Sunday 10th December 2017
The Lake sailing season came to an end on Sunday in the most miserable of conditions. Three boats ventured out for a couple of races. Both were won by Chris Massey in his RS300, chased around by Stuart Bates with Les Burns, experiencing the crew role, in a Merlin Rocket. Martin Brennan, in a Solo, decided that one race was enough! However, Martin was a clear winner of the Winter series of November and December Sundays. Runner up in that series is Kevin Parry’s GP14 where he has crewed for Oliver Whitehead at the helm.
Sunday 3rd December 2017
Conditions for the penultimate race day of the season were not looking hopeful as sailors contemplated the mirror-like Lake. The motive power, wind, for sailors was lacking and a half-hour postponement gave time for a light northerly air to spread across much of the Lake. Patience was rewarded with a short race where the light weather skills of Martin Brennan (Solo) and Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) came to the fore. Martin and Rene Watts (Merlin Rocket) had to settle for third place. A bit more wind, from the north west, gave a longer course with the Merlin Rockets out in front, challenged by the Marshs. A long downwind leg saw place changing, but Brennan held the lead again ahead of Colin Knott and Richard Long in a GP14, with the Marshs in third place ahead of Oliver Whitehead and Kevin Parry (GP14). The Merlins suffered on their handicap. Few ventured for the third race and soon after the start the wind all but evaporated. This time, Martin and Rene Watts kept their Merlin Rocket going to win while, behind, 3 GP14s were snail-like struggling to finish while Andy Carter in a Topper kept up with them for second place. Junior sailor Jasper Bramwell in a Topper toughed out all 3 races.
Sunday 26th November 2017
The wintry conditions for sailing on Sunday did not deter some hardy sailors. The first race started with a light wind which faded to the lightest of airs halfway round the first lap. Three Merlin Rockets were fortunate to have got ahead before this, but they were still beaten on handicap by Martin Brennan in a Solo. Stuart Bates and Andrew Hilton in a Merlin were runners up. After the race was shortened the wind freshened enough to give good racing for the rest of the day. Martin continued to show his ability as he won the other two races. With 4 Merlin Rockets now vying for success, there was close competition behind. Steve Crook and Sally Townend were the runners-up in race two, ahead of Les Bithell and Jane Clayton. In the third race, Stuart Bates again claimed the runner-up spot, while Andy Carter and Martin Watts lost out for a third place in the closing stages of the race to Steve Crook.
Sunday 19th November 2017
Adam McGovern, sailing a GP14 and crewed by his father Tim, won 2 of the 3 races at the Lake on Sunday. The very light wind conditions tested racers to find the best chances to get clear ahead. In the third race, as the wind all but disappeared, the McGoverns wisely retired. This left Martin and Rene Watts, in a Merlin Rocket, out ahead winning and unchallenged on handicap, after a runner-up spot in the second race. The GP14 fleet were once again the most numerous participants. It was also good to see several of the Club’s junior sailors out in Topper dinghies, persevering in the light airs.
Sunday 12th November 2017
The bright sunshine on Sunday also brought strong northerly wind to provide excellent racing at the Lake. In the first race, Martin Brennan, in a Solo looked to be way ahead until a nasty gust led to a capsize. That left the battle for victory in the hands of two GP14s. Colin Knott, with Richard Long, stayed ahead of Oliver Whitehead and Kevin Parry. After that, Oliver and Kevin showed the way ahead without needing to fly their spinnaker, winning the second race, ahead of Nick and Lucy Heginbotham in a Merlin Rocket who led the race but lost out on handicap. For the third race, there was a close tussle between the Heginbothams and Tom Daniel with Andrew Hilton. After much place changing, Tom and Andrew got clear ahead to win, with Brennan taking runner-up. Overall though it was Oliver and Kevin’s day.
Sunday 5th November 2017
Martin Brennan was the clear winner racing on Sunday, in a Solo. The light northerly wind off the Lake Bank was just strong enough to provide close racing. Brennan was second in the first race to Richard and Lauren Marsh in their RS200, but won the next two races. He was pressed by two GP14s in the hands of Colin Knott with Richard Long and Graham Knox with Adam Din. As the wind soon faded in the third race, shortened to a single lap, Bruce Mager with Craig Jowett kept the pressure for runner-up spot in a Merlin Rocket.
