Sunshine for New Year’s Day Race

A glorious winter day at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club welcomed the 50+ competitors for the long-running New Year’s Day race.  The wind maps were showing various different forecasts for the day, with competitors concluding that a gentle SSW was the most likely outcome.

This proved to be accurate as the Optimists got things underway in a zephyr of a F1.  Along with the Toppers and Fevas a fleet of juniors totalling 12 in number were out early.  The breeze picked up to F1-2 and pretty much stayed there for the rest of the day.  The Solos were wetting their lips at the prospect of the shifty light winds they are renowned for enjoying while the faster boats had their fingers crossed for a late pick up in wind.

This extra wind never materialised and at times it required guile and patience to round the windward marks under the shadow of the shore.  The OOD had picked the right wind angle for the day to put together a course that was fair, with some good beats and runs to test all the competitors.

The Solos did dominate the proceedings taking 3 of the Top 10 placings.  Andy Carter (LLSC) got off to a good start and kept extending his lead from the other Solos until the finish.  Darren Nield (Elton) fended off the rest of the fleet, holding off the challenge from the Wayfarer of Louise McKeand and Nigel Hall (LLSC) by the slenderest of margins.  Mark Fearnley (South Windermere) sailed his Blaze impeccably to come in 4th, a great result in those conditions.

The juniors had an excellent scrap for honours with Jasper Scott (Hollingworth) pipping Ava Harris-Scott (Elton) by a boat length at the finish, some distance ahead of their closest rivals.  Ben Welfare and Freddie Woods (LLSC) finished well up in the overall fleet to take 3rd junior.

Full results can be found at:

Sailwave results for New Year’s Day Pursuit 2023 at Leigh & Lowton SC 2023 (

The winter series continues with the Icicle Series starting next weekend (8th Jan):

Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club : Winter 2022/23 (

The club also said a fond farewell to Yvette Merga after her 4 years of catering for the club, made especially difficult by the pandemic.  We wish her all the best in her new ventures.