New Years Pursuit – it took us 20 years to win this!

Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman were run away winners in a glorious but fickle New Years Day.  Chris commented afterwards that he had been trying to win a pursuit race at Leigh & Lowton for close on 20 years and was delighted to finally do that.  It’s an event that has always attracted stiff competition, even if some may be suffering a little from the night before!

A decent breeze got Lochlyn Grant (LLSC) off to a good start in his Optimist, but the breeze had died away by the time the Toppers started, amassing a great turnout for the event.  It looked for all the world as if the wind would die for good and at one point during the Laser start there was hardly a breath.

But the forecast was for the wind to shift and fill in, which it did earlier than predicted (fortunately for some).  The faster boats took full advantage with the RS200s onwards starting in better breeze.  With the wind continuing to build it was no surprise an hour or so later to see the RS400 (Chris Pickles and Matt Sharman – Bassenthwaite), Phantom (Martin Knott – LLSC) and Blaze closing in fast on the lead Solo (Andy Carter – LLSC) and the Oppie.  Andy hung on to claim 3rd.

Martin gave the RS400 a run for its money as the wind swung to produce so very tight reaching legs, but couldn’t make sufficient inroads to really threaten their lead.

The juniors were overtaken early by the faster boats but had their own excellent racing to keep them entertained.  The eventual winner was Laser Radial Bill Morris (Delph) followed by 420 Jasper Bramwell and Lewis Bacon (Hollingworth & LLSC).  Lochlyn Grant was 3rd in his Optimist after his 3-hour epic sail.

1st – Chris Pickles & Matt Sharman (Bassenthwaite)

2nd – Martin Knott (LLSC)

3rd – Andy Carter (LLSC)

4th – Mark Fearnley (South Windermere)

5th – Chris & Benjamin Smallwood (Budworth)

Full results in the link below:

Sailwave results for New Year’s Day Pursuit 2024 at Leigh & Lowton SC 2024 (

The winter series continues with the Icicle Series starting next weekend (7th Jan):

Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club : Winter open series 2023/24 (