Great conditions for the NWJTT series final 2018 event
Well done to the all the 18 entries from the Leigh & Lowton juniors for making the event a spectacular success. In particular, congratulations to Ben Welfare for winning the Oppie event and the series and Thomas Link for his 4th in the Handicap, winning the 1st U14 prize. In the handicap series results Lorcan Knowles finished 2nd and Noe Peckham 8th.
Forecast was for 11 knots with 19 knots gusts northerly from XC, 13knots with 22 knot gusts from NNW to begin with swinging to the north in the afternoon from the Met Office and 13 knots gusting 27 knots from the north from Windguru. In the end the Met Office was closest (specifically on the direction) but the average speed was only 9 knots in the morning with 17 knot gusts although in the afternoon we saw 15 knots with a 25 knot gust coming through at one point.
Race 1 with a total of 47 boats out on the water saw a general recall for the handicap fleet as a bunch popped off the line about 3 seconds before the gun so the Optimists got away first as a result. After that, for the rest of the day, the handicap fleet was very well behaved. with no further problems. Sam Cooper from West Lancs led the handicap race from start to finish, eventually having a 45 second margin over the next Laser, Lucas Barrow from Rudyard SC. However, the Toppers had sailed hard and the end result saw Leah Fidling (LLSC/Chester SC) take second place with Emily Page from Budworth SC stealing third place and Oliver Mills from Pennine in fourth place before Lucas could get his fifth place. In the Optimists Ben Welfare from LLSC led the fleet around but with Holly Wright from West Kirby chasing him hard and Jacob Bennett from Debdale Outdoor in third.
After a great lunch which saw several parents trying to thaw fingers and toes out, the fleet returned to the water with about 8 boats missing and the fleets got away in very ordered style. Once again Sam led the fleet around for the first lap although at the end of the second Lap Lucas had taken the lead. Unfortunately for his, his toe-strap decided it had had enough and his retirement saw Sam retake the lead and hold it until the end with a 3 minute lead over the next Laser. However, it just wasn’t enough to defeat Leah who came in less than 5 minutes behind Sam to take the win on handicap. Toppers then filled the next six places until Joseph Blease from Bassenthwaite, sailing a Laser 4.7, took eighth. In the Optimists, down now just the three boats, Ben took the bullet but not without a fight from Holly who led after the first lap and finished just 4 seconds behind Ben.
The last race saw the wind lift to its strongest for the day and swing around to the North which meant a relaying of the course to suit the new direction. Once the new course was set, the fleets got away cleanly again but with numbers now down to thirty. Sam again led the way around with Lucas on his heels, having repaired his boat. Over the length of the race, Sam extended his lead to almost two and a half minutes from Lucas and it was enough to give him first place on handicap with Leah in second place and Chloe Mills from Pennine SC in third. Joseph scored his best place in this race with a fifth. The Optimists result gave Ben his third bullet of the day with Holly and Jacob in second and third places again.
Thanks to Peter Hadfield (pictured here, centre left) who retires from running the series this year after many years, and good luck to Carren Bell who is taking on the role of organising this great series.
Youth: 1st Male: Sam Cooper; 1st Female: Isobel Lamb (Chester)
Optimists: 1st: Ben Welfare; 2nd Holly Wright: 3rd Jacob Bennett
Endeavour: Ava Harris Scott (Elton)
Handicap: 1st Female and 1st place: Leah Fidling; 2nd Emily Page; 3rd Austin Wright; 4th (and 1st U14 Boy) Thomas Link; 5th (and 1st U14 Girl) Chloe Mills; 6th Joseph Blease; 7th William Burbedge
Full results on the LLSC website: