August Newletter from Commanding Officer and Dog Robber

“AS LONG AS WE HAVE FAITH in our own cause and an unconquerable will to win, victory will not be denied us.” So spoke Sir Winston Churchill and I’ve no doubt that he had Mark Scott in mind when Mark crossed the finishing line ahead of the whole fleet at the end of the 2nd race of Saturday July 25th. I’m being particular about the date since this was Mark’s 1st taste of nautical victory, in the Parkstone Laser Fleet, achieved in the same month as the resounding maiden speech of Mhairi Black: notable achievements by both! What Mark’ll do when he decides to buy a boat that doesn’t way half a ton –heaven only knows!

WE HAVE HAD a month of winds to satisfy even those with the strongest stomach muscles, ‘enjoying’ not one but three trips out into the bay. I alluded to the length of the Swanage race in July’s edition. The two races we had on the 11th were typical of the fare on offer during the month, with the added bonus of piloting through the harbour entrance in an awkward chop and a tricky swirling, gusty force four. I learnt that adrenalin is pretty potent stuff but when it runs out, there’s not much left in the tank! None of this particularly bothered Trevor Annels, of course, since he enjoyed a fourth and fifth place in the two races. A familiar name is at the head of the Saturday Summer Series, (Mike Atkinson) but even he must be a bit impressed by the fact that after 5 races he is discarding two 1st places!

THE WEDNESDAY series continues to be a scrap between Ann, Roger and Mike. In fact, Roger and Ann fought out a very close battle during last Wednesday evening’s race (5th Aug). We had reasonable winds, but a course with beatings legs set with the tide and running legs against it, meant that Ann should have dealt with Roger quite easily, but the wily, (old!) fox made clever use of Ann’s quarter wave, on the off wind legs, which with the help of his upwind speed kept him in close contact all the way around the course: he was still first loser though! A different sort of close contact occurred at the leeward mark where the Dog Robber inadvertently lassoed Trevor with the main sheet, almost dragging him out of the boat! Heavenly powers righted the balance later, however, when after a close tussle with Colston causing him to capsize, I was later to suffer the same fate at the leeward mark. An approaching Trevor had an uplifting view of my demise but he was gracious enough to feel somewhat more sympathetic when he later saw the resultant black-eye which arose from a close encounter with the boom as I brought the boat upright. And, in case you are wondering, it isn’t any consolation to know that this, coupled with a capsize five yards from the finish line in a previous Saturday race, puts me firmly in the frame for the SNAFU trophy (again!) – good job I’m on the prize awarding committee!

MONDAY EVENING racing – remember Mondays? It seems ages since we were last able to sail. As a result of poor tides and Poole Week, there are now only six races left to be sailed, and one of those may have to be binned because of lack of light as it will be well into September. Time, therefore may be running out for Colston and Donald, if they are to overhaul Roberta. The final run-in promises to be exciting, but you’d better make sure you go the right way Col.

MICHAEL ATKINSON (Standard), GILES KUZYK (Radial), BOB CUDMORE (Standard) AND ALEX SCHRONROCK (4.7) have now returned from the Laser Nationals, held at Mounts Bay. Starts were hotly contested and subsequent finishing positions often reflected how successfully the starting combat had been fought. It was not a week for the fainthearted since battlelines had to be drawn up against strong winds, some poor visibility and large waves which produced big enough troughs for boats and helms to disappear into. For the record, Mike finished 26/44, just three points and one place ahead of Bob. Giles came 24/52 in the Gold fleet giving him an overall position of 24/104 and Alex came 7/34 in the 4.7 fleet.

POOLE WEEK is almost upon us. You may not be aware but there will be a prize draw most, (all?) evenings. Zhik are sponsoring this so there’s even more incentive to stick around and have a beer or a soft drink. Keep your diary free for Tuesday evening of Poole Week. Mark has organised an evening of Greek food –details on the web-site.


FINALLY, you may like to spare a thought for those who are not as fortunate as us. I read in the paper that a group of Australian men are seeking asylum in this country because of fears of reprisals if they are sent back to Australia! Imagine if we could get sixty boats out for our next big Monday – that would be exactly one boat for each run Australia made in their first innings at Trent Bridge – nice!

Sail fast and fair,

Ann & John


IT WOULDN’T BE the proper newsletter without a reminder to use the fleet’s web site to help you to keep up to date with Parkstone Laser Fleet matters. For example, you can find there the details of our forthcoming Greek extravaganza and proposed rounders match in aid of Macmillan Nurses

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