Week 2 of Tipsy Icicle brings testing conditions
Another forecast of decent breeze and the promise of an excellent lunch brought 71 boats and 88 competitors out for the second week of the Tipsy Icicle series on Sunday 14th January.
Unfortunately, the 8-12 knot breeze was from the SE which always brings its challenges for the Race Committee, more so when you get a 20-degree permanent shift a minute into the first start sequence!! The race committee of Peter Baldwin and team set the best course achievable in the conditions with 2 fair beats on every lap and some interesting reaches in the gusting conditions. Sailors had to stay alert and the day did not pass without a few tricky moments……..
The Laser fleet were first up but their start was inevitably recalled when half the fleet were over after a severe right shift made the committee boat massively favoured. After a reset of the line, the fleet got away cleanly. Jack Hopkins (Delph) was once again the dominant force with a 1,2 showing great pace in these light to moderate conditions. Tim Keithley (West Riding) continued his challenge strongly, while newcomers to the series Greg Marshall (LLSC) and George Pulman (Dovestone) hitting top 3 positions in their first week on the water – Greg winning the second race by a good margin. It was great to see 20 boats on the start line once again, NW Laser sailing is on the up.
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The handicap fleet also had a recall in the first race and with that a black flag appeared to calm down the fleet, except for Steve Blackburn, the series leader, who picked up an OCS on the restart. Martin Knott (Ribble) had the best of the day in his phantom with two bullets, getting away from the pack and successfully staying clear of the asymmetric kites to keep clear wind. The other results were very mixed, the RS300 of Dan Skinner (West Kirby) chimed in with a 2nd in race 1 while Mike Banner/Mark Atherton (LLSC) scored a 2nd place in the last race after a good start. Most competitors had one difficult race.
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Clean starts were not the order of the day here either with a general recall/black flag in the first race and a couple of people penalised for OCS infringements, but the fleet only had themselves to blame. It wasn’t really a day for 29ers, and the RS400s took charge of the second weekend of the series. Dave Exley/Nigel Hall (LLSC) showed a clean pair of heels in the first race after getting away on lap 1 while Richard Catchpole/Gary Coop (LLSC) did a copy-cat move in the second one. The podium positions were shared between these two crews and Hamish Gledhill/Simon Dowse (West Riding) who notched up two 3rds.
Series leader Brian Sprague (LLSC) didn’t get things all his own way this week by any stretch. Innes Armstrong (Burwain) and Philip Barnes (Budworth) both claimed a 1,2 on the day. The 3rd places were shared between Steve Ferrington (West Kirby) and Malcolm Waddington (LLSC), after the latter stood in as temporary assistant in the first race, covering for severe delays to one of the race team on the M62 due to accident blockages.
Thomas Fielding-Link (LLSC) took the series by the scruff of the neck this weekend with a double bullet finish rewarding his hard work and good shift spotting. Noe Peckham (LLSC) continued his consistent results, while Ben Welfare (LLSC) in his Optimist and Leah Fidling (LLSC) both scored well with a 2,4 finish each. The series remains nicely balanced with 2 weeks gone.
Looking forward to more great racing through the winter. Roll on next week when we will take to the water again to test our mettle against the best in the North West.
Full results available here:
The Tipsy Icicle Series now continues on until March every Sunday, series entries are now closed but competitors can still turn up and pay on the day.