Despite foot and mouth crisis Queen Mary Sailing Club played host to one of the closest racing events of the year on Saturday 7 April – the Laser 4000 and 5000 Supercup.

Despite foot and mouth crisis Queen Mary Sailing Club played host to one of the closest racing events of the year on Saturday 7 April. The Laser 4000 and 5000 fleets raced round an ever-tightening course that was designed for very close racing and some very spectacular starts. The downwind start with short line made for good viewing for those able to watch form the shore.

The racing consisted of six qualifying races lasting around 15 minutes, with the 4000s and 5000s starting separately but sailing the same course. After every race, the course was tweaked to make the sailing just a little harder for these high flying fleets.

The morning races were sailed away from the clubhouse but with increasing wind (Force 4) and some interesting upside-down manoeuvres from a few of the boats.

The tight racing did lead to two 4000s becoming intertwined at a leeward mark with neither able to right themselves for some time. In general however, racing was of a very high standard, but at the same time very friendly.

The afternoon races were moved to a better position for spectators in front of the clubhouse with all boats battling hard to be in the final. After the six qualifying races, five boats from each fleet were selected on results to go into the final, a three-lap decider (four laps for the 5000 fleet) sailed in decreasing winds that was to produce the Supercup slalom champions of 2001.

In the end, line honours went to Hugh Watson and Helen Lloyd 4536 (Kongsberg), Hugh transferring his Fireball history into the 4000 fleet with style and speed. The pairing of Chris Balding and Ben Dutton, ex-mirror world and European champions respectively, took a dunking which scuppered their chances in the final in what otherwise had been a good day for the boys working hard to transfer their skills to the 4000 fleet. The 5000 fleet was led across the line by supremos Andy and Dave Richards 5301 (Traxdata), the unstoppable pairing who are also campaigning an 18ft skiff this season.

Overall Results


1st 4536 Hugh Watson and Helen Lloyd Kongsberg

2nd 4345 Mark Cotgrove and Ian Gotts Control

3rd 4138 Luke McEwan and Emma Evans SP Systems

4th 4422 Andrew Peters and Mike Dakin

5th 4466 Mike Matan and Pippa Wheeler

6th 4604 Chris Balding and Ben Dutton Kalido


1st 5301 Andy and Dave Richards Traxdata

2nd 5196 Simon Spolton and Ed Browne

3rd 5074 Mark Dicker and Malcolm Reed

4th 5289 Andrew Fairley and Tim Davies