2015 News

Reflections on our 2015 sailing season

Our Outgoing Commodore, Sally Townend, reflects on last year’s sailing season:

S Crook in Merlin“I feel we have had a successful year on the water with the club continuing to put on an excellent range of traditional racing on Sundays and Wednesdays, training events, and Friendly Fridays to help the transition from learning to sail to racing,

Turnouts have been down especially on Sundays.  Maybe this is linked to the average wind strength this year being higher than the 10 year average or more to the point I believe that people look at the web-based forecasts and decide not even to step out of the house based on what they are predicating, often being put off by the gust speed even though we may only get one gust at that speed.  Having said that, the weather has had an impact this year with a total of 16 races not being sailed during the course of the year due to the weather, either too much wind or no wind.

We have taken delivery of two new Winder Boats GP14s, thanks to Steve Caladine & Martin Watts for their efforts in putting the successful bid to Sport England.  It is hoped this will assist with the transition from learning to sail to participating in club racing

To quote Mathew Syed (former Commonwealth table tennis champion) “to become an expert in anything you need to put in an average of 10,000 hours of purposeful practice” so hopefully these GP14s will start new members of on their journey of 10,000 hours of purposeful practice to become the winners of races in years to come.

We have continued our tradition of running excellent Open Meetings. In addition this year we have hosted the Solo Northern Championship, the GP14 End of Season Championship, NW Senior Travellers and, jointly with OnBoard, an 8 Hour Race for juniors.  As always we have received excellent feedback from visitors to the club complimenting us on our organisation of the racing, food and hospitality.

Every class has represented Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club nationally at Open Meetings. Members have also represented the club in at least three national championships and one world championship. And yet again members have had some excellent results to be proud of as a club.

Our Junior members as well as participating in a range of activities at the club, have represented the club in a range of national events and have has some excellent results.

Socially we have had a range of events in addition to our after sailing wind down in the bar.  The highlight being the annual dinner dance and prize giving which, along with a celebration of the successes of the year’s sailing, was a great testament of the friendships that have been formed through our sport of sailing.

Sally Townend #2014We continue to look at ways we can promote the activities of the club during the year and to this end the website hosts lots of information on the club and its latest news which, of course, is also delivered by a weekly e-mail. In addition to this we have 234 followers on our Facebook page. I encourage you all to post any relevant news up on the page.  A great way to promote and communicate what’s going on at the club.  Recent posts about Stu reached nearly 3,000 people and a post regarding Founders Plate winners reached 600 people in the sailing community.

It has been a great pleasure to be your Commodore for the last two years.  Being the club’s Commodore is a role that is not arduous, as you are surrounded by excellent committee members.  It has been a great pleasure to work alongside them in ensuring the club continues to meet the objects for which it was formed, namely, to promote and facilitate community participation in the sport of sailing and to provide social facilities for its members.

To conclude I would like to quote my son Evan following taking part in some events at other clubs himself this year he said to me on returning form one “until you visit other clubs you don’t realise how lucky we are here at Hollingworth”

So as a club, as members lets ensure we maintain that mantra in 2016 and beyond.

Here’s to a great year on the water in 2016.”

Sally Townend,
Commodore 2014/15

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6th December 2015 

By Graham Knox

With Storm Desmond having passed through, there was a chance of sailing at the Lake on Sunday. As this could be the penultimate day of racing this year, several boats took to the water and enjoyed the steady light wind.
There might have been some confusion with the 3 Solos as all bore the same sail number, Martin Brennan led the first race, but was beaten by visitor Andy McKee in the second and had to wait till the very last moment on the finish line to outwit Chris Massey in the third race.
Inevitably, with all boats starting together, the Merlin Rockets were soon clear ahead and Steve Crook, with Jane Clayton, claimed the win. Gerald Whitehead, sailing with Oliver, followed in runner-up spot but handed over the helm to Andy McKee for the third race.
Mike Butler and Steve Caladine in a GP14 were unopposed after gear failure in the first race.

Results:-

Merlin Rockets:
Races 1 & 2: 1.S Crook/J Clayton 2.G & O Whitehead
Race 3: 1.S Crook/J Clayton 2.A McKee/O Whitehead

GP14:
Races 2 & 3: 1.M Butler/S Caladine

Solo:
Race 1: 1.M Brennan 2.A McKee 3.C Massey
Race 2: 1.A McKee 2.M Brennan 3.C. Massey
Race 3: 1.M Brennan 2.C Massey 3.G Whitehead

Laser:
Races 1 & 2: 1.S Mason

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22nd November 2015
by Graham Knox

After the Club prize-giving and dinner the night before, it might have been expected, with the cold weather, that only a few would turn out to race on Sunday. And so it proved. Conditions for racing were better than forecast and 3 races were sailed.
In the 1st race with all starting together, the Merlin Rocket of Steve Crook and Sally Townend were sure to win, but the route to the first mark changed with a wind shift to the north and it was the Solo of Chris Massey that got away. Races 2 and 3 were led round by Martin Brennan and Richard Long in a GP14, with Oliver Whitehead, testing his new Solo, in second place and leading the other Solos.

Results:-

Merlin Rockets:
Race 1: 1.S Crook/S Townend

GP14:
All Races: 1.M Brennan/R Long

Solo:
Race 1: 1.C Massey 2.D Hughes 3.K Parry
Races 2 & 3: 1.O Whitehead 2.C. Massey 3.D Hughes

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8th November 2015
by Graham Knox

Only 5 brave Solo sailors ventured out to race on Sunday. The strong southerly wind made the racing look exciting as the boats planed fast downwind. But capsizes were the order of the day and only Chris Massey survived to win. A second race started and again it was only Chris Massey who managed to complete the shortened course to take the day’s honours.

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1st November 2015
by Graham Knox

There was enough wind to turn the turbines on Crook Hill on Sunday, but it was not quite the same at the Lake. It seemed like flat calm and so a postponement to the start of racing was given. Eventually 10 boats set out for a light wind race. All boats started together and the Merlin Rockets were soon into the lead, finding enough zephyrs to race the course. At first Steve Crook and Sally Townend had a good lead, but Martin and Rene Watts were soon challenging. It was on the second lap that the Watts took a better line into the windward mark, at Queens Bay, and the lead which they held to the finish. Martin Brennan and Richard Long kept going in a GP14 and Graham Booth held the lead in his Solo. No one was keen to sail another race and the Lake soon looked glassy.

Results:-

Merlin Rockets:
1.M & R Watts 2.S Crook/S Townend 3. G & O Whitehead

GP14:
1.M Brennan/R Long

Solo:
1.G Booth 2.D Smith

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25th October 2015
by Graham Knox

Sunday was a typical autumn day for sailing at the Lake. The light south westerly wind brought close racing in the Solos and Merlin Rockets. David Hughes was the clear winner in the Solo fleet, even when he swapped boats with Kevin Parry in the third race. Gerald Whitehead was the main rival but lost track of the course in that third race.
In the Merlins, Martin and Rene Watts had a runaway win in the first race, but after that Steve Crook and Charley Steel were on the pace. Veteran Guy Winder shared the racing with his crew, Tom Murphy.

Sunday racing for the Winter Trophy continues to 13th December.

