Commodore's Welcome

On behalf of the Committee and Members of PARADISE RADIO YACHT CLUB Inc, it is my honor to extend this formal invitation to all RC Laser sailors to join us for the 2017 CHAMPIONSHIP OF NATIONS.

As your Host, PRYC has already been working hard for some months to ensure that we can promise you all a well-managed and convivial event at our home on Emerald Lakes in Australiaʼs iconic, No. 1, tourism and events destination. We recommend that you take advantage of all our wonderful Gold Coast has to offer, before,during and after the CON2017.

With the support we have received from Gold Coast City Council, GC Tourism and Events and our own small select group of event sponsors, we are confident that you will be well looked after and your visit memorable. We look forward to welcoming you in November 2017.

Allan Walker



Fleet Captain's report

Two year's work finally paid off in great style.

The 2017 RC Laser Championship of Nations has been held at Emerald Lakes on Australia's Gold Coast from 6th - 11th November under the control of the sponsoring club, Paradise Radio Yacht Club.

This regatta promoted RC Laser yachts and showed the World how good they really are.  Some of the best sailors in Australia took the boats to another level in the 'A' fleet races, while those in the fleets below had just as much fun.  Yes fun!  Remote control sailing can be a serious pursuit and we all do it because it is difficult - not because it is easy.  This regatta was fleet racing at it's best, every sailor had his or her chance to excel in at least one race and smiles and cheers for the winners were observed and heard all week long for all fleet winners.  It was a joyous occasion and it was a fantastic week.

On Monday 6th November, 56 skippers from Germany, Sweden, Great Britain, Netherlands, Czech Republic, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia all registered and had their boats scrutinised.  Many then went out on the lake to practise their starts and to shake out any cobwebs from their journeys.

In the evening everyone, many with their partners, attended a Welcome function where they were warmly welcomed by the local City Councillor, who surprised us with his humour, and by the PRYC Commodore with a big G'day to all.

The stage was set for a fun time.  Sailors who sailed the manned Olymic Laser many years ago caught up for the first time in ages and the challenge to beat one another was rekindled.  It was also a chance to meet competitors from interstate and overseas.  Little did they know how competitive the Aussies were going to be.

Tuesday dawned bright and sunny and Bill Clancy, the Race Officer, briefed everyone on what was expected in the way of fair play and adherence to the Rules.  He had a large team of Observers assisting him and everyone was keen to hit the water to try their skill.  The officials were tough on competitors from the beginning and this kept the racing disciplined.

The day started with four seeding races and the first three in each race progressed to Heat A, the next three to Heat B and so on.  The winners of the seeding races were Scott Fleming (Vic), Scott Mitchell (SA), Peter Burford (Qld) and Adrian Heard (SA).

The moderate breeze suited the C rig but there were some who tried the B rig early and others the D rig later as the breeze freshened.

At the end of the day the cream was already beginning to rise to the top with both Scotts, Peter Burford and Malcolm Kampe (Qld) all up there.  Mr Burford and Mr Kampe, both in their 70's, took it to the young Scotts and as core members of the PRYC represented the club in the best possible way.  The club is very proud of them both.  They were being hotly pursued by Ulf Neumann (Swe).

Wednesday saw the breeze freshening with occasional rain squalls making the sailing of some heats impossible.  Trent Jarratt # 174 claims his boat pitch-poled end for end - now that is a serious nose dive!  Two heats were abandoned after the start because of the strong winds and then re-started after the worst of the squall had passed.  Many heats were sailed using the tiny D rig.  For many skippers this was their first race ever using this sail.  But the challenge of sailing in such strong, wet and windy conditions added to the drama of the week.  It was like we were all at sea and the challenge was to be able to survive in a hurricane.

At the end of the day Scott Fleming was stamping his mark all over the series ahead of Scott Mitchell but 'The old sea salt' Peter Burford was beginning to display some home town expertise.

Thursday put paid to the Queensland boast 'Beautiful one day, Perfect the next' because it was overcast with the ever present threat of more rain squalls.  The temperature was hovering around 22 Celsius which the locals described as cold but the Swedish and British visitors thought was perfect!  The wind was continuing to confound all the locals because it remained much fresher than expected.

At the end of the day Scott Fleming's worst resuld was an eight and most of the other 55 skippers would have been pleased to have just one race where they finished that high.

Friday was a Lay Day and most of the skippers were grateful that they could relax and recoup their energy.  Many visitors took advantage of the Gold coast's attractions.  It is rumoured that the sailor from the Czech Republic was corrupted by his Aussie host.  They partied Aussie style around the Barbeque.  Other visitors enjoyed meeting koalas, kangaroos, emus and crocodiles.

Saturday started with a relatively quiet breeze and there were quite a few A rigs getting their first airing.

At 10.50 am everything stopped for a Remembrance Day ceremony.  All competitors, officials, volunteers and visitors took part in a moving tribute to all who have died while serving their country.  At 11.00 a two minute silence was honoured by all those present.  It was a time to remember the sailors who gave their lives for their countries and who should have been with us at this regatta.

Saturday was the only day when Scott Fleming did not win one race!  It did not really matter as he was the clear Championship winner by 20 points.  Scott Mitchell kept up the pressure to finish second ahead of Malcolm Kampe who also had a very consistent series to finish third.  These three also took the placings in the National series which was, in effect, the Australian Championship.

On Saturday night all competitors and their partners enjoyed a meal in the Lakefront Bistro before the Prize giving which was conducted by the Commodore of the host club, Allan Walker.  Before the trophy winners were announced the National flags, which had been a feature of the assembly area, were presented to a representative of each country.

In addition to the winners listed above, trophies were awarded to the following:

Skipper who sailed the most races, Geoff Smith (Qld) - who was heard saying "I love this fleet racing" - He sailed in 27 heats                                                                             which is quite remarkable as there were only 17 races!  (He claims he figured out it was                                                                               worth coming in the top 4 in his heat so he could stay on the water for the next race and                                                                             then when he got to the A fleet, come in the bottom 4 so that he could go down and thus                                                                             stay out sailing almost all day.)                                                                                                                             Master  50 - 59 years,                          Graham Watson (NZL)                                                                                                                                             Grand Master  60-69 years,             Graham Brown (NSW)                                                                                                                                           Great Grand Master  70 years +,   Peter Burford (Qld)                                                                                                                                                   First International Skipper,               Ulf Neumann (SWE)                                                                                                                                                    State Shield presented by Cliff. Bromiley,    South Australia                                                                                                                                          Jon Elmalel of Out There Technologies donated a new RC Laser which was gratefullu accepted by the Paradise Radio Yacht Club.

The 2017 RC Laser Championshp of Nations was an unqualified success and there are many people who contributed in many ways.  Without wishing to list everyone for fear of omitting anyone, special thanks are due to the 10R guys who supplied two days of great hamburgers and the wives who gave tirelessly throughout the whole six days.  They kept everyone fed and watered as well as doing behind the scenes work.                                                                                                                         The Race Officials kept things moving in a most professional manner and managed to keep all competitors very happy - no small feat.

A big 'Thank You' from all 56 competitors to everyone who helped make this an event to remember.

Peter O'Grady

RC Laser class Fleet Captain