Felucca Merlin Open Meeting – Saturday & Sunday 28th and 29th October 2017
A weekend of sharp contrasts gave Merlin Rocket sailors a full taste of sailing at the Lake. Racing on Saturday was the conclusion of a series of races for the Silver Tiller of the Class. With 27 boats out there were thrills for everyone, sailors and watchers, as the strong westerly wind gave exciting conditions, especially planing downwind with spinnakers flying. There were plenty of capsizes too and a broken mast. Back on home waters, Richard Whitworth won the first race, while Midlands sailmaker Andy Davis took the second one and the best results for the day.
Boats had travelled far from the South Coast, the Midlands and one from Berwick to enjoy the challenge of racing at our Lake for the Felucca Trophy. Sunday was a glorious day, with a cold northerly wind and bright sunshine. Saturday’s leaders continued to set the pace and finish in the same order. Steve Crook and Jane Clayton, with a couple of third place results, taking fourth overall, were the next best locals.
Sunday 22nd October 2017
Four boats set out on Sunday to compete for the Autumn Pursuit Race, where the slowest boat starts out first, followed at timed intervals by the faster ones. Young Evan Parry was off first in a Laser but retired, Oliver Whitehead in a Solo survived the race to finish runner-up to Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) who won convincingly. While the wind strength was suitable for racing, the gusts that came along were too strong for the rest of the day’s racing.
Several of the Club’s young sailors have been competing in Lancashire Schools Sailing Association events recently with success.
Sunday 15th October 2017
For some out racing on Sunday, it was almost like old times with Nick Brook in a Solo chasing around the course with Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine plus Colin Knott and Richard Long both in GP14s. The sunshine and Breezy westerly wind offered excellent conditions, ahead of the dreaded Ophelia! Martin Brennan won the first race, tied with Colin Knott in the second one and was runner-up in the third race, for a good result. Nick Brook also had a second and a first to count but the third race result meant that he was second overall. Richard and Lauren Marsh in RS200 were speedy but outpaced by the handicaps until the third race when wife Heather took the crew spot for the race win. Josh Porter, sailing a Solo for the first time, learnt how easy it was to capsize!
Sunday 8th October 2017
Due to the Half-Marathon, club racing on Sunday was delayed. At least it was now fine, though the light wind off the Lake Bank shore leads to areas of wind shadow. Richard and Lauren Marsh in a RS200 were usually out in front but the overall results favoured Martin Brennan in a Solo.
Solo Open Meeting – Saturday 7th October 2017
Eight visitors from 6 clubs joined 11 home boats to compete in our Solo Open Meeting. However, the real business of the day was to determine which of 3 helms, Steve Graham (Burwain), Steve Denison (Hollingworth) and Martin Honnor (Ogston) would win the Solo Northern Series overall.
The late change of date for the event, caused by a half marathon and road closures around the lake, prevented Graham from attending due to a clash with his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary celebrations so it was a 2 horse race between Denison & Honnor. Whoever beat the other would take the series title.
Competitors arrived to a lake shrouded in low grey cloud, light rain and blustery Force 3-4 winds from the south west, not the best of directions for Hollingworth Lake. Race Officer Steve Crook and his team started race 1 bang on time at 11 o’clock. On the first lap the wind direction became more westerly which made the second beat rather one sided so the race team moved the position of the second windward mark for subsequent laps. First blood was taken by Honnor who led the race from start to finish, albeit pushed hard by Denison in second place. Ian Hopwood (Nantwich) completed the podium in third.
After a hearty lunch, race 2 got underway at 12.50. This time, Innes Armstrong (Burwain) spoilt the party by taking the win from Honnor & Denison in that order. Race 3 was sailed back to back. Julian Parry & Tom Daniel (both Hollingworth) started to leeward of the pack and drove out of the start line, taking advantage of more wind and clear air, sailing hard left up to Café Point where they picked up the usual port shift to round the windward mark in strong positions. Honnor worked his way to the front of the fleet, only to relinquish his lead to Parry on the final beat. A great result for Parry sailing a borrowed 14 year old boat in such a competitive fleet. Armstrong took third from Denison who could only make fourth.
So it was that Martin Honnor took the open meeting win in impressive style and with it the Solo Northern Series.
