Sailing: Ling leads way at Clevedon's Laser Open
PUBLISHED: 13:30 29 July 2019
John Ling claimed honours in the Laser Open at Clevedon Sailing Club on Sunday.
Six brave competitors took on challenging westerly force five gusting six wind, with race officer Ian Hotchkiss setting an M-shaped course of two beats, two beam reaches with two gybe marks and a broad reach across Clevedoon bay.
Safety boat skipper Mike Batchelor and crew Gary Buffery and Andy Summerell were kept busy dealing with multiple capsizes in the lead-up to race one, but racers managed to stay upright and Ling (Bartley SC) built a good lead over locals Rhys Davies and Martin Gibson.
Davies opted to tack round at the second gybe mark on lap one, letting Gibson into second, with Mike Dyer and Graham Royce (Bowmoor SC) close behind.
And Davies suffered a broken toe strap and tiller extension on lap two and was force to retire as Ling won ahead of Gibson, Dyer and Royce.
Royce came ashore for race two, leaving the rest to battle a now increasing force six breeze.
And Ling got off to another good start, closely followed by Gibson and Dyer, with the positions remaining unchanged.
After Dyer withdrew, Ling and Gibson contested the final race, with Ling taking a good lead and holding it until the finish.