Fair weather Tipsy Icicle Series
The Tipsy Icicle Series has provided dinghy racing for NW sailors for decades and in its 2nd year back from CoVID disruptions it provided the great racing it has become known for. Across the series 160 sailors competed making this still the biggest club dinghy winter series in the UK and one we all look forward to.
Prizewinners were spread across many different clubs, with a good proportion of the North West’s clubs participating. The Asymmetric Fleet has grown and grown in recent years, making it the biggest fleet by some way these days, but all the fleets saw very competitive racing throughout the series.
Conditions were generally on the light side and relatively benign, although one weekend was sailed in the snow!
LLSC sailors Dave Exley and Nigel Hall’s RS400 multi-year winning streak continues, their trophy clinched on the last weekend from Hamish Gledhill and Ross Southwell (West Riding). There were some young crews taking part in the RS200s and Laser 2000s with one of them coming in 3rd – Chris Pickles crewed by Evie Pickles (Bassenthwaite). There was a lot of chopping and changing in places further down the fleet with tight point decisions being talked about in the bar afterwards. Newcomers to the home fleet Alex Alcock and Alastair Coates accredited themselves well in 4th overall, swapping helm and crew roles regularly to practice.
A 3-way battle in this fleet kept everyone guessing on the final outcome. In the end Phil Worth (Delph) wrapped things up with a weekend to spare despite strong resistance from Andy Flitcroft (Bolton) and Martin Knott (LLSC). So that was Phantom, Supernova, Phantom 1,2,3 but in the mix were D-Zero, Albacores, Blazes and GP14s making up a diverse fleet of boats from all around the North West.
2 bullets in the last weekend’s racing ensured that Paul Heath (LLSC) forced home the small lead he had built up in the series. Both Gordon Riddell (Delph) and Stuart Belfield (LLSC) pushed him close right up to that final weekend but couldn’t reel him. Steve Blackburn (LLSC) made a boat switch from his Streaker for the series to finish in 4th.
Andy Carter (LLSC) headed up the Solo fleet with a string of bullets to count, but Chris Helsby (LLSC) pushed him close, with five 1st places of his own across the series. We all aspire to be fit enough to race like Malcolm Waddington (LLSC) in our later years – several race wins put him into the top 3, a great result and close to the leaders.
In the Junior Fleet it was Redesmere sailors who dominated. Thomas Culwick and Lucy Bambrook battled it out over the weeks, Thomas sealing victory on the final weekend. Laura Parsons (Budworth) ran them close at the start of the series. Hopefully the junior fleets will start to build again in the NW, CoVID has disrupted a lot of training over the past couple of years and it shows in the numbers attending.
This coming weekend sees the inaugural Haydn Griffiths RNLI Trophy Day on Sunday 2nd April. This event remembers Haydn who sadly lost his life last year doing the outdoors sports that he loved the best. We hope as many people as possible are able to attend. To enter, follow the link below:
Full results of the Tipsy Icicle Series 2023 can be found below: