Spring sunshine comes early to the Flash

3 good races in sparkling warm conditions gave the 60+ competitors for the week 7 of the Marlow Tipsy Icicle plenty to smile about. 

A tricky cross-wind and some very keen starters gave the OOD Peter Baldwin and his team some headaches getting the fleets away.  9 knots, gusting 14 in the first race gave occasional planning conditions and while the breeze faded to 7 gusting 10 later in the day.  With may boats on the lake and no windward-leeway course possible it was congested at times, making keeping clear wind ever so important.

The strong Laser fleet were too quick off the mark in the first and last races of the day with a general recall and finally a black flag start to keep everything on track.  Garry Knott (Pennine) once again commanded the fleet, notching up two bullets while Paul Heath (LLSC) rolled back the years to take the last race.  Also very consistent all day and remarkable against the full rigs was the (unhandicapped) Laser Radial of Oliver Blackburn, clearly enjoying the shifting winds.  Patrick Hamilton (Burwain) and Tim Keithley (West Riding) picked up a podium position each to keep themselves in the mix overall.

Garry working hard to keep the boat flat upwind

The Handicap/Solo fleets were off on the second start and good turnout of 22 boats resulted in general recalls in races 1 & 2.  Once underway, Mark Platt (Bolton) was the best scorer of the day with 2 bullets and a 3rd.  Close in his wake was the Streaker of Steve Blackburn (LLSC), while Gareth Williams (LLSC) turned on the turbo in his Aero in Race 1 to take that one, followed by a 2,3.  Points are tight at the top and this fleet might go all the way to the wire.

Phil Barnes (Budworth) continues to lead the Solos and has a good lead in the series after 7 races, consistently at the front.  Only Tony Sampson (SCYC) was able to knock him off his stride in the last race of the day.  The other podium spots were scattered through the fleet between David Tunnicliffe (RYA), Steve Ferrington (West Kirby), Stuart van den Hoek (LLSC) and Alan Catto (LLSC).

With their windward-leeway plans set aside for the day, the asymmetric fleet settled for round-the-cans racing.  The top 4 were very close all day and Caroline Exley/Andy Dawson (LLSC) also tried hard to get in on the act too.  Chris Pickles/Mark Lunn (Delph) took the first after overhauling Dave Exley/Nigel Hall (LLSC) with the spinning Richard Catchpole/Gary Coop (LLSC) dropping to 3rd.  In the second the RS200 of Louise McKeand/Cathy Partington (LLSC) split up the 400 party of Pickles/Lunn and Catchpole/Coop while in the 3rd race Catchpole/Coop got clean away with Exley/Hall pulling through to 2nd and McKeand/Partington picking up another podium position.

The junior fleet was small but competitive with 3 Toppers battling it out.  Daisy Fisher (Hollingworth) now leads the series after 3 straight wins this week.  Megan Greaves (Elton) and Mary-Ann Beacock (Coniston) were in hot pursuit but couldn’t get close enough.  With other Toppers, Teras and Optimists returning from squad weekends next week we are set for plenty more good racing in the series.

Full results can be found at:


The Marlow Tipsy Icicle Series continues next week, still at the earlier start time of 11.30am with 3 races planned to make up the lost races earlier in the series.