Fleming wins a windy SA RC Laser Titles


Apr 14, 2021

With 32 entries this year’s titles represented the largest ever fleet for an SA RC Laser Titles. The fleet included 14 sailors from Victoria, 2 from New South Wales and 16 from South Australia.

The titles were sailed over the weekend of April 10/11 at Port River Sailing Club using the SHRS scoring system.

Saturday was windy with regular southerly rain squalls blowing down the river. The day started at 20 knots with gusts to 25 knots, and we finished up sailing only four races due to the wind eventually reaching 25 knots plus by 4pm.

In Saturday’s qualifying races Scott Fleming and Scott Mitchell showed their prowess at sailing in strong winds in D rigs. Grant Gillespie and Peter Burton also sailed well, and Phil Clerke did a great job in winning the last heat in very strong conditions. Brad Hein had an unfortunate collision and had to pull out of the third race for the day.

On Sunday the weather was slightly better, but we still donned our D rigs for the early races. We sailed two more qualifying races before sailing four final races in gold and silver fleets. The starts were tricky due to the port end of the start line being favoured for most of the day’s races. Also, an incoming tide was a factor for the final races.20210415_SA_RCL1

Scott Fleming, who was trailing Scott Mitchell overnight made a strong comeback on Sunday with three wins and two seconds in the five races. The front section of the gold fleet was fairly tightly packed going around the windward mark and a couple of big knocks near the mark made the action fairly exciting. The main Mawson Lakes contender was Phil Clerke, who got some great starts and got a first and third place. Mario Gulic was the real comeback kid on Sunday with excellent results in four races. He narrowly missed line honours to Scott Fleming in the last race.

Overall, in the gold fleet Scott Fleming ran out an easy winner to Scott Mitchell second and Phil Clerke third. Peter Burton, the defending champion finished fourth. In the silver fleet, Peter Yates successfully defended his 2019 title, followed by Rob O’Brien and Alex Hayter. We didn’t get as many races in as we expected due to the strong winds, but virtually all sailors reported having a great time regardless. As someone said with 32 entries it felt like a ‘mini-nationals’.

Thanks go to Stewart Ross our RO, Mario Gulic, Lorraine Berry and Rose Ross for scoring, Alex and Sue Hayter for having us at Port River Sailing Club, Garry Loughead for running the rescue boat, Meredith Reardon and Janet Luther for organising and serving the food, Bob Whitehead and Lindsay Sawyer for conducting the measuring, Gaynor Kouwenhoven, Mike Turner and Chris Levi for handling entries and administration and to Dean Bonnett and Gerry Geibel for photography and general assistance. You all made a great support team for a series that was sailed and run in a very friendly way!

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Pictured (1): Trouble brewing at the windward mark for John Berry (256) and Alex Hayter (312).

Tim Arland (338) is better placed to make the mark by continuing on port tack. Notice D rigs and sloppy conditions – Photo Gerry Giebel

Pictured (above): All the competitors minus Mario Gulic (busy scoring) and Michael Marshall with RO Stewart Ross on the far left. Photo Janet Lee

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Category: South Australia
Posted by: ARYA Publicity