Sunday 1st October 2017
The benign conditions of Sunday morning did not last long as the wind increased and then came rain. It was a day for exciting watching. The wind direction meant shorter windward legs with busy tacking to zigzag to the marks before fast planing downwind and some capsizes. Steve Crook and Sally Townend in a Merlin readily mastered these conditions for a win in the first and second races. Chris Massey chased hard and came second in his RS300 for the first race. After that, he borrowed Kevin Parry’s RS Vareo, with its large purple spinnaker and, despite the odd capsize, won the third race. Will Smith came second overall on the day in his Laser counting a second and fourth ahead of consistent Nick Brook in a Solo always third placed.
Sunday 24th September 2017
Steve Crook and Sally Townend, in a Merlin Rocket, were the clear winners of the Club Championship at the Lake on Sunday in all races. Conditions, for the series of 3 races looked excellent, though the wind was from the south and sometimes south-east. Sailors were divided into categories of Gold, Silver and Bronze. Adam McGovern, sailing with his father Tim in a GP14, was in great form and finished runner-up by a few seconds in the first and second races.
Bruce Mager and Craig Jowett, also Merlin Rocket, led the Silver fleet and were close contenders in the second race for the lead. Will Smith, Laser Radial, showed that the Club’s younger sailors are aiming high being Silver fleet runner-up.
The Bronze fleet was led by Andy Wake in a Solo who recovered from a poor first race to do well in the third one when the wind eased considerably.
Sunday 17th September 2017
It was a frustrating afternoon on Sunday with gusts, lulls and plenty of wind shifts. In fact just the opposite of a steady wind; one minute you were in a reasonable wind which then dropped away only for you to see others racing up from behind on a big lift. Whilst the usual suspects were lurking around the top of the leader board in the second race there were four Toppers racing who sailed one lap compared to the other classes sailing three laps. Jacob Din in a Topper 4.2 dealt with the tricky conditions best and won the second race by 25 seconds on corrected time. Well done Jacob.
Overall there were three different race winners from three different classes: Richard & Lauren Marsh in their RS200 in Race 1, Jacob Din in his Topper 4.2 in Race 2 and Nick Brook in his Solo in Race 3. Richard & Lauren added a second in Race 2 thus ensuring they ‘won the day’ with Nick second overall followed by the three GP14s of Martin Brennan & Steve Caladine, Andy Carter & Dave Fisher and Colin Knott & Richard Long who had a competitive afternoon’s racing and eventually were only split by one point.
Sunday 10th September 2017
Autumn came to Hollingworth Lake last Sunday with squally showers and blustery winds. As the afternoon went on the rain got heavier and the wind got stronger. So that resulted in a number of sailors taking “a swim” in the lake. Adam McGovern & Ellie Davies won the first race in their GP14 and then Adam had to go off, something about doing some decorating! Martin Brennan teamed up with Josh Porter who has just moved from Newtownards in Northern Ireland to start work at Winder Boats and they won the day in Martin’s GP14. Welcome Josh, and now you know what wind shifts are like on an inland lake! One point behind them were Stuart Bates and Andrew Hilton in their Merlin with Nick Brook, who teamed up with Steve Caladine in a GP14, finishing just ahead of the RS200 in third.
Wednesday, 6th September 2017
The final evening race of the year found 16 boats out to compete. It was a dull evening and the last few finishers might have needed navigation lights! With a light breeze off the Lake Bank shore, it would be no surprise that Chris Massey shot away in the RS300, followed by Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) going to extremes downwind to keep the gennaker filling. The Merlin Rocket of Bruce Mager and Craig Jowett might have been expected to join the fray but suffered from weed early on and never recovered.
When the handicaps are applied to change from elapsed to corrected time, Chris Massey’s 3 minute lead was changed to 3 seconds, enough to take the win. Next, Richard Marsh’s 3 minute lead over Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine in the leading GP14 was corrected down to 2 seconds, showing just how close the handicap racing is. Ste Mason decided to show his skill (with others from Holwac) in a RS Feva and creditably finished 5th.
So Richard and Lauren Marsh win the Wednesday Series overall
Sunday 3rd September 2017
The lead racing at the Lake was closely contested on Sunday. Overall, 3 boats had the best results but others suffered in one way or another. Nick and Lucy Heginbotham, in a Merlin Rocket being a faster boat could be ahead but were placed third on handicap and withdrew for the other races. Richard Marsh and Rhiann Bramwell in a RS200 were also well ahead and won the first and third races for the best results of the day. The first race was sailed in rain and breezy winds, while the wind abated in the second and fewer boats were out for the third one. Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies, (GP14) were the next strong contender winning the second race, and placed second overall on the day. Nick Brook and Martin Brennan in Solos chased each other around and finished in that order.
