Testing conditions for week 5 of the Tipsy Icicle

Tipsy Icicle Week 5 – Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club

A tricky, shifty, fickle 4-9 knot northerly gave the race officer Mike Baldwin some headaches in the 5th weekend of the Tipsy Icicle at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club on Sunday 4th February. A reduced entry from the junior fleet was evident due to a squad weekend but the Asymmetric fleet was bolstered by RS200’s on their training weekend, although lacking some regulars due to some hard partying the night before…!

The wind died for the start of the first race, causing some general recalls as competitors fought for the best start. Racing was “round the cans” due to the difficult wind direction, but some good beats were laid giving the competitors as level a playing field as possible for the racing. The wind was a little more consistent in the second race, but the sunshine of Race 1 disappeared to add a distinctive chill to the air for the second race.

A general recall in race one kept the fleet on their toes, but the OOD kept in his black flag in his back pocket for the restart. Jack Hopkins (Delph) and Tim Keithley (West Riding) continued to lead the fleet out in the series taking a bullet apiece. Of the others, Howard Green (LLSC) hung on to pip Gary Knott (Pennine) for 2nd place in the first race and Gary picked up another podium position in the second. The series remains wide open for the top positions.

Steve Blackburn (West Lancs) had the best of the weekend in the handicap fleet, stretching out his position at the top of the leaderboard with a 1,2. Martin Knott (Ribble) and Andy Flitcroft (Bolton) kept their consistent results up 1st and 2nd respectively. Chris Bows (LLSC) and John/Nikki Carlin (West Kirby) finished off the podium places with a 3rd apiece. There’s still plenty of races to go in the series but Steve will take some catching on this form.

The Asymmetrics kicked off with another general recall (they now top the charts for the series – not sure there’s trophy up for grabs for that honour?!) but got away cleanly from the restart. Dave Exley/Nigel Hall (LLSC) got a port flyer and stayed out in front followed by Richard Catchpole/Gary Coop (LLSC). There was the same outcome in the second race despite a recall for Catchpole/Coop off the start line and the early part of the race being led by Caroline Exley/Jo Hartigan (LLSC). Alistair/Katie/Scott (Ripon) sailed well in their RS200 to pick up two 3rd places ahead of the other RS200s. Exley/Hall look well placed at this point in the series.

Results were jumbled up at the front of the Solo fleet. A 1,3 for Malcolm Waddington (LLSC) was the pick of the bunch to bring himself up the series leaderboard, but Tom Weiz (LLSC) also had a good day with a 2,3. Innes Armstrong (Burwain) picked up 1st place in the first race. Series leader Brian Sprague (LLSC) had to settle for a 2,4 this week and still leads the competition overall but coming under a little more pressure from the chasing pack.

With many of the squad sailors away for the weekend, Noe Pecham (LLSC) took full advantage with a couple of bullets in his Topper, his wins took the series lead away from Thomas Fielding-Link (LLSC). Ben Welfare (LLSC) picked up both second places to close up on the leaders overall and showed perseverance to be the last one in off the water at the end of the day. Meanwhile the Toppers of Courtney Yarwood (LLSC) and sister Jade Yarwood (LLSC) shared the other podium positions. Next week will see the return of the squad sailors.

We’re nearing the half way point in the series now, and there’s all to play for with some great racing still to come.

Full results available here:

The Tipsy Icicle Series now continues on until March 11th every Sunday, series entries are now closed but competitors can still turn up and pay on the day.