Goodison wins again

But it is a close run thing at Stokes Bay Laser qualifier reports Andrew Commander

Monday March 17th 2003, Author: Andrew Commander, Location: United Kingdom
The sailors who turned out for the first qualifier of 2003 were greeted by clear blue skies and 15-25 knot winds from the East. The superb race officer Ken Falcon was on hand to make sure that the racing was carried out in as efficient way as possible - everything was in place for a perfect weekend of racing.

With an excellent 104 entries there wasn’t much room on the startline. The first race got away cleanly in 22 knots even though the tide was racing upwind creating a short sharp chop. Ed Wright led the pack to the left hand side of the course and rounded first ahead of Paul Goodison and Dan Holman. Wright went too far left on the second beat to allow Goodison and Holman to get inside him by a fair margin. Holman and Goodison had a tight tussle down the run and back up the second beat but it was Holman who won the battle to take the bullet from Goodison and Wright.

The second race got away after a general recall in slightly less wind. It was Andrew Commander who played the shifts up the left hand side of the beat to lead at the windward mark closely followed by Wright and Holman. Wright, Holman and Goodison surged past Commander down the reaches and away from the rest of the fleet. Goodison had the best pace upwind to lead for the rest of the race, chased hard by Wright and Holman.

The third race of the day got away cleanly with Holman and Commander working the shifts on the left hand side of the beat to lead the fleet around the top mark. Goodison showed awesome pace down the second reach to take the lead from Holman, being chased hard by Mark Powell and Wright. These four stayed close all the way around the rest of the course but it was Goodison who took the bullet from Holman and Powell.

Sunday dawned another awesome day with clear blue skies and 12 to 18 knots of wind again from the East. With the tide being with the wind the pin end of the start line was always going to be busy. Goodison won the pin to lead the charge inshore to less tide. Commander went further inshore and used the left windshifts and superior pace to lead around the windward mark from Goodison and Wright. Commander began to extend his lead away from the rest of the pack to take his first Qualifier race win by a fair margin from Goodison and Holman.

The final race of the weekend began with a few boats getting disqualified under the black flag rule. Wright won the race to the left hand side of the course and out of the tide to lead from Charlie Bailee-Strong and Jim Taylor. With the disqualified boats leaving the race the front three boats were clear ahead of the chasing pack to have their own battle. Wright held onto his lead from Strong and Taylor to take the bullet.

Goodison had done more than enough to win the weekend even though he was one of ‘black flagged’ boats in the last race. Holman showed excellent consistency to closely take second overall from Wright. First youth was Giles Scott showing a lot of promise, first master was local legend Nick Harrison, first silver fleet was Bailee-Strong, and first bronze fleet sailor was Paul Weedon. The next qualifier is in two weeks time at Highcliffe sailing club and we hope to see everyone there again.

Results:

1st Paul Goodison Ulley 6 pts
2nd Dan Holman Torpoint Mosquito 9 pts
3rd Ed Wright Colwyn Bay 10 pts
4th Mark Howard Stokes Bay 16 pts
5th Andrew Commander Teign Corinthian 18 pts

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