Results Having been spolit for some weeks now by strong westerly and easterly winds and beats using the lenght of the Flash the 64 boats that that took part in week 8 of the GJW Direct Insurance sponsored Tipsy Icicle Winter Series at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club were greeted by a very cold, shifty, gusty and patchy northerly force 2 – 3 which resulted in shorter beats across the Flash and some ’snakes & ladders’ sailing. This weekend there were 4 boats joining us for the first time in the series taking the total number of boats that have taken part so far to 161.
Again the series dedicated PRO was Peter Baldwin abley assisted by helpers both on the committee boat and in the rescue crafts. On shore the competitors and spectators were fed and watered by the galley crew of Helen and Ann.
As is the norm the fourteen boat Asymmetric fleet were first away and once again this weekend had to make do with sailing around the ‘cans’ At the start of the day Paul/Mike Allen were the series leaders but Paul was a ‘no show’ as his wife presented a sick note for him to the club. With this there was a chance for the chasing pack to make gains and it was the Allens nearest rivals, Dave Exley/ Nigel Hall (RS400/LLSC) who took the opportunity to take a bullet in race 1 followed by Chris Pickles/Matt Sharman (RS400/Delph SC) Third and fourth places were taken by the RS200s of Niki Burrell and crew (RS200/RYA) and Louise Mckeand/Cathy Partington (LLSC) in that order. In the second race of the day Pickles/Sharman did a ‘horizon job’ on the rest of the fleet to record the win. Mckeand/Partington split the RS400s as they finished second, Exley/Hall third and Hamish Gledhill/Simon Dowse (RS400/West Riding SC) a fourth. At the end of the day the Allens remain overall leaders with 14 points, Exley/Hall with 16 and Pickles/Sharman with 17 with just four races to go.
The fourteen strong Laser fleet were next away and this saw a new face on the water and at the front of the fleet as Greg Marshall (LLSC) came out of hibernation to post two firsts. The current series leader Andy Stott (LLSC) recorded two seconds and Graham Mcwhirter (UKLA) Stott remains top of the pile with 10 points while his nearest rival, Jack Hopins (Delph) who was missing today, has 19 points followed by Mcwhirter with 22 points.
In the handicap fleet start thirty six boats, which included 10 from the junior fleet and 9 from the Solo fleet, took to the start line. With the series leaders Christian Day/Sophie Richards (N12/LLSC) having the day off it allowed the Phantom of Ed Thomas (Pilkington SC) to make ground as, just like last weekend, he won both races. Second place in both races was Andy Flitcroft (RS300/Burwain SC) while third in both races was Mark/Sam Platt (GP14/Bolton SC) Day/Richards remain overall leaders by .5 of a point from Thomas while there is what appears to be a three-way battle for third place between Flitcroft, the Platts and Stuart Catterall (Supernova/Bolton SC) but with four races to go and discards kicking in it could be anybodys to win (or lose)
In the Solo fleet it was Steve White (LLSC), showing good boat speed and tactics, who took first place in the first race and he was followed home by Paul Heath (LLSC) and Steve Ferrington (West Kirkby) In race two Paul Heath (LLSC) took the win followed home by Steve White with Dave Eccles (LLSC) sailing well into third. In this fleet there is 3 points seperating the top two so it seems likely that this will go to the wire.
In the junior fleet it looks like a three way battle for the series with just 2 points seperating the top three places. Once again both races were hard fought with Hayden Griffiths (Topper/LLSC) ’trading punches’ with Tom Wallwork (Topper/LLSC) with Griffiths scoring a 1 & 2 to Wallworks 2 & 1. Last weeks overall leader, Oliver Blackburn (Topper/LLSC) suffered a 5th in race one but came good in the second race with a 3rd but drops down to 3rd overall. George Graham (Topper/Burwain SC) is improving each week and has come into a bit of late form to score a 3 & 4 to move him up into 4th place overall. Overall Griffiths leads with 10 points, Wallwork has 11 points and Blackburn with 12 points.
Once again it was another fantastic day on the water and the club would once again like to say a big thank you to all the visitors and members for coming, to everyone who helped to run the day and to our sponsor GJW Direct Insurance. The series continues next week end for the penultimate round of the series and we would like to see you there. – visit http://www.llsc.org.uk for the results and further information on Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club.
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