4th Ben Paton Royal Lymington 9pts
5th John Beatty East Down 10pts
1st Master Steve Cockerill
1st Lady Lizzie Vickers
1st Male Youth John Beatty
1st Female Youth Rosie Chapman
1st Male Junior Evan Scott
1st Female Junior Melissa Addy