NATIONAL POLICE LASER and
DINGHY SAILING CHAMPIONSHIPS
Lasers - Wednesday, 13th June, 2007
All Dinghies - Thursday/Friday, 14th-15th
Venue: Poole Y.C.
Hosts: Dorset Police
POLICE SPORT UK
LASER SAILING CHAMPIONSHIP 2007
Thirteen competitors faced winds Force 2-3, varying SE to SW, for the three
races sailed 'back-to-back' to avoid finishing the day in conditions of
extreme low tide. 'Olympic' courses were set for all three races.
After a delayed start as the course was set in shifting wind, the fleet got
away for Race One. Dick Sivers (Northants) lead the fleet approaching the
windward mark only to told he had been adjudged OCS and he retired from the
race. Rob Jones (Hampshire) also OCS had restarted and pursued the fleet.
Boats became stretched out but Simon Hawkes (Avon & Somerset), last year's
champion established a clear lead early on. At the finish line, whilst
Hawkes was first, Jones had made his way through the rest of the Lasers to
gain second place with Andy Taverner (Met), third.
Race Two was a much tighter affair with six-odd boats vying for the lead. As
the race progressed Hawkes was superior on the beats, Jones on the reaches
and Sivers on the downwind legs. At the finish line, it was Sivers who
crossed first with Hawkes, then Jones, only a few seconds behind.
The wind increased slightly for Race Three and the rain set in. There was
quite a flow on the ebbing tide and it became crucial to find the best way
up the beats. The wave-chop was never going to suit Lasers and in such
conditions the fleet became stretched out, but apart from the odd missed toe
strap no-one succumbed to a serious capsize. Jones made the best of the
conditions and finished an easy first, with Hawkes second and Taverner
another excellent third place.
Pictures of the Event
Police Sport UK
National Dinghy Sailing Championships,
A total of 32 boats representing 13 UK Police Forces competed in the 2007
Police National Championship held at Poole Yacht Club. The racing, on
Olympic style courses in Poole Harbour, was held over the two days 14 – 15
June and featured line-starts from Committee boat “Alchemist”.
A shifting south-easterly Force 2 caused race officer John Yonwin to change
marks during Race 1, the conditions suiting former champion Alan Husk in his
Phantom who registered a win, followed by former champion Pete Walters 2nd
in the Flying Fifteen and the defending champion Frances Gifford in the
National 12 in third place.
The wind steadied for Race 2 and remained a southerly Force 2-3 throughout.
A course with much longer legs was set bringing the fleet across the main
tidal channel for the wing mark. The larger course allowed competitors to
work on their boat-speed and Rob Jones in his RS400 held an impressive lead
on the water. At the finish on handicap Jones retained 1st with Husk in 2nd
and Walters 3rd.
Race 3 was strongly affected by a building ebb tide that disadvantaged the
slower handicap boats who found it difficult to make ground. Rob Jones in
his RS400 was again impressive on the water building a significant lead and
was the eventual race winner from Walters in 2nd and Husk in 3rd.
Positions after Day 1 could hardly have been closer with the leading 3 boats
being separated by only 1 point.
Day 2 brought a stronger breeze, southerly Force 3-4 which at times began to
stretch the boat handling skills of the fleet. In race 4 the Osprey of Andy
Welch and Rob Gillespie started to perform on home waters, but also former
champion Frances Gifford found conditions to her liking, as did Graham Cook
in his Laser. But it was Rob Jones in his RS400 who again showed the way on
the water revelling in the windier conditions and with his asymmetric
spinnaker building an impregnable lead. Gifford finished in 2nd with Walters
The final race was held after a wind shift to the southwest and a relayed
course. Rob Jones led off from the start line pursued by Gifford in the N12
and the Laser of Graham Cook. The Osprey lead at the windward mark but Jones
soon established a lead on the reaches and never looked like relinquishing
1st place. As the wind dropped to a Force 3, Alan Husk in his Phantom sailed
consistently into 2nd place and stayed ahead of Gifford in the N12 in 3rd
with Walters taking 4th.
After all results were in and 1 discard allowed, it was Rob Jones and John
Woodfield in the RS400 from Hampshire who took the 2007 Championship, with
an outstanding performance in both light and medium winds. Former champion
Alan Husk from Essex in his Phantom finished 2nd overall with Pete Walters
and John Allen in the Flying Fifteen in 3rd place.
Dorset Chief Constable’s staff officer Superintendent Mick Rogers and Poole
YC Commodore Colin Rainback joined the competitors for the official
prize-giving where race officer John Yonwin and his team were congratulated
and thanked for setting excellent courses and completing all scheduled
Event organiser Rob Gillespie said “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work
with the Poole Yacht Club team. All the competitors enjoyed the fantastic
sailing conditions and the first class facilities at the club and will take
home fond memories of their visit to Poole.”
Commodore Colin Rainback congratulated the new National Champions Rob Jones
and John Woodfield sailing their RS400 commenting “You are worthy champions,
having proven your skills in a range of wind strengths”. Superintendent Mick
Rogers closed the event by thanking all the competitors for travelling to
Dorset, and on behalf of the Chief Constable and the Dorset Police Sailing
Section offered his thanks to Poole YC for staging a memorable Championship.
Rob Gillespie, PSUK Sailing,
Eastern Division Police HQ, Ameysford Road, Ferndown, Dorset BH22 9HQ. Tel
from Poole Yacht Club, New Harbour Road West, Hamworthy, Poole, Dorset
Tel 01202 672687