Matthew Burns

SEDBERGH SAILORS SILVER AND BRONZE AT ST MARY’S LOCH

George Thomas (H) – winning junior, winning 4.7 rig and 3rd overall 

In the fourth round of the Laser Lakeland and Far North series, 16 sailors met at St Mary’s Loch, near Moffat, Scotland, to be greeted by shifty, gusty and very strong winds.

16 Laser sailors braved the conditions but only four reached the finish line of the second race, of which only three had completed both of the races prior to racing being abandoned.  

At the time of abandonment, more boats were capsized or abandoned than those racing!“Dura virum nutrix” prevailed as conditions favoured the brave, stubborn and (arguably) foolhardy who were prepared to put up with multiple capsizes and gusts that occasionally reached Force 7 which laid the fleet completely flat.  

George Thomas (H) is certainly stubborn and has plenty of stamina so he persisted and managed to complete both races in a 4.7 rig which puts him in equal first place in the series standings (equal with his brother, though he is now above him in the overall series rankings taking in all three rigs). 

George commented “I don’t think I have ever sailed so fast downwind…..” – if you managed to catch a gust right, you were planing downwind semi out of control and if you could hold on, it was exhilarating.  “When I saw the big gusts coming, I just headed the boat upwind and tried to ride them out”. It was interesting to note two things about all the podium finishers today:

– The Sedbergh link – one pupil, one staff and one father of an OS – Tim Luke

– The Killington link – all three train at Killington and are used to big winds.  

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