Wednesday, 30th August 2017
A warm summery evening with a good level of wind, blowing off the Lake Bank brought many out to race. 20 boats represented the whole range of the Club’s current choices. They set out for the early start of the penultimate evening race. While the speedy boats got away well round the first mark, Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies (GP14) were up with them. The wind did prove patchy on the longer downwind legs with Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) having to take different angles to the marks. As expected, the wind started to ease as the first lap was completed and the second lap saw it fall away further. Steve Crook and Sally Townend (Merlin) were the leaders at the finish and third on handicap correction. However Adam McGovern won the race, with the Marshs runner up. The other 4 GP14s had a close battle during the second lap with places changing often so that new-comer Les Burns, with Aron Kirsch, tasted the chance of success. Those who sailed one lap only benefitted in the results from the falling wind.
Sunday 27th August 2017
Conditions for racing on Sunday were again light and variable. On such occasions, the faster boats may look to get ahead and lead others round the course. Chris Massey, in his RS300, was always out in front, keeping the Merlin Rocket of Martin and Rene Watts behind. But the steady GP14 of Colin Knott and Richard Long was again the overall front runner when the handicap was applied, winning the second and third races and coming second in the first one. In that race, Martin Brennan in a Solo secured the win. In the third race, Chris Massey did indeed manage to keep second place. So the slower boats keep their places in the overall results.
Wednesday, 23rd August 2017
With 19 boats out the start line would be competitive and indeed 4 boats later found themselves OCS as they crossed the finish line in silence. The wind inevitably faded so the single race was shortened to 2 laps for the faster boats, and one lap for the slower ones. Events may have helped Chris Massey in his RS300 to get far enough ahead to win with Martin & Rene Watts coming second, having raced hard against the other Merlins of Les Bithell and Bruce Mager, both OCS. The handicap correction factor can produce tied results so Andy Wake’s Solo was third overall with Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine in a GP14. The most numerous class out was the Laser. Steve Crook had no crew so showed his hand in a Laser and finished in 5th place just ahead of Adam Din by a mere 6 seconds.
Sunday 20th August 2017
Colin Knott and Richard Long, in a GP14, had the best results of the day on Sunday. In the light westerly wind there were some dramatic windshifts which got them past Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine in the first race. It remained close for these pairs in the second race. That race was won by Stuart Bates and Andy Hilton in a Merlin Rocket who mastered the difficult conditions better than others. The last race was sailed in the lightest of airs which suited Martin and Rene Watts in a Merlin with Tom Daniel and Yasmin Ghani (also Merlin) in runner-up spot.
Wednesday, 16th August 2017
16 boats started on a crowded line into a south-westerly wind. Chris Massey (RS300) was quickly into a lead which he never relinquished over the 4 lap race. The wind strength remained good though a couple of junior sailors in Toppers found it rather too strong. On the other hand, taking the helm of MR3615, Steve Crook and Jane Clayton easily kept ahead of the other Merlins. There was closer racing between the 3 GP14s where Adam McGovern and Steve Mason kept control over Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine plus Andy Carter with Dave Fisher. Richard Marsh, sailing with Rhiann Bramwell (RS200) was unable to break through the Merlins so ended fifth on corrected time. Evan Parry continues to show that he can hold his own in this competition with a 6th place result. The finish was particularly close in corrected time terms with 6 boats within 50 seconds!
Sunday 13th August 2017
14 boats took to the water in what was a light and shifty south westerly breeze which, quite often, kept dropping away. Will Smith kept his Laser moving in Race 1 to win the race and then Martin Brennan & Steve Caladine in a GP14 won Race 2. The majority of the fleet called it quits after that, but the light breeze didn’t deter 9 year old Jasper Bramwell going out and winning Race 3 in his Topper 4.2. Well done Jasper for winning your first club shield.
Wednesday 9th August 2017
Just like last week there were 19 boats out and with the north westerly wind just about holding there was some tight and competitive racing. For example in the first race there was just 24 seconds on corrected time between the 2nd and 6th place.
