Lasers light up the water at Chichester

Luke South and son Charlie both did well in the Laser open
Luke South and son Charlie both did well in the Laser open

Chichester Yacht Club hosted their annual Laser open, with 14 boats attending the final event of the Rooster South Coast Laser Grand Prix. The blustery 20-30 knot south-west wind allowed race officer Nick Colbourne to make the most of the Chichester Lake area, setting a trapezoidal course with reaches at just the right angle to mean snorkelling gear would be appropriate attire. 

Race one started bang on time and in the full-rig fleet, local legend Charlie Porter went all out to take the win over Luke South.

Race one started bang on time and in the full-rig fleet, local legend Charlie Porter went all out to take the win over Luke South.

South’s son Charlie showed the five Radials the way to master the tough conditions. Arthur Farley from the Isle of Wight saw off Patrick Bonner in the 4.7s, setting the pattern of the day. 

For race two the wind began to take its toll on boats and bodies, with Porter going for gold until the sail detached from the boom, while Luke South was sporting a minor facial wound.

It fell to heavy weather expert Julian Wilkins to take the bullet followed by Rooster Grand Prix winner Dan Newell from Starcross YC. In the Radial fleet, Andy Palmer-Felgate made the start on time to see off an early challenge from Emma Crane. 

Race three was the decider and it was looking like a family affair with Luke and Charlie South poised to win both fleets until schoolboy Charlie capsized to windward on a tack.

At least his dad held it together in the full-rig fleet. With the tide now ebbing it was time for many to rinse the mud from the masthead, straighten the burgee and enjoy tea in the clubhouse prepared by Biddy Colbourne.

Prizes were presented in the Chichester YC clubhouse along with the prizes for the Rooster South Coast Grand Prix.