Laser SW Grande Prix 2014
On Sunday 22nd June, I attended my first ever Laser event. Having sailed on the RS Feva circuit for many years now I switched to the Radial in January 2014. The event was part of the Laser SW Grande Prix, this weekend it was held at Restronguet SC in West Cornwall.
The weather was stunning, with sunshine, top temperatures of 23 degrees and a light Easterly breeze around 4-8knts. We arrived nice and early so set about rigging and doing all my usual pre event checks. Then set about deciding what to wear, I was well prepared and brought all of my kit with me (which is nearly about everything Rooster makes). I chose to go for the ThermaFlex LonhJohn's & ThermaFlex Top with Race Amour Lite Shorts, Pro Laced Boots, Black Diamond Buoyancy Aid & an AeroMesh Visor. Applied plenty of sun cream, then got the boat into the water and headed for the start line.
Race 1 - After a pretty decent start I got caught up in a Port vs Starboard incident, leaving me to find clear air to do my penalty turns. I completed my turns and by the windward mark I was 7th. Being quite light for the radial (53kgs) I managed to soak down the reach & run pretty quickly and rounded the leeward mark in 5th position. The next upwind proved to be vital as the right came in better, thankfully I was on the right and rounded the windward mark side by side with 4th. Again my light weight proved to be an advantage and sailed my way into 3rd, a position I held all the way to the finish.
Race 2 - My best race. I tacked off straight after the start and I ended up 1st radial at the windward mark. I battled all the way down the reach and run with another radial and I was still leading at the leeward mark, then disaster struck, I mirrored exactly what I done on the first beat and headed out to the right. The other boat tacked off to the left, in hindsight I probably should have tacked off and covered him, unfortunately he passed me and the positions stayed like that until the finish.
Race 3 - Not much to report, I found myself in 3rd place at the windward mark and battled all the way with 2nd who was a very experienced sailor and he played very defensive and I could not find a way to pass him.
So I ended up with a 3rd, 2nd, 3rd leaving me 3rd overall. I was absolutely delighted and came away with some real positives and also lots to work on over the next couple of weeks.
Please check out my YouTube Channel: httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dHBD5StZuaE
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/JamesDowrickRacing
A big thank you to my sponsors for all their support - Rooster Sailing, May Whetter & Grose Estate Agents and Niles Bakery