Over the two races the husband and wife combo of Richard & Heather Marsh won in their RS 200 (with a first and a second) followed by Steve Crook who had borrowed Nick Brook’s Solo for the evening (with Steve also winning Race 2) and then Les Bithell & Andrew Hilton were third in their Merlin.
Sunday 6th August 2017
It might have been the first Sunday in August but the weather conditions were overcast and windy along with rain in the third race. The standout performance of the day was 14 year old Evan Parry in his Laser 4.7. He easily won the first two races each time by about one and half minutes on corrected time so he had the luxury of retiring in the third race knowing he had the day “in the bag”. Well done Evan. Meanwhile Dad Julian borrowed Chris Massey’s RS 300 and found the windy conditions tricky. By the end of the second race Julian’s breast stroke was much improved with Evan relishing sailing past a capsized Dad! So in Race 3 Julian moved onto Kevin Parry’s RS Vareo which seemed to suit him better, with Julian finishing third.
Wednesday 2nd August 2017
There were 19 boats out for some close racing in a southerly wind that had reasonable gusts to provide interest. In the first race, Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) got away, led by Chris Massey (RS300) whose handicap placed him second overall. Bruce Mager and Craig Jowett upheld the honour of the Merlins in third place, as Guy Winder with grandson Joe suffered a capsize on a close reach. Placed after that were Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine (leading the 6 GPs out) while Graham Knox and Julian Parry (guest crew) were some 20 seconds behind.
There was an individual recall on the second race and it was quite congested going into the first mark at E, as the wind softened. Although the leading boats were again the RS brigade, Martin Brennan sailed strongly to take the win on handicap. There were opportunities to gain when freshening gusts came along. But the mix of the top four places saw the same names with the addition of Gary Butler (Laser) in fifth place. Kevin Parry, now flying his gennaker downwind, showed the he was starting to master his machine (RS Vareo).
Overall, Richard and Lauren Marsh led the evening, with Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine runners up, ahead of Chris Massey, Bruce Mager and Craig Jowett.
An excellent barbecue followed prepared by Nick and Pat Brook which was much appreciated.
Sunday 30th July 2017
The racing results at the Lake were very consistent on Sunday as the single-handers provided most of the winners. Nick Brook, in his Solo, relished the breezy conditions, streaking away downwind, followed at a distance by Nigel Davey. The third race offered a change in the lead. Kevin Parry lent his fast RSVareo, with its purple spinnaker, to Julian Parry who took full advantage of the extra sail and got far enough ahead to win by several minutes. The race had seen the heavy rain shower after which the wind faded before filling in again. This was advantageous to the leader. Two of the Club’s young sailors were close in the results, with Evan Parry in a Laser 4.7 (smaller rig for younger sailors) doing well in runner-up place in the third race and beating Will Smith (Laser Radial) overall.
Wednesday 26th July
The expertise of the lone Merlin of Steve Crook and Sally Townend streaked away to win both evening races in a blustery westerly. There was a general recall on the first start of the port biased start lines which suited them getting clear away early. The day time rain had stopped for a reasonable fine evening for 18 boats setting out. Second and third places were closely contested between Adam McGovern with Steve Mason (GP14) and Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) who each took a second and third place . The longer second race runner-up spot going to the Marshs gave them second overall for the evening. In the fray behind, Nick Brook (Solo), Andy Carter with Dave Fisher (GP14) and Will Smith (Laser Radial) jostled for places and overall finished in that order. Further back, Kevin Parry (RS Vareo) was flying his gennaker with downwind speed until a capsize in the second race, from which he recovered well.
Sunday 23rd July 2017
That a thunderstorm was threatened did not stop sailors from racing on Sunday. As a consequence of the weather, the wind was very light and shifting when it appeared at the usual start time. The fast and light team of Richard and Lauren Marsh (father and daughter) in a RS200 won the first and second races, for the best result of the day. The slower GP14 in the hands of Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine had good results too, finishing second in races 1 & 2 and winning the third one, as experience showed. The wind varying off the Lake bank shore finally settled to give a better third race where young Will Smith in a Laser showed his form with a second place.
