CHIPTEAD SC 2021 ILCA (LASER) OPEN REPORT
The generally perceived wisdom is that Chipstead’s Laser Open is always sailed in light to non-existent winds which also come from a grotty direction. NOT THIS YEAR!
My did it blow! It was cold (very!) It came from the North East constantly (with, of course, the odd shift – it wouldn’t be Chipstead otherwise!).
Despite Covid and the forecast perhaps having an effect on entries, 18 competitors (including 6 very welcome visitors) set out on the first race, into the aforesaid Northeasterly which was blowing between force 5 to 7 and kicking up substantial white horses (the nearest thing Chipstead has to waves).
Due to the conditions, a number of Radial (ILCA 6) rigs were brushed off and the fleets were split with 8 Standards (ILCA7) and 10 Radials. Some were wishing for a 4.7!!
A short time later there were many capsizes and the first of the retirements of the day quickly followed, whilst the more intrepid pressed on, the visitors from Weirwood SC showing the way, with David Goddard (Weirwood) winning Race 1 in the ILCA 7s followed by Duncan Lawson (Weirwood) and Sergio Messina (Bough Beech SC) with Niall Peelo (Weirwood) winning in the ILCA 6s with Rob Cage (Thames SC) and David Binding (Weirwood) in second and third.
The carnage continued in Race 2 with some deciding enough was enough and either not starting or retiring early, and the Patrol Boat crews were stretched, but never broken, in their sterling efforts to safeguard helms and boats from all over the Lake.
Amongst all this Goddard sailed serenely on (that might be an overstatement) taking his second win in the ILCA7s followed this time from Paul Colfer of the home Club, and David Binding showed with age comes experience, by winning in the ILCA 6s.
After Lunch, the sun made a welcome appearance to raise the temperature by a degree or two, and__ the wind dropped maybe a knot or so.
Race 3 produced an oddity at Chipstead, a General Recall (despite the smaller number of boats that were left “standing”). Perhaps the Race Officer’s eyes were watering in the wind or he just wanted to prolong the agony!
On the restart, Goddard sailed to his third straight win in the ILCA7s, tying up the meeting, followed by Lawson and Colfer, with Peelo, Cage, and Binding finishing in that order in the ILCA 6s.
Just 7 boats out of the original 18 ventured out for one last time for Race 4, Goddard showing his masochistic streak by sailing even when he had won, and winning again in the ILCA 7s which finished in the same order as Race 3, with only Peelo and Cage contesting the ILCA 6s, with Peelo finishing in front and winning overall in this Rig.
Perhaps special mention should go to Andrew Sorrell for being fit (and foolhardy?) enough to complete all four races in his ILCA 7, despite having the oldest boat in the fleet!
Huge thanks are due to Race Officer Ric Lewis and his hardworking Graduate fleet team, for running the races in exceptional conditions and keeping everyone safe during a hard and trying day on the water.
Full results are available here.
Photos from the event are available here.