Win for Westcountry men

Shelton and White take final event in Laser 5000 UK Series at Hayling Island

Tuesday September 24th 2002, Author: Matt Best, Location: United Kingdom
The final event in the Laser 5000 UK series was held at Hayling Island Sailing Club over the weekend of 21st and 22nd September. The equinoctial spring tide and forecast off-shore winds promised for an interesting two days racing - and so it proved.

The light winds from somewhere Northish required a mixture of luck and inspired guess-work as sailors attempted to factor in varying wind strengths, wind directions and strong currents flowing in various different directions across the course. An abandonment of the third race was soon followed by busy activity by the safety boats as they towed the fleet back home across the windless bay.

Sunday proved more lively. With three boats in the lead on 5 points overnight, and Jamie Shelton and Graham White on Westcountry Watersports on 6 points with a first and a fifth, there was all to play for. Although still with North in it, the wind blew force 4 gusting 5, with occasional spells of 3. The racing was made all the more interesting when twin wiring down wind racing for the bottom mark - to find a wall of 50-odd Laser 4000s, with whom the event was shared, sailing in the opposite direction.

Westcountry Watersports led from the off, and dominated the top spot for the whole day. Second place was shared amongst the rest of the fleet. Dave Evans and Ben Deacon managed to hold onto second in race three, proving that sailing with a jib lowering itself down the forestay throughout the race need not slow you down. Mike Thompson and Tom Porter were next in line in race four, adding to the previous day's first. Adrian and Rob Smith, making one of their guest appearances on the circuit, showed that they still knew which way up to sail the boat and claimed second in the third race of the day.

Excellent race management gave just enough time for a sixth race of the event following yesterday's abandonment - although having just raced three windy 5-lap races some crews were wondering whether they had enough energy for another in addition to the long sail home. While Westcountry Watersports claimed their fifth bullet, Roger Lewis and Matt Best added another second to their consistent thirds and Saturday's second.

An excellent weekend's racing left Westcounty Watersports with a comprehensive victory, while Lewis/Best beat the Smiths to a closely fought second place by just two points. The cash buddy prizes, sponsored by Hermes, went to several boats throughout the fleet.

Position Boat Number Crew Points
1 GBR5307 Jamie Shelton & Graham White; 5
2 GBR5130 Roger Lewis & Matt Best; 13
3 GBR5146 Adrian Smith & Rob Smith; 15
4 GBR5242 Mike Thomson & Tom Porter; 21
5 GBR5185 Mike Webber-Walton & Claire Webber-Walton; 22
6 GBR5 Dave Evans & Ben Deacon; 37
7 GBR5300 Richard Evans & Mike Archer; 39
8 GBR5180 Niall Myant & Robert Edwards; 41
9 GBR5235 Jez Berwick & Dave Carr; 44

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