Perfect Racing Day for 2nd Weekend of Tipsy
The number of competitors increased for the second Sunday of the Tipsy Icicle Series at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club. The forecast of moderate winds down the flash must have got the 80 boats out of bed in the morning, with nearly 100 sailors on the water from over 20 clubs around the North West. This was going to make it a tough day for OOD Owen Griffiths and Dave Rowlands to keep control of the start lines, but some good lines and modicum of discipline kept the fleets in order. Some great racing was had over the day with 10-15 knots in Race 1, increasing in the 2nd with gusts up to 18-20 knots at times. There was a little swimming going on in all the fleets at times and a few retirements in the gusty conditions.
The first start for the Lasers was very tight but the all clear was given and the fleet worked hard up the first beat. The racing has been so close this year so far, and this race was no different with the first 6 boats finishing within 35 seconds of each other. In the event, Drew Gibbons (West Kirby) and Greg Marshall (West Lancs) were tied for first place and Ollie Blackburn (LLSC) and Paul Heath (LLSC) squeezed in the next two places. Race 2 saw some great reaching legs at the bottom of the course, this time Ollie won by 6 seconds from Greg and it was Andy Dawson (LLSC) who reveled in the breezier conditions to come in 3rd. This leaves the 2 radial sailors top of the overall rankings, but there’s a long way to go yet.
The Handicap fleet were well behaved all day, but suffered some retirements in Race 2 when conditions became too much for some. Andy Flitcroft (Bolton) and Phil Worth (Delph) shared the honours on the day with a 1,3 finish each. Martin Knott (Ribble) maintained his consistent start to the series with a 2nd place in the first race, while Alan Roberts/Alex Pikes (LLSC) made a great start to their series with two podium finishes, they should be well in the mix when they get some more results on the board. Andy heads the leaderboard currently overall in his Supernova, a whisker in front of the two Phantoms.
Once again, the Asymmetric fleet were the bad boys on the start line in the first race, apparently having more than half the fleet over the line is not the proper way to start a race! Chris Pickles/Matt Sharman (Bassenthwaite) made short work of the 400 fleet, recording two wins, but the Laser 2000 of Tats Greenhalgh/Jo Powell (Port Dinorwic) was just too quick around the racecourse and won the second race by a clear margin on handicap. Last week’s leaders Paul/Karen Brotherton (Glossop) got themselves in a Tera-ble (!) pickle at one leeward mark and dropped back a little in the overall rankings. Hamish Gledhill/Simon Dowse (West Riding) came in with a commendable 2,3, meanwhile new entrants Richard Catchpole/Sean Ratcliffe (LLSC) posted a 3rd place in race 2 once they had warmed up! Chris/Mark/Matt take a good lead into the 3rd week in the series and look strong contenders.
Once again Phil Barnes (Budworth) and Nik James (LLSC) dominated proceedings in the Solo fleet. Stuart van den Hoek (LLSC) sailed well to pip Dave Kelsall (LLSC) and Chris Helsby (LLSC) in the first, while Chris got his own back in the last race to claim 3rd spot.
After their Junior Winter Regatta the previous day, many of the youngsters were back again to work out their sore muscles. Jac Bailey (Port Dinorwic) had a great day pulling out 2 first places in tough conditions. The spoils were shared out behind with a Port Dinorwic clean sweep in the first race, Ben Greenhalgh and Ben Sinfield picking up 2nd and 3rd. Race 2 saw a turnaround in fortunes as Llion Morris (Llandudno) and Ben O’Brien (Elton) claimed the podium positions. Currently Port Dinorwic have the first 5 places overall, so others will have to step up in the coming weeks!
The series continues next week and every Sunday into the middle of March. If you want competitive racing through the winter to work on your skills then this is the place to come.
Full results available here:
If you want to come along to race on the occasional Sunday then you can pay on the door, but online entries for the series are now closed.
All photos by Gerard van den Hoek