Wednesday, 19th July 2017
With the threat of thunderstorms, would we race? This did not deter 14 boats from setting out. With the westerly wind offering long downwind legs, Richard and Lauren Marsh, in RS200, were able to take advantage and win the first shorter race. Martin Brennan in a Solo sailed steadily to come in second, while Mike Butler and Steve Caladine (GP14) followed in third. The longer second race gave Steve Crook and Sally Townend the chance to show that the Merlin Rockets can do well on the downwind legs and gain enough to beat the RS200. The consistent Martin Brennan took the Solo into third place. Overall it was Richard and Lauren Marsh’s evening as the rain poured down in the later stages of the second race.
Sunday, 16th July 2017
On a sunny Sunday afternoon, just as the first race was being prepared, there was a 90 degree windshift, so the course had to be changed. This did not detract from some great racing with 3 different race winners. In the first one, Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies, in a GP14, made it count to take the w
Sunday, 16th July 2017in, though unable to stay for subsequent racing. Nigel Davey (Solo) secured the runner-up spot. Richard and Lauren Marsh, RS200, had a good start to the second race and converted that into a win ahead of Chris Massey in his RS300, single-hander, with Davey continuing his good form in third place. The final race of the day saw another GP14 in the lead, with Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine taking the win and the best overall results of the day by a narrow margin. Dave Smith, in a Solo, was the runner-up with Chris Massey, having led most of the race, unable to get far enough ahead for the handicap.
Wednesday 12th July 2017
A full car-park on a Wednesday evening indicates a pleasant warm evening, but would there be any wind. Crook Hill turbines were stationary. At the scheduled start time, there was the feeling of a slight air drifting across the Lake, but no sign of it on the water. When the flags started to flutter, a race could be on, but the wind direction could change. Three laps were set of a simple course and 11 boats ventured out. As might now be expected, Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) led everyone round the course and the race team wondered whether the Solos might have the handicap advantage. In the end, it was the slowest boats that gained most from the handicaps with Andy Carter (Topper) winning the shortened race, followed by John Mellor in a Mirror. The Marshs took the third spot beating Mike Smith’s Solo by 10 seconds on corrected time.
Sunday, 9th July 2017
The main focus of race competition on Sunday was again between Nick Brook and Martin Brennan sailing Solos. Both are expert at the tactics on the water and, with a fickle wind for the first race, Martin Brennan took the win. As the wind strengthened and steadied, Nick Brook took the other two races, though Mike Smith (also Solo) held the lead for 2 laps in the third race. Tom Daniel and Andy Hilton in a Merlin Rocket always led the fleet around the course but the handicap was against them. Steve Mason borrowed Chris Massey’s RS300 and showed that he could handle this beast of a dinghy but was unable to take full advantage of its speed to figure well in the results.
RYA North West Senior Travellers Series – Tuesday 4th July 2017
On 4th July we welcomed 19 visitors who all took part in our ‘leg’ of the RYA North West Senior Travellers Series. After a delayed start of about half an hour whilst we waited for the forecast wind to arrive the 20 boats then enjoyed some close racing in a reasonable breeze (plus some rain!). Well done to Andy Flitcroft from Bolton, in his Supernova, on taking the win having had two firsts.
The full results can be found on the 2017 Open Meetings page of our website. Please click here to view the results
Wednesday 5th July 2017
There was no wind in Yorkshire as it came over to our Lake, so we had an easterly breeze that held for both races. It did have some tricks to play as it went northerly for a short while. Chris Massey (RS300) mastered the conditions well to win the first race and come in second in the later and longer race and do best overall. Adam McGovern and James Wheeldon showed the GP14s on form winning the second race and being third in the first one, so they were second overall. Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) were steady performers too, in third overall, ahead of Andy Carter and Dave Fisher (GP14).
There was some close racing round the windward marks particularly as the shifts impacted more at these points. So, for the 14 boats out, there was plenty to chat about in the Bar afterwards.
Sunday, 2nd July 2017
With a number of the Merlin Rockets away on their annual pilgrimage for a week of racing at Salcombe, there was a reduction in the number of boats out. Those that raced in the afternoon fought with a wind that varied greatly in direction and strength, some capsizing. The main competition was between Nick Brook and Martin Brennan in Solos, whilst Martin and Rene Watts won the second race in a Merlin, and were third overall on the day. In the morning, there was a session for young sailors getting used to being on the water.
