World champion McNamara passes on his expertise to Snowflake students
PUBLISHED: 13:03 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:04 21 November 2018
Snowflake Laser sailors had a treat on Saturday as Michael McNamara, multiple world champion in a range of dinghies, coached 15 sailors for the day.
Topics requested included effective tacking, jibing and strategies for starts as well as mastering safe close-hauled sailing and mark rounding.
Sunday was a keelboat and Laser open. Two Stars and six Yeoman set off up-river on a long haul to mark five. Nine Lasers competed for the open trophy and two Toppers joined in the same race for the competitive buzz. The wind was shifty, making selection of where to sail vital. Spectators watched in awe as the lead Laser on one leg was rapidly overtaken by two Lasers who chose the other bank and caught more than enough wind to make the overtake. Yeoman were seen struggling with spinnakers that refused to fill one minute but then billowed out beautifully the next. It seemed the better wind was ‘around the corner’ and up-river as the fleets slowed right down by the spectators.
In the one long keel boat race the Stars needed to finish 15 minutes ahead of the Yeoman fleet to grab first place. In the event they could not quite manage this and the Yeoman Topaz of Gary Ross and Steve Dixon finished first, Kittiwake (Q Stewart and Ian Hanson) second and Griffon (Derek Jones and Neil Davidson) third. The two Stars, despite winning comfortably on the water, could not get far enough ahead to unwind the handicap, coming fourth and fifth respectively.
The Laser open was much more competitive as a one class event. In their two races the first three places alternated: Race one order was Matthew Thwaites in Rio, Ian Timms in Jack and Toby Pearce in 201707 third; in race two the order shifted to Timms, Pearce then Thwaites.
Race three saw a reduced entry as on the day two of three counted. Cliff and Chris Haslam battled each other in the Lasers with son beating father as Chris took the win; and the two Stars with Kittiwake looking for an extra win in the keel boats. Kittiwake took the race on handicap but this did not threaten the eventual winner of the open.
In the final analysis the keelboat open was won by Ross in Yeoman Topaz. The Laser open was won by Timms, second was Thwaites and Haslam moved up to third.