All about Lasers and Tasars at Hastings and St Leonards

Six Lasers, three Laser Radials and a Tasar competed in a three race handicap competition at the Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club.

Sunday, 25th April 2021, 11:15 am
Winners of the three race handicap, Margaret and Philip Blurton, sail their Tasar in the foreground. Photo: Rick Pryce

Winds were forecast to drop and veer from the force two north-easterly at the start of racing.

Towards the end of the first race the wind did falter and it looked as if racing might be abandoned, but as boats crept across the line the wind veered southerly and with it came a fresh breeze to allow racing to continue.

Sergio Velluti (Laser Radial) managed the variable winds of the first race to best effect, taking first place ahead of Roy Sandford (Laser) in second and Said Toubi (Laser) third.

Action off Bexhill Sailing Club

Confusion at the beginning of the second race led to a restart that saw Philip and Margaret Blurton (Tasar) in front at the first mark and pulling away in clean air to sail their own race to the line, finishing nearly two minutes ahead of the next boat.

A pack of four Lasers fought closely for second, separated by a mere eight seconds at the finish.

Sandford bagged another second, two seconds ahead of Melanie Clark (Laser) who was just one second ahead of Hugh Ashford (Laser) who was five seconds ahead of Toubi.

By the third race the wind had veered again and was now south westerly.

Clark found the best route round in the new conditions and secured a comfortable win.

The Blurtons took second and Velluti was third.

When positions from all three races were taken into account, Philip and Margaret Blurton (Tasar) were the overall winners.

Second overall went to Melanie Clark (Laser) and third to Sergio Velluti (Laser Radial).

While the club’s experienced sailors had been racing, 15 new club members were completing their first weekend of beginners sail training through Buzz Active in Eastbourne.

Commodore Philip Blurton said: “I hope many of these new sailors will be out with the main fleets for Sunday racing before too long; as members of the racing fleets, we are looking forward to it and they have certainly all made a great start to their sailing adventure this weekend.”

BEXHILL

Pleasant but gusty winds brought a dozen boats to the water on both Saturday and Sunday to race in Bexhill Sailing Club’s Spring Series, – accompanied by an Enterprise out for a jolly, crewed by family members, a rare sight off Bexhill beach.

You might wonder why the classic lines of an Enterprise are not seen so much, until you notice how difficult on the shingle beach it is to manoeuvre , and thus launch and recover. Thank goodness for the winch. Hopefully locals will see more of this boat.

Saturday brought a challenging race. The wind started off at force three to four but by the end the white crests of the waves reflected heightening strength that led to a couple of early retirements. Sea water is still very cold, even when wearing gear!

Sunday’s race had wind from various directions, leading to the shout just before the start from the race officer that he wanted the race run back to front – and it worked.

The main racing took place in the fast and slow fleets.

The skills of Richard Eagleton and Neil Smith in sailing their Europes lead to places one and two in both the weekend races. They were followed by Malcolm Brookes and Lee Roberts on Saturday and Christina Terrazas, with her Byte with colourful sail, and Dave Kerr’s Lightning.

The Fast Fleet was led on both days by Tony Witham’s Supernova, and he certainly makes sailing it look easy and comfortable.

Dan Harwood was chasing him in his Laser on Saturday with Colin Coard and crew Christina Terrazas in his Tazer in third.

Sunday had him followed by three Laser Radials, of Bob Palmer, improving Ross Allen and, back from injury, Chris Burchell.

The sailing required skill and patience but was enjoyed by all, so it’s on to this weekend’s racing, as long as weather permits , and it’s looking good.

If you are interested in joining, training and helping as a member, call in for a chat when the flags are flying.

- JOHN STEBBING