Results:-

Merlin Rockets:
Race 1: 1.M & R Watts 2.G Winder/T Murphy 3.S Crook/C Steel
Race 2: 1.S Crook/C Steel 2.M & R Watts 3.B Mager/C Jowett
Race 3: 1.S Crook/C Steel 2.B Mager/C Jowett 3.T Murphy/G Winder

GP14:
Race 1: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.J Mellor
Race 2: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.J Mellor/A Prince
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/R Long

Solo:
Race 1: 1.D Hughes 2.G Booth 3.R Blackburn
Race 2: 1.D Hughes 2.G Whitehead 3.G Booth
Race 3: 1.D Hughes 2.R Blackburn 3.G Whitehead

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17th/18th October 2015
by Graham Knox

It was a very busy weekend for Lake sailors at home and away. At home, the local club hosted an End of Season Championship for 27 GP14s. Some came from Scotland and North East, others from the South Coast to enjoy and compete here. Best placed local sailors were Martin Brennan and Richard Long who finished 10th in the highly competitive fleet. Graham Knox and Steve Caladine did not have such a good series in the 4 races and finished 22nd. Such events also require a large number of Club volunteers to run the racing and help onshore.

On Saturday, 5 young sailors were at Bolton for the final round of the North West Junior Travellers Series.

At the end of 10 events, Adam Din and William Rowland, both under 14, finished 4th and 5th respectively. The Club’s young sailors were on good form at Bolton with Will Smith finishing 6th, Adam Din 7th, Evan Parry 10th, William Rowland 12th and Hudson Dand 28th.

Also on Saturday, 5 of the Club’s Solo sailors went to Budworth, in Cheshire, where Steve Denison won from 32 boats, Oliver Whitehead finished 4th, followed by Chris Robinson 9th and Chris Massey in 13th place.
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11th October 2015
by Graham Knox

There were only a few sailors out on Sunday enjoying a typical autumn day, with a light easterly wind. The Solos were, as usual, the active fleet with Martin Brennan borrowing a boat and showing others the right way, though Nigel Davey got clear away in the first race. Nick Hornsby and Oliver Whitehead were away at Windermere where the wind was so light that only one race was sailed, which they took with first and second places. Chris Massey was crewing at the Endeavour Champion of Champions event at Burnham on Crouch, as Scorpion Champion crew.

Autumn Series Results-
GP14:
Races 1 & 2: 1.G Knox/J-A Dobbs

Solo:
Race 1: 1.N Davey 2.M Brennan 3.D Smith
Race 2: 1.M Brennan 2.N Davey 3.D Smith
Race 3: 1.M Brennan 2.D Smith 3.G Booth

Laser:
Races 1 & 2: 1.W Smith

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4th October 2015
by Graham Knox

The warm sunshine on Sunday came with a light and fickle wind from a generally southerly direction. Despite the difficult of recognising the best way to race between the marks, the results were very consistent. Nick Brook, who generally favours stronger winds in his Solo, won all three races after overtaking David Hughes in the first one. There was never much doubt that Martin Brennan and Richard Long would win in the GP14s, though pressed hard by fast-sailing Andy and Elmarie Carter in the third race. In the Merlin Rockets the spoils were split between Martin and Rene Watts and Julian Parry with his young son, Evan. Evan took the helm in the third race to show his father that he could handle the boat just as well.

Autumn Series Results-
Merlin Rocket:
Race 1: 1. M & R Watts 2. J & E Parry 3. G Winder/T Murphy
Race 2: 1. J & E Parry 2.M & R Watts 3.G Winder/T Murphy
Race 3: 1. M & R Watts 2. E & J Parry 3.T Murphy/G Winder

GP14:
Race 1: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.G Knox/J Higgins 3.J Mellor/R Hodgson
Race 2: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.A & E Carter 3.O Whitehead/A Prince
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.A & E Carter 3.G Knox/J Higgins

Solo:
Race 1: 1.N Brook 2.D Hughes 3.M Smith
Race 2: 1.N Brook 2.G Whitehead 3.D Smith
Race 3: 1.N Brook 2.M Smith 3.D Smith

Mirror:
Races 1 & 2: 1.B Small

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26th/27th September 2015
by Graham Knox

Over the weekend the Sailing Club welcomed 23 Merlin Rockets to compete for the annual Felucca Trophy. Some came from the South Coast to challenge, but it was the wind conditions that provided most of the challenge. The light airs on Saturday left flat spots that meant ‘snakes and ladders’ racing. However, it was the all girl crew of Caroline Croft, with local crew Jane Clayton, who held their nerve ahead of David Winder and Pippa Taylor. Sunday started with wind from the east and this time David Winder held the lead ahead of Caroline Croft. After lunch, the wind freshened from the south-west to give better racing. This time, locals Steve Crook and Sally Townend secured the lead, with Caroline Croft close behind. The final race was won by another visitor, Chris Gould from Midland SC.

Four of the Club’s Solo sailors went to Leigh & Lowton for an Open event that suffered worse from the weekend’s light winds. Oliver Whitehead did best finishing 4th, ahead of Nick Hornsby in 8th and Chris Massey in 10th place.
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20th September 2015
by Graham Knox

The Club held its annual Championship on Sunday, in addition to participating in a worldwide race to remember Andrew (Bart) Simpson who tragically drowned 2 years ago. Keen Olympic medallist sailor, he had encouraged others to “never give up on their goals”. And the GP14 sailors certainly did that on Sunday taking the first two places in the Championship in conditions which suited them. Martin Brennan and Richard Long were clear winners, though pressed hard in the races by Mike Butler and Steve Caladine. Julian Parry, with son Evan, looked far ahead in the Merlin Rocket, but not far enough on the handicap basis. The 3 races also formed part of the Autumn Series.

Autumn Series Results-
Merlin Rocket:
Race 1: 1. J & E Parry 2.N & L Heginbotham 3.L Bithell/R Richards
Race 2: 1. L Bithell/R Richards 2.J & E Parry 3.N & L Heginbotham
Race 3: J & E Parry 2.G Winder/T Murphy 3.L Bithell/R Richards

GP14:
Race 1: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.M Butler/S Caladine 3.G Knox/J Dobbs
Race 2: 1.M Butler/S Caladine 2.M Brennan/R Long 3.A & E Carter
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.A & E Carter 3.M Butler/S Caladine

Solo:
Race 1: 1.M Smith 2.G Booth 3.D Smith
Race 2: 1.D Smith 2.M Smith 3.R Blackburn
Race 3: 1.D Smith 2.G Booth 3.K Parry

Laser:
All races: 1.W Smith
Mirror:
Races 1 & 2: 1.R Cwik

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13th September 2015
by Graham Knox

This is a busy time of year for keen sailors with many events away from home. Over the weekend club members were active at Southport for the annual 24 Hour Race, others were at the Solo Class Inland Championship, a Merlin Rocket Open and Junior events.

The Juniors had been at Redesmere a week before where Will Smith finished second and Adam Din 7th. On Saturday, the young sailors tried sea sailing at West Kirby with Will Rowland coming in 9th and Adam Din following in 11th place. These young sailors are making their mark in the North West Junior Travellers series, as overall in the Handicap division Adam Din is in second place with Will Rowland fourth.

After a promising start in the 24 Hour Race, the Club’s GP14 proved to have a weakness and despite brave efforts the team were unable to maintain their position.

At home on Sunday, the Merlin Rockets welcomed Roger Mee back to sailing and showing his competitive instincts were still sound. He was joined by Matt who took the helm in the second race.

Autumn Series Results-

Merlin Rocket:
Race 1: 1. S Bates/A Hilton 2.R & M Mee 3.M & R Watts
Race 2: 1. M Mee/E Norris 2.S Bates/A Hilton 3.M & R Watts
Race 3: 1. M & R Watts 2.S Bates/A Hilton 3.G Whitehead/T Laing

GP14:
All races: 1.M Butler/S Caladine

Solo:
Race 1: 1.G Whitehead 2.K Parry 3.J Walker
Race 2: 1.J Walker
Race 3: 1.K Parry 2. J Walker

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6th September 2015
by Graham Knox

What a difference a week can make for sailors at the Lake! Sunday brought sunshine and a north-westerly breeze that filled in to give some great racing conditions, though there were strong gusts which were difficult to ‘read’ and resulted in shifts to catch the unwary.

There were 3 different winners in the 8 boat Solo fleet. Nick Brook took the first race easily but had to work his way through to finish second in the other 2 races. Gerald Whitehead benefitted from having his son, Oliver, crewing for him winning the first race in the Merlin Rockets.

After the day’s racing, prizes were awarded for the August Handicap series which was won by Oliver Whitehead in a Solo, followed by Bruce Mager and Craig Jowett in a Merlin Rocket with Kevin Parry third overall, having sailed more regularly than many others.

Autumn Series Results-
Merlin Rocket:
Race 1: 1.G & O Whitehead 2.B Mager/C Jowett 3.T Murphy/G Winder
Race 2: 1.B Mager/C Jowett 2.G & O Whitehead 3.T Murphy/G Winder
Race 3: 1.B Mager/C Jowett 2.I Laing/S McCann 3.G Winder/T Murphy

GP14:
All races: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.G Knox/M Whitehead

Solo:
Race 1: 1.N Brook 2.D Hughes 3.N Davey
Race 2: 1.N Davey 2.N Brook 3. D Hughes
Race 3: 1.R Blackburn 2.N Brook 3.D Hughes

Mirror:
Race 1:1.B Small
Race 2: 1.P & J Bramwell 2.B Small

Laser:
Race 1: 1.E Parry

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Wednesday 2nd September 2015
by Graham Knox

The final Wednesday evening found 19 boats out to enjoy a good evening’s race. The Merlins sprinted away from the mass start and there was a closely contested race between them. Oliver Whitehead had a good lead in the Solos but, on the second lap, others caught up getting the better of the shifts and once Nick Brook gained the lead, he held onto it. Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles led comfortably in the GP14s and beat all the Solos to boot. Evan Parry showed the older Laser sailors how it is done.

Merlin Rocket- 1. B Mager/R Richards 2.G Winder/T Murphy 3.M & R Watts
GP14- 1. M Brennan/S Miles 2. G Knox/J Higgins 3. J Mellor/N Thomason
Solo- 1. N Brook 2.D Hughes 3.N Hornsby
Laser- 1. E Parry 2. R Whitehill 3. J Maguire

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30th August 2015
by Graham Knox

One week sailors find it too windy to set out on the Lake and another Hollingworth Lake is like a mill-pond. So it was on Sunday when a Merlin, 2 Solos and a Mirror set out to race. Martin and Rene Watts in the Merlin Rocket found enough light air to get round a single lap course. Gerald Whitehead in a Solo and Peter and Jasper Bramwell in the Mirror found very still conditions behind.

A second race was attempted but abandoned when the light air ceased altogether.

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Wednesday 26th August 2015
by Graham Knox

The penultimate Wednesday race series began with a mass start for a good turnout of the fleets. There was a stiff westerly blowing that offered good tactical racing and possible downwind planing. The leaders were the usual suspects in each class, though Martin Brennan decided that he would be better crewing for Nick Hornsby in the GP than the other way round! With 5 GP14s out that is half the Club fleet. It was also good to have Andrew Hilton out crewing for Steve Crook.

Merlin Rocket- 1. S Crook/A Hilton 2. B Mager/R Richards 3.G Whitehead/D Thompson
GP14- 1. N Hornsby/M Brennan 2. M Butler/S Caladine 3. J Mellor/R Hodgson
Solo- 1. N Brook 2.D Hughes 3.R Simpson
Laser- 1. G Butler 2. S Mason 3.R Whitehill

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23rd August 2015
by Graham Knox

When the wind blows from the east at the Lake, it will be strong. So it was on Sunday at times blowing Force 5 or 6 (a strong breeze). In that direction, it is not easy to sail out of the harbour and it was the Solos who succeeded. Nick Hornsby and Gerald Whitehead coped, while Kevin Parry capsized and retired. Fast planing downwind with lots of spray won the racing for Nick Hornsby.

Last week at Abersoch, 13 years old Adam Din, with 8 years old brother Jacob sailed in the Mirror Week to13th place out of 46 boats.
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19th August 2015
by Graham Knox

Eleven boats took to the water on a miserable wet evening but, at least, there was a southerly wind blowing to give decent racing. While Oliver Whitehead soon took command of the Solos, ahead of our Scorpion Championship crew Chris Massey, there was a close battle between the two Merlins. Gerald Whitehead, with David Thompson, tried to cover Tom Murphy, with Guy Winder crewing, but Tom got through downwind on the penultimate leg to claim first. The Laser results were unusual as Gary Butler failed to pass through the line on the second lap and returned to correct it leaving Richard Whitehill to victory!

Merlin Rocket- 1.T Murphy/G Winder 2.G Whitehead/D Thompson
GP14- 1. M Brennan/S Miles 2. R Mason/J-A Dobbs
Solo- 1. O Whitehead 2. C Massey 3.D Hughes
Laser- 1. R Whitehill 2. G Butler

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16th August 2015
by Graham Knox

It is sometimes the racers who are challenged when sailing on the Lake, but on Sunday it was also the team organising the racing who were challenged. Where was the wind coming from? It kept filling in from different directions and had periods of flat calm. In such circumstances the long experience of Martin Brennan and Richard Long, in a GP14, found the best way round the course with a second place in the first race and a win in the second one. Oliver Whitehead had got away in his Solo in the first one but did not sail the second race. Graham Booth, also in a Solo, had the patience to cope with the wind and had a third and fourth places. Bruce Mager’s Merlin, with Craig Jowett, got away in the second race to finish runner-up. No one was keen to sail a third race and the Lake soon put on a glass-like sheen.

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12th August 2015
by Graham Knox

Another lovely summery evening but would there be any wind? Boats drifted out while the Race Team tried to find where the light air was coming from. At the start, it was apparent that something was arriving from the Rakewood end of the Lake and it gradually filled in. Although there were ‘flat spots’, the set 3 lap course was sailed. Oliver Whitehead showed his light weather expertise, as did Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles. Others tried super-lightweight crews which helped to keep boats moving. The Laser results were again unchanged!

Merlin Rocket- 1.B Mager/R Richards 2.G Whitehead/Angela
GP14- 1. M Brennan/S Miles 2.J Mellor/J Mellor 3.G Knox/E Coffey
Solo- 1. O Whitehead 2.N Hornsby 3.D Hughes
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.J Maguire

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9th August 2015
by Graham Knox

Conditions for racing at the Lake on Sunday were ideal, though the wind did vary in direction. The results on the handicap basis produced some surprising outcomes. Martin Brennan and Richard Long, in a GP14, were the clear winners on the day, with Oliver Whitehead’s Solo following close after. David Winder and Matt Calvert, sailing a Fireball (practising for a World Championship) were in great form too, with a race win. Charley Steel, in a Laser, was the runner-up in the second race with Rana Din in a Pico fourth. Both had the benefit of a better placed start than much of the fleet. At the other end of the finishers, Peter Bramwell took his sons Jasper (age 7) and Xavier (age 5) to experience the fun of sailing in a Mirror.
Results:

Race 1: 1.GP14, M Brennan/R Long 2.Merlin, J Parry/R Jones 3.Solo, O Whitehead
Race 2: 1.Solo, O Whitehead 2.Laser, C Steel 3.GP14, M Brennan/R Long
Race 3: 1.Fireball, D Winder/M Calvert 2.GP14, M Brennan/R Long 3.Solo,O Whitehead

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5th August 2015
by Graham Knox

It had been a breezy day, but the Lake looked too calm for the evening and it would be one of those ‘ghosting’ evenings. Perhaps it was the lure of a lasange and garlic bread after racing that lured 20 boats out. After moving marks to try and keep the race in a limited area, a light southerly filled in (and brought some rain) to keep boats moving. Nick Brook shot away from the other Solos on the first leg. Bruce Mager and Ryan Richards took the the lead in the Merlin Rockets.

Merlin Rocket- 1.B Mager/R Richards 2.M & R Watts 3.S Crook/C Steel
GP14- 1. N Hornsby/H Daniel 2.J Mellor/J Dobbs
Solo- 1. N Brook 2.D Hughes 3.R Simpson
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.J Maguire

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2nd August 2015
by Graham Knox

With the Championship season in full swing and some club members away, the usual racing format is changed this month. The different classes start together and race on handicap. This produced some interesting changes in the results. Mike Butler and Steve Caladine in a GP14 proved worthy winners on the day despite the competition of several Solos, particularly Nick Hornsby who won the second race.The southerly wind direction was not helpful to course setting on the Lake but at least the wind held for the afternoon.

Over the weekend, 13-year old Adam Din was competing in the National Schools Sailing Championship at Rutland Water where he did well finishing 7th out of 40 Lasers (4.7 rig).

Results:

Race 1: 1.GP14, M Butler/S Caladine 2.Solo, M Smith 3.Solo, N Hornsby
Race 2: 1.Solo, N Hornsby 2.Merlin Rocket, M & R Watts 3.GP14, M Butler/S Caladine
Race 3: 1.GP14, M Butler/S Caladine 2.Solo,N Hornsby 3.Solo,M Smith

Overall: 1.GP14, M Butler/S Caladine 2.Solo,N Hornsby 3.Solo, M Smith

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Wednesday 29th July 2015
by Graham Knox

Another good evening for sailing though the wind off the Lake Bank shore was shifty. The approaches to marks such as H, G and A needed fine judgement. In the Solos, Olver Whitehead got away early to lead while Nick Brook had to work his way through to second and then found Dave Hughes had a good lift into G mark but on the final lap at G, the wind dropped and Nick was able to ghost past and take runner-up spot. Graham got together with one of his past crews, Dave Smith to show a clean ‘pair of heels’ to the other GP14s. It did not go Steve Crook and Sally Townend’s way in the Merlins.

Merlin Rocket- 1.B Mager/R Richards 2.G Winder/T Murphy 3.S Crook/S Townend
GP14- 1. G Knox/D Smith 2.R Mason/N Thomason
Solo- 1. O Whitehead 2.N Brook 3.D Hughes
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.W Smith 3.J Maguire
Mirror- 1.B Small

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26th July 2015
by Graham Knox

Around the country, there were reports of sailing events cancelled on Sunday but, at the Lake, it was calm when racing was due to begin. The light wind was very unsettled. After the first race, the east wind blew quite strongly to give some hard racing for those up to it. The Solos were the most numerous with 3 different race winners. Nigel Davey won the first race, second to Oliver Whitehead in the next one and to Dave Smith in the third. Coming back to the harbour was too exciting and he capsized unceremoniously. Brian Small and Richard Mason did battle in the red-sailed Mirror dinghies. Matt Mee and Emma Norris visited the Club with their RS200 and showed again why they are chief contenders for their forthcoming National Championship.
Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1. B Mager/H Daniel 2.G Whitehead/Angela
Race 2: 1. G Whitehead/Angela

GP14-
Races 1 & 2: 1.G Knox/C Broadbent

Solo-
Race 1: 1.N Davey 2.D Smith
Race 2: 1.O Whitehead 2.N Davey 3.D Smith
Race 3: 1.D Smith 2. N Davey

Laser-
Races 1 & 2: 1.W Smith

Mirror-
Race 1:1.B Small
Race 2: 1.R Mason 2.B Small
Race 3: 1.R Mason

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Wednesday 22nd July 2015
by Graham Knox

Another fine evening for a sail, although there were some dramatic shifts around G mark and ‘flat spots’. It was a good turnout as well. There was ‘nip and tuck’ racing between Nick Brook and Chris Massey in the Solos. Nick held the lead for most of the race finding the best streams of wind, though Dave Hughes intervened at one time. Andy Wake was third at the first mark but fell back after that. The GP14 results were never in doubt. Gerald Whitehead and Dave Thompson were in second place at the first mark to Steve Crook and Sally Townend but Bruce Mager and Harry Daniel found the way through as did Guy Winder and Tom Murphy. Brian Small enjoyed another race in his Mirror.

Merlin Rocket- 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.B Mager/H Daniel 3.G Winder/T Murphy
GP14- 1. M Brennan/S Miles 2.M Butler/S Caladine 3.J Mellor/R Hodgson
Solo- 1. N Brook 2.C Massey 3.D Hughes
Laser- 1.C Bower
Mirror- 1.B Small

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19th July 2015
by Graham Knox

It seems strange that so often this year Sundays have suffered strong gusty winds that deter some sailors from setting out. Solo sailors are made of sterner stuff and were out enjoying it. The first race saw some confusion in rounding a mark at the Rakewood end of the Lake. The leaders took the mark on their port side, though it had been set to starboard (right-hand). Dave Smith knew the correct way and sailed into an unassailable lead while others corrected their mistake. In the second race, it was Dave who set off to the wrong mark and Chris Massey on strong form led that race and the third one. The other classes decided not to sail the third race. Although not formally racing, David Winder and Matt Calvert shot round the Lake on a Fireball, with Matt on the trapeze, planing fast.
Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Races 1 & 2: 1.S Crook/S Towenend 2.B Mager/C Jowett

GP14-
Races 1 & 2: 1.J Mellor/R Mason

Solo-
Race 1: 1.D Smith 2.C Massey 3.D Hughes
Race 2: 1.C Massey 2.N Brook 3.D Smith
Race 3: 1.C Massey 2.D Smith 3.G Whitehead

Laser-
Race 1: 1.W Smith 2.E Parry

Pico-
Race 1: 1.A Din/W Rowland

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15th July 2015
by Graham Knox

A pleasant evening sail where the wind held, although light and shifty. It was dieing fast as I got there! Brian Small has taken to setting out in his Mirror; it is good to see the red sails out. David Hughes ‘snuck’ past Nick Brook in the closing stages for the Solos.
Merlin Rocket- 1.L Bithell/L Webster 2.B Mager/R Richards 3.G Winder/H Daniel
GP14- 1. M Brennan/S Miles
Solo- 1. O Whitehead 2.D Hughes 3.N Brook
Laser- 1.R Whitehill 2.J Maguire
Mirror- 1.B Small

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12th July 2015
by Graham Knox

With several of the Club’s Merlin Rocket sailors away over the past week at Salcombe, Martin and Rene Watts were the lone representatives on Sunday. Having sailed one race, Martin tested his skills by crewing for Graham Knox in a GP14 and racing in a Solo for the third race. Mike Butler and Steve Caladine led the way in GP14s for the first 2 races. Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles had to wait for the third race to be sure of winning. Nick Brook had no trouble in leading the Solo fleet. Will Smith and Adam Din vied for success in the Lasers. All agreed that the conditions had given them a hard days racing with the strong gusts and shifting winds.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1.M & R Watts

GP14-
Race 1: 1.M Butler/S Caladine 2.M Brennan/S Miles
Race 2: 1.M Butler/S Caladine 2.M Brennan/S Miles 3.G Knox/M Watts
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/S Miles 2.M Butler/S Caladine 3.G Knox/M Whitehead

Solo-
Races 1 & 3: 1.N Brook 2.D Smith 3.G Whitehead
Race 2: 1.N Brook 2.G Whitehead 3.D Smith

Laser-
Race 1: 1.W Smith
Race 2: 1.W Smith 2.A Din
Race 3: 1.A Din

Mirror-
Race 1: 1.B Small
Race 2: 1.B Small 2.R Cwik
Race 3: 1.P & J Bramwell
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4th/5th July 2015
by Graham Knox

SOLO NORTHERN CHAMPIONSHIP

This year Hollingworth Lake hosted the Northern Series Championship, sponsored by Goacher Sails and provided a wide variety of conditions for sailors to enjoy. Sunday’s racing was for the Travellers Series (separate results shown) while others had joined to compete on Saturday only. The wide variety of conditions did not stop Innes Armstrong being dominant with 4 race wins out of 6 races.

In a foretaste of later races, the first started with a general recall, and hoisting of the black flag. With a wind strength of Force 3 to 4, with gusts up to 5, it was likely that there would be casualties on the track. Ian Hopwood led the fleet away from the start with a long port tack, closely followed by M Honnor as they rounded the windward mark. Planing conditions prevailed on the reaches and Hopwood held off the challenges. However, on the second lap, Hopwood capsized after the gybe and left Armstrong to take the lead which he held to the finish. Hopwood recovered well to overtake several boats and gain runner-up spot, with J Hopkins in third place. There was then a big gap in finishers behind.

The wind eased notably for the second race and shifted towards the north-west. Unfortunately for the 3 leading boats, including Hopwood, Hopkins and some others, the course was laid through a ‘gate’ after a leeward mark, which they missed, and were subsequently invited to retire. This gave the opportunity for Armstrong to take the lead again and be followed by local sailors, N Brook and C Massey in particular. These three held their places to the finish.

The third race was sailed back-to-back and this time anyone of several boats could be leading on the way to the first mark. Local sailor, M Brennan, sailing closer to the shore, had the starboard advantage into the windward mark and held the lead for much of the first lap until passed by Honnor, Hopkins and Hopwood. Armstrong suffered his worst result in 8th place.

It was a pleasure to sit outside and enjoy a barbecue after racing.

Sunday dawned with a lighter wind from the south-west and, inevitably, some bunching at the windward mark. Oliver Whitehead was able to get away onto the run but his lead was shortlived as Steve Denison (having joined for Sunday’s racing only) gained the lead and sailed away into an unassailable position. The downwind legs depended on suitable ‘streams’ of wind and Brennan, with local awareness, on the final run gained second place on the shortened race. T Wright had his best result with a third place, while Honnor finiished fourth.

After a filling lunch, the final two races were sailed back-to-back under the black flag. Armstrong got away clear again, followed by A Hatley, Oliver Whitehead, Massey and Denison. While Hatley held his second place, Honnor climbed through to third, and Denison improved to fourth.

The wind freshened for the final race and Armstrong was again into the lead early. Massey was well placed but was unable to hold it. In the end, Honnor was through to runner-up ahead of Denison. So there was no doubt about the winner, with Honnor’s relatively consistent results securing him second overall. Local sailors Massey and Oliver Whitehead were tied on points but Massey’s best race result tilted it in his favour. Armstrong had shown ability to lead in both strong and light winds and deservedly won the event.

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27th/28th June 2015
by Graham Knox

Saturday was a long day for some of the Club’s young sailors. 8 of them (all but one under 18 years) competed at Southport on the Marine Lake in the 12 Hour Race. Sailing in relays for an hour or more the team finished 13th out of 24 teams. This included stints at the helm by two 12 year-olds and a girl helm. They were therefore among the youngest teams sailing in the breezy conditions with hot sunshine.

Two more of the Club’s under 14 sailors were racing at Bassenthwaite Lake in the North West Junior Travellers series where William Rowland finished an excellent third place, ahead of Adam Din in fourth place. Both are highly placed in the overall series of 10 events.

It was too windy on Sunday for most sailors, all 4 of the Solos retired from the first race. Three of them managed the third race. Otherwise, it was Steve Crook and Sally Townend in a Merlin Rocket showed how to cope.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Races 1 & 3: 1.S Crook/S Townend
Race 2: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2. S Bates/A Hilton

Solo-
Race 2: 1.D Hughes
Race 3: 1.D Hughes 2.G Whitehead 3.K Parry

Here is 5 of the team of 8 that took part in the 24 hour race!

Southport Junior 12 Hour 2015 011

 

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24th June 2015
by Graham Knox

It was a typical calm summer evening to enjoy a race with a patchy wind. Nick Brook quickly established a lead in the Solos and held it to the finish. Andy Wake is showing better form now in the fleet with a 3rd. Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine were not too troubled in the GP14s by Graham Knox and guest crew Andrew Brook. Julian and Zoe Parry took the right tacks to win the Merlins. The Lasers finished in the same sequence as often recently.

Merlin Rocket- 1. J & Z Parry 2.B Mager/R Richards 3.S Crook/S Townend .
GP14- 1. M Brennan/S Caladine 2.G Knox/A Brook
Solo- 1.N Brook 2.D Hughes 3.A Wake
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.C Bower

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21st June 2015
by Graham Knox

Sunday’s racing at the Lake was for the Founders Plate. This is a mix of 3 usual Club races followed by a pursuit race for the best racers in each class. The blustery conditions suited the Merlin Rockets, noted for their speed reaching across the Lake. Nick Brook won all 3 races in the Solos, outpacing Oliver Whitehead. Steve Crook and Sally Townend seemed on form in the Merlins, until the third race when David and Oliver Winder looked secure in the lead until the final mark when Julian Parry and Becca Jones took a tactical advantage to win. They then went on to win the special Founders Plate race, ahead of Steve Crook and Sally Townend with Nick and Lucy Heginbotham in third place.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Races 1 & 2: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.J Parry/R Jones 3.N & L Heginbotham
Race 3: 1.J Parry/R Jones 2.S Crook/S Townend 3. D & O Winder

GP14-
Races 1 & 2: 1.M Brennan/S Caladine
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/S Caladine 2.G Knox/H Dand
Solo-
Race 1: 1.N Brook 2.O Whitehead 3.K Parry
Race 2: 1.N Brook 2.O Whitehead 3.D Smith
Race 3: 1.N Brook 2.D Smith 3.R Blackburn

Laser-
Races 1&2: 1.C Bower
Laser 4.7-
Race 1:1.W Smith
Races 2&3: 1.W Smith 2.E Parry

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17th June 2015
by Graham Knox

Twenty boats were out this evening for racing, before a Club barbecue (thanks to Pat and Nick Brook). The day’s rain had cleared away but the sky remained overcast with a shifty north-west breeze.

The Solos were away into the usual Oliver Whitehead battle with Nick Brook. Nick had the best from the start but Oliver caught up and passed downwind. Nick needed to get the barbecue going and retired. Andy Wake and Kevin Parry found that taking notice of the GP14s was to their advantage as they got closer on the shifts.
Once again in the GP14s Mike Butler and Steve Caladine got clear ahead at the first mark as Martin Brennan with Sophia Miles kept Graham Knox with Craig Broadbent in third place.

Fresh back from Scotland, Steve Crook with Sally Townend showed the way round in the Merlins untroubled by Dave and Sarah Winder. A reduced fleet of Lasers was won by Gary Butler, while the 4.7 rig of William Rowland gave him third place. There was also the RS200 of the Rowlands and RS400 of Steve Mason with James Wheeldon racing hard.

Merlin Rocket- 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.D & S Winder 3. J & Z Parry
GP14- 1. M Butler/S Caladine 2.M Brennan/S Miles 3.G Knox/C Broadbent
Solo- 1.O Whitehead 2.D Hughes 3.A Wake
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.J Maguire3.W Rowland

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13th/14th June 2015
by Graham Knox

The Lake Sailing Club had a busy weekend. On Saturday, 10 teams from local Clubs participating in the RYA OnBoard Scheme raced in relays for 8 hours. The forecast of rain and strong winds fortunately proved wrong and, with some sunshine and light airs, the teams raced on. From an early stage the host Club took the lead and proved to be clear winners.

On Sunday, 29 Lasers raced in an Open event. The quiet of early morning changed to a moderate easterly wind half an hour before racing started, fortunately, and held for the day, occasionally strengthening. Visitors from Leigh & Lowton and Dovestones particularly provided strong competition. Winning the first and second races it was girl power of Charlotte Greenhalgh that gained victory, hard pressed by past winner Ian Jones as runner-up.

6 of the Club’s younger sailors took part, using smaller sails. William Rowland did well to finish 19th on a handicap basis, and Adam Din came in 21st place.

HLSC OnBoard 2015
Photo of the winning team taken by Rana Din

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7th June 2015
by Graham Knox

Sunday proved, at last, a good day for sailing at the Lake. The 10 Solos particularly enjoyed racing as the medium strength winds gave good conditions, downwind especially. Nigel Davey took the first race and Nick Brook lent his boat to Julian Parry for the second and third races. With Oliver Whitehead on form for these two races, Julian lost out to Nigel in the second one on the last leg but made amends in the third one when he was often ahead of Oliver but lost out in the later stages of the race. David Winder with son, Oliver, in the Merlin Rockets flew round the course at great speed unchallenged by Gerald Whitehead and crews, though he was up against a visiting Scorpion sailor who was very fast. Martin Brennan and Richard Long ruled the waves in the GP14s.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1.D & O Winder 2.G Whitehead/A Hilton
Races 2 & 3: 1.D & O Winder 2.G Whitehead/T Murphy

GP14-
Race 1: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.J Mellor/K Highton
Race 2: 1.J Mellor/K Highton 2.R Mason/J-A Dobbs
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.R Mason/J-A Dobbs
Solo-
Race 1: 1.N Davey 2.D Hughes 3.R Blackburn
Race 2: 1.O Whitehead 2.N Davey 3.J Parry
Race 3: 1.O Whitehead 2.J Parry 3.D Smith

Mirror-
Race 1: 1.R Cwik
Laser-
Race 2: 1.E Parry

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Wednesday, 3rd June
by Graham Knox

A glorious sunny evening for sailing with a good breeze that held, though there were some awful shifts particularly approaching G and H marks, as the wind came from the Lake Bank. Best of all, there was strong competition for the leadership in the Solo, GP and Merlin fleets. Indeed there was much place changing throughout the race. Nick Brook battled with Martin Brennan and won. Graham Knox and Craig Broadbent (for the first time out this season) had a great time changing places with Mike Butler and Steve Caladine. David and Sarah Winder were out in his Merlin and lost out to Martin and Rene Watts. The Laser results were the familiar outcome with Gary Butler showing the way.

Results:
Merlin Rocket- 1.M & R Watts 2.D & S Winder 3.G Whitehead/D Thompson
GP14- 1.G Knox/C Broadbent 2. M Butler/S Caladine 3.J Mellor/R Hodgson
Solo- 1.N Brook 2.M Brennan 3.C Massey
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.C Bower

———————————————————————————–

Wednesday, 20th May 2015
by Graham Knox

There were close and exciting battles for the lead in the Solos and GP14s this evening. Each fleet had 5 boats out. So there were 19 boats out in total. Nick Brook and Oliver Whitehead both lead the Solos around the course on a sunny evening with a cool breeze off the Lake Bank shore.

On the last lap, Nick Brook passed Oliver to win. Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles had to work hard to keep ahead of Ellie Davies and Adam McGovern in the GPs. Gary Butler has the mastery of the Lasers but then some of them forget the course and wander off!

Results:
Merlin Rocket- 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.G Whitehead/D Thompson
GP14- 1.M Brennan/S Miles 2. E Davies/A McGovern 3 M Butler/S Caladine
Solo- 1.N Brook 2.O Whitehead 3.D Hughes
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.C Bower 3.W Rowland (4.7)
RS200- 1.A & R Rowland

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17th May 2015
by Graham Knox

It was the turn of the GP14 fleet at the Lake to host their Open Meeting with visitors from Southport, York and Stoke-on Trent. All experienced the strong and gusty westerly winds which gave exciting racing with fast planing reaches across the Lake with spinnakers set. There was much place changing among the leaders and local sailors Steve Crook and Steve Caladine were ahead at first until they capsized. Matt Birks and Alan Jones from Stoke won the first and third races after battling hard and thus the event, while Martin Brennan and Richard Long took the second race.

Some of the Club’s Solo sailors were away at Carsington in Derbyshire. In a fleet of 44 boats, they also had to contend with the strong winds. Steve Denison was the best of Club sailors with 5th place and Chris Massey finished 16th.

———————————————————————————–

GP14 Open Meeting – Sunday 17th May 2015

IMG_3514a

There was some exciting racing to be seen at this Northern Bell event.  With strong and gusty winds from the west there were challenges ahead for those setting out.  Perhaps the scourge of dinghy racing, Internet weather sites, had put entries off at seven boats, but there was close competition still.

Early in the first race, one boat was seen to retire through gear failure.  Steve Crook and Steve Caladine from the host club were the leaders and had taken advantage of the planing conditions on a long reach, until preparing to take the spinnaker down, they suffered a capsize.  This gave the visitors an opportunity to battle for the lead.  Tim Harper and Paula Fisher looked to build up a good lead only to lose out upwind on a shift which let Matt Birks and Alan Jones into the lead.  On the third lap downwind Martin Brennan and Richard Long closed up on the leaders, but were unable to break through.  The final beat was very close as Matt Birks just crossed the line ahead of Tim Harper.

After a good lunch, there was a change of course as the wind had moved to the north west.  Martin Brennan on starboard looked likely to lead at the first mark, but suffered from a late header where Steve Crook coming on port got ahead.  During the second lap, the reverse happened and on the downwind lap Brennan dared to gybe to port and gain from Crook who ran on starboard and found Harper and Birks closing.  Approaching the leeward mark was not a good time to lose the spinnaker pole overboard and Crook circled to recover it.  Harper and Birks now battled for second place while Brennan raced on.  Taking a ‘traditional’ approach upwind as a local, Brennan lost much of his lead and just managed to keep ahead of Harper on the finish line.  So there were three boats on 4 points with the third race to be a decider.

Despite a break of sunshine, 2 boats opted not to sail the third race.  Once again the lead was taken by Steve Crook, with Tim Harper on his tail.  Matt Birks recovered from a poor start to round the first mark in third place.  After a long occasional planing reach, places changed on the following beat.  Matt Birks had tacked early onto starboard and gained the lead.  Steve Crook did not give up the lead easily and it changed hands several times but Matt Birks got going better downwind and eventually escaped to a clear lead and overall victory.

The overall results were:
1st Matt Birks / Alan Jones (RYA) – nett 2 points
2nd Martin Brennan / Richard Long (HLSC) – nett 4 points
3rd Tim Harper / Paula Fisher (West Lancs YC) – nett 4 points
4th Steve Crook / Steve Caladine (HLSC) – nett 6 points
5th Tom Daniel / Sophia Miles (HLSC) – nett 9 points
6th Steve Parry / Phil Green (York RI SC) – nett 14 points
7th Martin Stanley / Jenny Scott (West Kirby SC) – nett 16 points

IMG_3539

Thanks to HLSC member Martin Watts for taking the photos.

