In strong and difficult winds that meant capsizing was almost inevitable, the largest fleet for years contested the Laser Barometer, with 18 entrants, including three from Minima and one from Lensbury. Despite the conditions Matt Peregrine-Jones emerged triumphant with stunning sailing, his first win of the trophy, close on 20 years after he first entered.
By the time of the first race, at 11am, the heavy rains of the previous night had cleared earlier than forecast, but the winds hadn’t – a good North-Westerly with some very significant gusts. OOD Charles Fox had set up a simple starboard tack down and upstream, with the windward mark being put quite a bit downstream, in the Lensbury area, and it wasn’t long before the capsizing started, particularly towards that windward mark, both on the beat and the run.
Honours for the first race went to Matt Peregrine-Jones, with Andrew Harris in a borrowed Laser edging out brother Richard and 2017 Barometer winner Marcus Chavasse, with last year’s winner, Jon Redding, coming in fifth.
The second race was almost a carbon copy of the first, with the first three places the same, and Marcus and Jon swapping 4th and 5th places.
After lunch, the winds had if anything picked up more speed, and the safety boats were already being kept busy when a rainbow appeared in the sky to the North-East, heralding a change in the weather. Five minutes later came sudden squall of rain and (more) wind, and lots of capsizing action near the Lensbury mark. Even race leader Matt P-J succumbed to a capsize, yet still managed to win the race, this time from Richard Harris, followed by brother Andrew and Marcus.
Commodore Chris Pollard presented the prizes and Matt graciously thanked the Race team – Charles Fox, Brian Corking, Florian Krueger, Valerie Hamill and extra volunteer Rob Hatley, not forgetting the essential and cheerful kitchen and bar team of Lauren, Sophie and Tabitha. Alex from Minima also added his thanks.
So the final results for the 2019 Laser Barometer were:
- Matt Peregrine-Jones
- Andrew Harris
- Richard Harris
- Marcus Chavasse
- Jon Redding