Guy Fawkes Pursuit Race is a howler!

Leigh & Lowton SC restarted their annual Guy Fawkes Pursuit Race on Sunday 7th November, having had to cancel last year for COVID lockdown reasons.  The forecast for the day was for a squally one with gusts of up to 30 knots – the reality did not disappoint.  Many resisted the temptation to go afloat and of those that didn’t, some were back ashore without troubling the start line, due to breakages or big swims!

The juniors were not deterred as they set off first, 8 of them in Optimists, Teras and Toppers showing the adults the way to go.  The start of the race was so gusty that the advantage the stronger winds should have brought was offset by having to manage their boats around the course.

The adults started with some Solos, then Streaker, Lasers, Albacore, Scorpion, GP14 and finally the Blaze and the asymmetric fleets.

In all the chaos that the wind brought for the first couple of laps, some struggled to find their way around the course and made some navigational errors.  Then the wind abated and the race became a race at last, not survival.

The viewing spectators were debating who would win out – would it be Ben in his Optimist hanging on to his lead until he was overhauled on the last lap, or the battle between Steve and Paul in the Streaker/Radial combo who fought all the way round.  It looked like it could have been Mark in the Blaze towards the end or Alastair and Helen in their RS200, but the clock ran out for them and they couldn’t reign in Steve who held out to win by a minute or so.

Thanks to the usual OOD team of Howard Green & co for another great event.  

1st Place – Steve Blackburn – Streaker – LLSC

2nd Place – Mark Fearnley – Blaze – South Windermere

3rd Place – Alastair & Helen Norris – RS200 – LLSC

4th Place – Paul Heath – Laser Radial – LLSC

5th Place – Louise McKeand & Nigel Hall – Wayfarer – LLSC

6th Place – Ben Welfare – Optimist – LLSC

Full results:

Sailwave results for Guy Fawkes Pursuit at Leigh and Lowton SC 2021 (

All photos by Gerard van den Hoek