Laycock takes Inland Championships

Mike Woodhead reports on the Finn racing at Ullswater

Monday October 7th 2002, Author: James Boyd, Location: United Kingdom
Exceptionally warm conditions met the Finn fleet at Ullswater on the 5th and 6th October. True inland championship conditions prevailed, up to 15knots on Saturday and light and variable on Sunday with bright sunshine.

In race one a port bias line saw Phil Laycock and John de Leuw start at the pin end, Phil tacked off immediately onto port and John sailed on and into a hole and lost touch. Phil led by 50 metres at the windward mark from Mike Woodhead and Ed Thorburn.

Sander Kooj came through at the end and nearly headed Phil before dropping off leaving Phil clear by about 200 metres at the finish with John third.

In race two again there was a port bias line but half the fleet set off to the wrong mark. Phil rounded first from Kenny Robertson, David Laycock and Dave McKay.

Phil broke away from Kenny building a 200-metre lead, which he held until the finish. The chasing pack was Sander and John who closed on Kenny who held on by half a boat length from John and Sander.

Yet another port bias line in race three, Phil and John started at the pin end with Kenny. Sander in the middle of the line was first to show and appeared well clear. Phil went left looking for the wind and was rewarded with a huge lift when he tacked back onto port such that he could lay the line. Sander and John collided and John did a 720. Ed Thorburn was second around the mark behind Phil and David Laycock in third.

Phil and Ed broke away from the pack who were fighting for the minor places and sailed away. Ed found a hole and Phil eventually won by 200 metres, John was storming though the pack after his 720o and came close to pipping Ed and Sander was 4th.

On Sunday and race four; a light, fitful wind, with a 180 degree shift from the previous day greeted the fleet. In the very light and variable conditions, the Race Officer was keen to set a course and chose to keep the race in the open part of the lake.

Off a port bias line Phil and John broke into clear wind and were neck and neck until John got the final shift right and led around the first mark from Phil and Ed in third. John and Phil went for the wrong mark and by the time they had corrected, Ed had caught up and claimed second place. The fleet bunched as the wind dropped until the beat where John and Phil again broke clear playing the shifts right and were one and two around the windward mark. The subsequent run was full of holes, which favoured the leaders, and at the end John held off Phil by 3 boat lengths with Kenny pipping Ed for 3rd place.

The fifth race was held in a light but steadier breeze with Phil having called it a today. The fleet got away from a fair line with Ed and Kenny fighting for the lead, with Sander and Mike contesting 3rd. Again, the right side of the beat proved the more reliable in terms of wind pressure. On the second reach, Ed and Kenny's private battle nearly allowed Sander and Mike through but a final beat turning into a close reach preserved the previous order.

Thanks must go to the PRO and members of Ullswater Sailing Club for an excellent weekend with well run races, set in trying conditions. The fleet was reminded that a true Inland Championship requires the reading of a shifting wind, not sea sailing without the tide and waves, as is the modern concept of an Inland Championship.

Phil Laycock showed himself to be the master of these conditions.

Final results

1st Phil Laycock GBR 51 - 4pts
2nd John DeLeuuw GBR 13 - 10pts
3rd Ed Thorburn GBR 595 - 11pts
4th Kenny Robertson GBR 55 - 12pts
5th Sander Kooij GBR 1 – 13pts

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