Laser 4.7 Inlands 2016
The 2016 Laser 4.7 Inlands were held at the Rutland Water Sailing club over the weekend of 29th and 30th October. The event was run alongside the Radial and Standards and was also intended to be the third 4.7 Ladder event as well as a selection event for the 2017 4.7 Europeans.
In the week leading up to the event the forecast wasn’t particularly encouraging, with high pressure establishing itself over the UK. On the Thursday evening the decision was made to proceed with the event, but not as a Ladder or as a Euro’s selector due to the light wind forecast.
Undaunted, a good number of sailors arrived at Rutland on Saturday morning with the hope of racing. The breeze was stubbornly lacking for most of the day and the decision was taken to abandon for the day by mid-afternoon. I decided to go out training to get some extra time on the water while there was a little breeze, with the aim of practicing light wind roll tacking.
Sunday morning dawned windless with the mood around the dinghy park not optimistic about the prospects for any racing. With the first warning signal for the day scheduled for 9:55am the AP was hoisted. However, by around 10am the leaves and flags were starting to stir with a light but steady breeze of 4-5 knots from the south-west………so time to go racing. With the light winds it was still fairly warm so I was comfortable in my Rooster PolyPro’s and ThermaFlex.
The start for R1 was pin end biased, but the first significant shift brought the boats which started at the committee boat and went right back into play. I went round the first windward mark in the top few boats and moved into the lead as we were approaching the first gate, but then caught the attention of the Jury, resulting in a 720 and dropping back a couple of places. With the fleet fairly spread out I finished 2nd behind Alex.
R2 favoured the committee boat end, with a few boats BFD. I was pleased to sail a good first beat and again moved into the lead on the first run. I was able to play the shifts well on the second beat and was pleased to build a 2min+ lead by the finish.
With the wind dying as the Radials finished their R2, starting R3 looked unlikely. The AP was posted and that was it for the 2016 Inlands. Scoring 2nd and 1st, I was pleased to win the event.
This coming weekend is National Squad training at Grafham, which will be followed by the next Ladder (and Euro’s selector) at Datchet Water. With the temperatures set to drop by the weekend I’m looking forward to the arrival my new winter Rooster Kit!
Matt - GBR209997