2010 Bacardi Laser National Championships

| 17/12/2010

(CISC): Perfect conditions greeted all sailors for the 2010 Bacardi Cayman Islands Laser National Championships, held at the Cayman Island Sailing Club (CISC) in Red Bay over the weekend of 27 and 28 November. For the past few years the class has been steadily growing and this year was no exception, with a record number of entries.Eighteen sailors battled it out for two days and seven races to see who would be the Laser Champion for 2010. For the first time a Laser Radial division raced for a separate title.

This is an exciting prospect for the future of the Laser fleet in the Cayman Islands and a complement to the efforts of the sailing club to establish such a fleet. Both the Laser Standard and Laser Radial are current Olympic classes, and offer all sailors the opportunity to compete in the Cayman Islands or abroad.

The forecast for Saturday was for lighter conditions. Nick Taylor the current champion, Raph Harvey (CISC Head Coach) raced intensely for all three races that day. Taylor finished the day holding a one point advantage over Harvey. Ten points back was the chasing pack of Rob Jackson, Charlie Grover and Chris Delaney. Also in the running was CISC legend, John Bodden who won this regatta back in 1992.

In the Laser Radial division Tomeaka McTaggart dominated the class with three wins from three races and showed her class and speed mixing it with the faster Laser Standards for the majority of the races ( typically finishing 4-6 on line overall).

Sunday was scheduled for four races with a forecast of stronger breezes. The heavy weights were licking their lips at the opportunity of powering over the light weights in the class. In the Laser Standard Taylor won the first race of the day establishing a two point advantage over Harvey, who then went on to win the second and third race of the day, which locked the scores up going into the final and deciding race of the competition. Making the most of the conditions and moving quickly up the fleet was Mike Farrington finishing with a couple of handy thirds. This tied up third place overall going into the final race with Charlie Grover.

In the Laser Radial division Tomeaka McTaggart continued her form from Saturday collecting another three race wins, which gave her an unbeatable and perfect regatta score of six points. Not needing to sail the final seventh race she became the first Cayman Island National Laser Radial Champion. In winning style she also took out the final seventh race in the Radial division.

Race seven, standard fleet. All cards were on the table, first place was up for grabs and so was third. All sailors were tired from the physical four and a half hours of sailing beforehand. It was going to be tight as were all the previous races. The bodies were empty and the minds were close to broke. In another forty minutes the 2010 podium places would be decided. All boats got away to an even start. Harvey led Taylor by half a boat length around the first mark. Harvey had held an advantage all regatta on this leg but Taylor was closing that gap with every race. At the next mark Taylor led Harvey by three boat lengths. Then they battled into the wind which had been Taylor’s strength during the regatta. Taylor opened the distance to six lengths halfway up the leg. Harvey dug deep and pulled back to within three boat lengths by the second to last mark. Downwind Taylor then again opened it up by another three, while being closely covered by Harvey. Both sailors put the pain behind them and blasted their way up the final leg to the finish. Taylor crossed first closely followed by Harvey.

Taylor won the title by one point from Harvey. As Taylor said, “today was really hard work, we were never greater than three lengths apart all day for four races, constantly passing each other all the way round, it was a real battle, Raph put in a superb effort”.

All the sailors would like to thank Peta Adams and her support crew for putting on two days of perfect racing and course management, Bacardi for sponsoring the event and for the great prizes, and the Cayman Islands Sailing Club for managing and organising another successful Laser Nationals.

To learn to sail Lasers or to compete in regular weekly racing please contact Rick Caley at the CISC.

2010 Bacardi Laser National Championships Results:
Laser Standard
1st Nick Taylor (8pts), 2nd Raph Harvey (9pts), 3rd Charlie Grover (27pts), 4th Mike Farrington (29pts), 5th John Bodden (29 pts)

Laser Radial
1st Tomeaka McTaggart (6pts), 2nd Dave Stephenson (12pts), 3rd Ken Holland (17pts), 4th Jo Richards (25pts), 5th Ben Williams (33pts)

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