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10th May 2015
by Graham Knox

The Lake Sailing Club took part in the nationwide Push the Boat Out Day on Sunday and welcomed many families to come and taste the sport. Although conditions on the water were breezy all enjoyed the opportunity and many have signed up for future training sessions.

Thanks to support from Sport England, the Club will soon take delivery of 2 new GP14 dinghies to help new members into the sport.

In the afternoon, there was some of the usual close racing, particularly in the Solo fleet. Nick Brook looked to have a good lead in the first race, but was pipped to the finish by Oliver Whitehead. Chris Massey was well ahead in the second race but capsized on a gybe, giving the lead to Brook. Massey made no such mistake in the third race, but Brook had the best overall results.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Races 1 & 2: 1.S Crook/ S Townend 2.L Bithell/L Webster

Solo-
Race 1: 1.O Whithead 2. N Brook 3.C Massey
Race 2: 1.N Brook 2.O Whitehead 3.C Massey
Race 3: 1.C Massey 2.N Brook 3.O Whitehead

GP14-
Race 1: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2. R Mason/J Dobbs
Race 2: 1.M Brennan/R Long 2.A & E Carter 3.R Mason/J Dobbs
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/R Long

Laser-
Races 1: 1. W Smith 2.W Rowland

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Wednesday, 6th May 2015
by Graham Knox

Another cold overcast evening where the strong and gusty wind off the Lake Bank shore did not put off a good turnout. Many were caught out by the gusts and there were some capsizes, though some managed to hold on dramatically. Steve Crook and Sally Townend were battling hard to pass Matt Mee and Adam McGovern with a carefully timed gybe and took some time to recover from the capsize. David Winder and Matt Calvert enjoyed chasing the fleet at full throttle on the trapeze in the Fireball. Nick Brook kept Oliver and Chris Massey in order in the Solos.

Results:
Merlin Rocket- 1.M Mee/A McGovern 2.S Crook/S Townend
GP14- 1.M Brennan/S Miles 2. M Butler/S Caladine
Solo- 1.N Brook 2.O Whitehead 3.C Massey
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.J Maguire

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3rd May 2015
by Graham Knox

The Solo fleet were in good form producing very consistent results. As usual, it was Oliver Whitehead who took the bullets with Martin Brennan in the runner-up slot. It was cold with the easterly wind which moderated and swung to the south west with gusts enough to capsize the unwary. Matthew Mee and Emma Norris were visiting and chose to sail a Merlin Rocket. If there had been another to race against, they would have been tough competition for others. Matthew’s father, Roger, took the helm in the third race. Three GP14s battled hard in the second race, won by Andy and Elmarie Carter.
On Sunday, the Club takes part in the nationwide Push the Boat Out project to welcome anyone interested to try the sport form 10am to 4pm.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Races 1 & 2: 1.M Mee/E Norris
Race 3: 1.R & M Mee

Solo-
Races 1 & 2: 1.O Whithead 2. M Brennan 3.N Davey
Race 3: 1.O Whitehead 2. M Brennan 3.D Smith

GP14-
Race 1: 1.C Knott/R Long
Race 2: 1.A & E Carter 2.C Knott/R Long 3.R Mason/R Din

Laser-
Races 1 & 2: 1. W Smith

RS200
Race 2: 1. W Rowland/A Din

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Wednesday, 29th April 2015
by Graham Knox

The cold north west wind may have discouraged many from setting out this evening, despite the sunshine. The wind was quite strong and several succumbed to gusts and capsized, particularly in the Lasers. Oliver took the helm of his Dad’s Merlin with Chris Massey crewing.
Results:
Merlin Rocket- 1.N Heginbotham/M Calvert 2.O Whitehead/C Massey
GP14- 1.M Brennan/S Miles
Solo- 1.G Whitehead
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.C Bower

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26th April 2015
by Graham Knox

Nick Brook was on top form on Sunday in his new ‘Shades of Grey’ Solo taking all 3 races in the shifty north west wind. Places were easily lost and others closed up on the leader but could not overtake. Chris Massey and Oliver Whitehead, usually Solo contenders, had gone to Rudyard Lake where they finished second and third respectively. In the Merlin Rockets, Les Bithell and Laura Webster took 2 races, but Nick Heginbotham and daughter Lucy were consistent runners up.
3 Junior members were present at Leigh & Lowton SC for the RYA NW Junior Travellers Event and, in variable conditions, performed to a good standard. Adam Din finished 8th, Will Rowland was 13th and Hudson Dand in his first such event achieved 20th place.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1.M & R Watts 2.N & L Heginbotham 3.R & J Mee
Race 2: 1.L Bithell/L Webster 2.N & L Heginbotham 3.M & R Watts
Race 3: 1.L Bithell/L Webster 2.N & L Heginbotham 3.G Whitehead/S Essex

Solo-
Race 1: 1.N Brook 2.D Hughes 3.N Davey
Race 2: 1.N Brook 2.N Davey 3.D Hughes
Race 3: 1.N Brook 2.D Smith 3.D Hughes

GP14-
Race 1: 1.C Knott/R Long 2.N & A Hornsby
Race 2: 1.C Knott/R Long 2.M Brennan/C Broadbent

Mirror-
Race1: 1.R Cwik
Laser-
Races 2 & 3: 1.E Parry

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Wednesday, 22nd April 2015
by Graham Knox

Another of those warm and sunny evenings, despite the wind coming from the east, at least it did when racing started. 17 boats were out but, alas, the wind dropped and went towards the south and most Lasers and GP14s had to be towed in around 8.30pm.

Nick Brook was out in his new Solo and off to a flying start until the later stages when he was nearly caught by Graham Booth. Roger Mee was out in Dave Mellor’s Merlin with brother John crewing. After a great start, they finished fourth.

Gary Butler and John Maguire in Lasers persisted to the finish along with Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles after the wind went into all directions as darkness fell.

Merlin Rocket- 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.L Bithell/L Webster 3.M & R Watts
GP14- 1.M Brennan/S Miles
Solo- 1.N Brook 2.G Booth 3.D Hughes
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.J Maguire

————————————————————————————

19th April 2015
by Graham Knox

Some of those taking to the water at the Lake on Sunday were out for the first time this year. With a gusty north-east wind there were a few capsizes for the first race. The wind moderated after that.

The Solo fleet had the closest racing and any one of 3 might have led, but it was Mike Smith who took the bullet. After that Martin Brennan could not be caught in the other two races in less testing conditions. Kevin Parry looked set to take third in the last race until he capsized at the penultimate mark!

However, there were 5 Solos away at West Kirby where Steve Denison was second, Chris Robinson fourth and Oliver Whitehead in sixth place.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Races 1 & 2: 1.L Bithell/L Webster 2.G Whitehead/H Daniel

Solo-
Race 1: 1.M Smith 2.R Blackburn 3.M Brennan
Race 2: 1.M Brennan 2.D Smith 3.M Smith
Race 3: 1.M Brennan 2. D Smith

GP14-
Race 1: 1.R Mason/R Din 2.J Mellor/K Doherty
Race 2: 1.C Knott/R Long 2.R Mason/R Din 3.J Mellor/K Doherty

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Wednesday 15th April 2015
by Graham Knox

At last, a pleasant evening with a light breeze off the Club shore. Unusually the wind held better than expected. With Dave Winder and Matt Calvert sailing a Fireball, Matt was even observed out on the trapeze sometimes downwind. It was great to see 25 boats out on the water on such an evening. Another good sign was seeing 2 father and daughter crewed boats and 3 juniors in Lasers!

