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By Ian Baillie
Last weekend the Scottish Laser Travellers series came to Dalgety Bay for their latest regatta. The Sun shone, of course and we had great wind, if a bit shifty on Saturday. It was a really busy regatta, with 120 boats spread over six classes including novice and development fleets.
The biggest fleet were the Teras, who sailed on a separate course alongside the development and novice fleets. The Teras are becoming very popular, with most of the boats belonging to clubs, which are loaned out to their sailors for the weekend and often transported on multi-boat trailers. The driver for this in Scotland is Robbie Wilson, from Wormit, near Dundee, with support from JP Watersports at Port Edgar. Robbie has organised regattas and training for the growing Tera fleet for the past few years and is constantly enthusiastic and endlessly helpful while doing it.
In the Laser fleet, the weekend was dominated by the masters, with Pete Malcolm winning, myself second and Mark Allen third. The youngsters were up there in some races but not enough to into the prizes. Personally, I thought I sailed alright and got better through the regatta. I've not managed to get to as many events as I would have liked due to various family commitments but I have sailed a fair bit this summer, so my fitness is fine is normally pretty good. I did feel I lacked sharpness on the Saturday and at times on Sunday, particularly when trying to hold a lane and getting that balance between pinching high but not losing speed.
And although my boat handling is usually pretty good, I managed to fall in during the first race on Saturday, while leading, of course. I'm not quite sure what happened but I was on a broad reach and I might have had a bit much kicker on, although it was gusty and I'd set up for acceleration, when a big gust caught me out and as the boat began to broach, my rudder stalled, which is unusual so maybe I had some weed on it. Anyway, in I went and it was good bye to a possible race win.
I did enjoy the racing over the weekend though. The top boats were always close and there was not much between us in speed, which is what the Laser is all about I suppose.
Next weekend is the last Scottish event for the Laser series, up at Loch Tummel, the end of the season comes around so quickly.