2019 SA Laser Title to Burton

Oct 22, 2019

Forster Toncurry Radio Yacht Club sailor Peter Burton has won the 2019 SA RC Laser State Championship sailed at Mawson Lakes over the weekend of 19-20 October.

By 9.30am on Saturday morning a swirl of activity had descended on Mawson Lakes Model Yacht Club (MLMYC) with many interstate visitors arriving at the club. With 22 competitors there was a real sense of excitement in the air. The morning practice session got underway with Peter Burton experimenting with a B rig in the gusty SW winds of around 10-16 knots.

By the time the afternoon racing began the wind had increased slightly and virtually all sailors had opted for C rigs. While Brad Hein and I won the first two races, it quickly became apparent in ensuing races that Peter Burton was sailing very consistently indeed. Not only was he winning races, but often by large margins.

There were several other surprises in store. Len Hearing, who is an experienced sailor, but very new to Lasers adapted to the strong winds superbly and finished the day in third place. Phil Clerke, who is the master of tacking on to port immediately after the start and picking up wind shifts in the middle of the lake, again showed how successful this tactic is.

Other stand outs were Stephen Cibich, who after the first five races looked like he was set for a top three finish. Dean Bonnett, our club president who courageously decided to give Lasers a go, acquitted himself very well. Gary Polomka, also new to Lasers, led most of the second last race of the day before being passed on the last leg by Brad Hein.

At the designated start time of 9.30am on Sunday morning, Race Officer Stewart Ross was faced with a highly variable SW-SE wind and a SW course set for the forecast wind direction. The first two races of the day were sailed in fluky conditions and hard luck stories abounded. None worse than John Berry who led B division by a long way for most of the race, only to pick the non-favoured leeward gate mark and finish up in sixth place.

\images\sarclWe then changed to Gold and Silver fleets, and Brad Hein recorded his second win for the morning. It looked for a moment as if Brad might rise to challenge Peter  Burton’s dominance of the series. Meanwhile in the silver fleet Gary Hein had a great win followed by Noel Christison. Alex Hayter was also sailing well.

The next gold fleet race bordered on farcical. Peter Burton, sensing he had to do something different opted for a B rig and Brad Hein followed him. Everyone else had kept A rigs. All went smoothly until the second windward work. Most of the fleet tacked in shore into a windless hole, whereas Kym Stringer, Phil Clerke and I sailed out into the lake into a good breeze. At one stage I led the fleet by about 50 metres. However, Kym and Phil stayed further out in the lake than me and pegged back my lead by the windward mark. It was Brad and Peter’s worst race for the series. The following silver fleet race was won by Brenton Rowney, who had had a tough series up to that point.

The final two races for both fleets were held in moderate SW breezes with all sailors using B rigs. Peter Burton lapped up the fresher breeze and really stamped his authority on the series. Phil Clerke and Kym Stringer also sailed particularly well in the conditions. In silver fleet Don Turnbull had a loudly applauded win in race 12 and Peter Yates had an important win in Race 13.

The first three places in each division were as follows -:

Gold Fleet – Peter Burton, Brad Hein, Phil Clerke
Silver Fleet – Peter Yates, Gary Hein, John Nieuwenhuizen

Special thanks go to Stewart Ross as RO and Mario Gulic and Lorraine Berry as scorers for running such a smooth series. This was especially true considering it was the first time many of the competitors had raced using the Simple Heat Racing System (SHRS).

There was also a huge band of MLMYC volunteers. Brian Marshall, Peter Simmons and Nigel Stone ran the recovery boat. Robert Jones and John Dockerill looked after the boat shed. Meredith Reardon, Sylvia Nieuwenhuizen and Gaynor Koewenhoven looked after the registration and food area, Bob Whitehead was measurer, Gerry Geibel and Chris Levi assisted with photography and administration, Peter Trenorden and Wendy Falland assisted as race observers. Dean Bonnett did everything required of a club president. Overall it was a fantastic effort by all the MLMYC mob – you did the club proud.

Adrian Heard


Category: South Australia
Posted by: ARYA Publicity