Merlin Rocket- 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.J & Z Parry 3.N & L Heginbotham
GP14- 1.M Brennan/S Miles 2.R Mason/N Thomason 3.J Mellor/R Hodgson
Solo- 1.O Whitehead 2.D Hughes 3.R Simpson
Laser- 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.J Maguire
Fireball- 1.D Winder/M Calvert
RS400- 1.S Mason/A Pittman

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12th April 2015
by Graham Knox

It was another one of those wild days for racing at the Lake on Sunday. Of the seven boats that ventured out only one finished the first race without capsizing, or retiring. Steve Crook and Sally Townend in their Merlin Rocket had the skill to keep upright in a shortened race. As the wind moderated, 3 Merlins managed a second race.
Four Solos went to Burwain and managed 2 races “crammed in before the wind went wild”. Steve Denison was third, while Chris Massey in 7th beat Oliver Whitehead in 8th.place. David Winder and Pippa Taylor were down in Salcombe where Stuart Bithell showed winning ways in winds of Force 4/5 on Sunday. It will come as a relief if this period of tempests comes up an end.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.J Parry/R Jones
Race 2: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.J Parry/R Jones 3.T Daniel/J Clayton

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Wednesday 8th April 2015
by Graham Knox

It was almost like a summer evening with a light southerly wind. There was just enough light for 2 laps. The Merlins had an interesting time mixing it with an RS400, only Steve Crook and Sally Townend stayed ahead!

Results-
Merlin Rocket: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.M & R Watts 3.G Winder/T Daniel
RS400: 1.S Mason/C Steel
GP14: 1.C Knott/M Brennan 2.N & A Hornsby
Solo: 1. O Whitehead 2.D Hughes 3. A Wake
Laser: 1.G Butler 2.R Whitehill 3.J Maguire

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5th April 2015
by Graham Knox

Easter Sunday racing at the Lake was dominated by three different boats in light and patchy wind for the first race. There was a little more wind for the second one.

Oliver Whitehead was the clear winner in the Solos, always finding the way in the light and fickle wind. Julian Parry and Becca Jones were the unchallenged Merlin Rocket leaders, behind them places changed frequently depending on the lucky one who could keep their boat moving. It was good to see the two Toms helming Merlins.

In the GP14s, Colin Knott and Richard Long looked to win the second race until the final mark where the light wind changed direction and Martin Brennan and Alastair Knott crept through.

All decided that after 2 races in such light airs was enough. Racing also continues on Wednesday evenings.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1.J Parry/R Jones 2.G Whitehead/S Essex 3.T Daniel/S Townend
Race 2: 1.J Parry/R Jones 2.T Daniel/S Townend 3.G Whitehead/S Essex

GP14-
Race 1: 1.M Brennan/A Knott 2.A & E Carter 3.R Mason/N Thomason
Race 2: 1.M Brennan/A Knott 2.C Knott/R Long 3.A & E Carter

Solo-
Race 1: 1. O Whitehead 2. K Parry
Race 2: 1. O Whitehead 2.G Booth 3.K Parry

Laser-
Races 1 & 2: 1. E Parry

Mirror-
Race 1: 1.R Cwik

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Wednesday 1st April 2015
by Graham Knox

A dull evening, but there was wind!

Results-
Merlin Rocket: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.B Mager/R Richards 3.G Whitehead/D Thompson
GP14: 1.E Davies/A McGovern 2.M Brennan/A Knott 3.R Mason/K Parry
Solo: 1. O Whitehead
Laser: 1.S Mason 2.G Butler 3.R Whitehill

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29th March 2015
by Graham Knox

Sunday morning at the Lake started with a crew training session, in very little wind. Nor was there much wind as racers set out for the first race at 1 o’clock. However, as they started on the second lap, there was a sudden mighty increase as fierce squalls came. Inevitably this led to many capsizes and 6 boats deciding to retire from racing. The Merlin Rockets were able to achieve most finishers. The race organising team set out for a second race but decided to abandon it as stronger gusts hit the water.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Race 1: 1.D Winder/T Murphy 2.B Mager/R Richards 3.G Whitehead/C Jowett

Solo-
Race 1: 1. O Whitehead 2. K Parry

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22nd March 2015
by Graham Knox

Twenty boats were out racing at the Lake on Sunday enjoying the warmer sunny weather with a westerly airstream.

Oliver Whitehead again dominated the Solo results overtaking Chris Massey. David Hughes was also in the frame, but lost out badly in the second race. While newer member Andy Wake looked like taking a third place at one time.

The Merlin Rockets had some very close racing with many place changes as they challenged for a better route downwind.

Steve Crook and Sally Townend found the best way in the first and third races, but Julian Parry and Becca Jones got away in the second one.

Stuart Bates and Charley Steel pressed hard and looked to have a good lead in the second race only to find the wind fading as they raced for the windward mark.

Results:

Merlin Rocket-
Races 1 & 3: 1.S Crook/S Townend 2.J Parry/R Jones 3.N & L Heginbotham
Race 2: 1.J Parry/R Jones 2.S Crook/S Townend 3.S Bates/C Steel

Solo-
Races 1 & 3: 1. O Whitehead 2. C Massey 3. D Hughes
Race 2: 1. O Whitehead 2. C Massey 3.G Booth

GP14-
Race 1: 1.M Brennan/A Knott 2. C Knott/R Long 3.J Mellor/N Thomason
Race 2: 1.M Brennan/A Knott 2. C Knott/R Long
Race 3: 1.M Brennan/A Knott

Laser-
All Races: 1.E Parry

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15th March 2015
by Graham Knox

Sailors recognise that, when the forecast is for winds coming from the east, it will blow strongly at the Lake. So it was on Sunday and the gusts from Blackstone Edge can be vicious. 3 Solos set out for the first race, and 2 for the second one, with Martin Brennan and Alastair Knott keeping up in a GP14. Oliver Whitehead is well practised in such conditions to lead the Solos, despite a capsize near the finish, to lead comfortably.

Nick Brook borrowed a Solo and did his best to keep up. In the second race, the GP14 was keeping up well with the Solos until, with spinnaker flying, on the reach along the dam wall a gust was too much to hold the boat level and they capsized.

Junior sailors were out practising their skills in Lasers and learnt to keep their boats upright after a few capsizes.

Results:

Solo-
Race 1: 1. O Whitehead 2. N Brook 3. R Blackburn
Race 2: 1. O Whitehead 2. G Whitehead

GP14-
Races 1 & 2: 1.M Brennan/A Knott

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1st March 2015
by Graham Knox

Only a hardy few sailors ventured out to race at the Lake on Sunday.

The strong westerly wind and threat of snow or sleet was a clear deterrent. Martin Brennan and Alastair Knott, in a GP14, were ready to show the Solos who should lead as they had a combined start. Chris Massey was the leading Solo in the first race, with Oliver Whitehead second.

Those positions were reversed in the second race when Oliver romped away and his father, Gerald, came in third. Three of the Club’s Junior sailors were out in Lasers testing their skills without racing. Hopefully the weather will turn more clement soon.

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22nd February 2015
by Graham Knox

In preparation for the start of the sailing season at Hollingworth Lake, Club members had a tidy up last Sunday, despite the onset of snow.

Club racing begins on Sunday, 1st March when keen sailors hope that they will not have to break the ice to get on the water again. Racing will continue every Sunday and, from April onwards, there will also be a race each Wednesday evening. New members are always welcome to come and have a look.