Wednesday 28th June 2017
In a complete contrast from the previous Wednesday, 6 boats ventured to race on a wet miserable evening with a cold (10 degrees) easterly wind. However, it was good racing with exciting downwind legs for the RS300 and 200. Indeed Chris Massey in the RS300 won both races, while Andy Carter and Dave Fisher (GP14) was second in the first race and third in the second one. Richard Whitehill chose a Radial rig for his Laser and was third in the first race. Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) got into their stride in the second race with just a few seconds behind Chris Massey.
Sunday, 25th June 2017
The fine weather spell ran out ahead of racing for the annual Founders Plate day. The wind was light and variable most of the afternoon. After the usual 3 races, an extra one is sailed for the leading 3 boats in each class, on a pursuit basis so that the first boat to cross the finishing line is indeed the winner. David, and his son Oliver, in a Merlin Rocket were strong contenders with a first and a second result in the primary races. Martin Brennan was in a Solo and close competitor with a first and a third place. Others were also not far behind, Richard and Lauren Marsh in a RS200, David Hughes in a single-handed Mirror dinghy.
Martin Brennan led the way in his Solo for the Pursuit Race and held the lead until overhauled by the fast Merlin Rockets of the Winders and Nick and Lucy Heginbotham on the second lap. In the end, David and Oliver Winder opened an impressive lead to win the Founders Plate by a large margin.
This was the final day for the Spring Series:
Wednesday 21st June 2017
Looking round the dinghy park on a very warm, close but still Wednesday evening it looked like there were going be plenty of sailors, but sadly no wind. So after about half an hour of hanging around the evening’s racing was reluctantly abandoned.
Saturday & Sunday 17th/18th June 2017
There was a glorious weekend of sailing at the Lake. On Saturday, 89 young sailors took part in a 6 hour relay race. They were part of 14 teams from neighbouring Clubs within the RYA OnBoard scheme. The wind was variable and some struggled to keep their boats moving as they found ‘flat’ spots. In the end, the local Club team of Will Smith, Adam Din and Evan Parry were the winners, while a second Club team finished third overall.
Club racing on Sunday also had similar wind conditions, variable in strength and direction. The Solos won the first race led by Martin Brennan with Nick Brook in second. The Merlin Rockets took control of the second race with a battle for the lead between Steve Crook with Sally Townend, Julian and Evan Parry and Stuart Bates with Andrew Hilton finishing in that order. For the third race, Chris Massey in his RS300 was able to get in front, but finished third on handicap while Martin Brennan again won, with Julian and Evan Parry runners up.
Wednesday 14th June 2017
With 21 boats out to enjoy a southerly wind that held, more or less, for 2 races, this was an excellent evening. However, it would be little surprise that Richard and Lauren Marsh, (RS200) again took the wins. Otherwise the spoils were split between the Merlins and GP14s. The Lasers were led by a visiting Laser staff member, John Leach.
The start of the second race, smartly arranged, caught out a few boats never to recover their first race places!
Adam McGovern, in his new GP14, with Steve Mason came second in the second race, but third overall as the Merlins, led by Steve Crook and Sally Townend had the better first race results. Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles upheld the GP14s in the first race with a fourth place and later said farewell to Sophia as she moves south to Dorset.
Laser Open Meeting – Sunday 11th June 2017
The full results can be found on the 2017 Open Meetings page of our website. Please click here to view the results
Wednesday 7th June 2017
After what had been a stormy day by the time Wednesday’s first race started the wind strength had lessened but there was still ‘plenty of it’ to enable us to run to two quick back-to-back races. In both races with the start line being near to Café Point and the first mark being F the first beat was critical if you wanted to get yourself well placed. In the first race the Marshs in their RS200, Chris Massey in his RS300 and Nick Brook in his Solo all had good first legs which set them up to finish in the top three with Nick taking the honours followed by Chris in second place and Richard & Lauren Marsh in third. There was a quick turnaround between races, which caught out a few sailors, and that race was over the same two lap course. This time the Marshs won with Chris again in second and Martin Brennan & Sophia Miles in their GP14 were third. Evan Parry sailed well to finish in 4th spot.
Sunday 4th June 2017
Sunday’s racing in sunshine and a variable strength westerly wind was the right ingredient for Richard and young Lauren Marsh to win the first and second races. The lead on the water was always taken by Julian, and son Evan, Parry in a Merlin Rocket but they proved to be steadily in 5th place on handicap. Second and third places were fought between Martin Brennan with Steve Caladine in a GP14 and Nick Brook in a Solo finishing overall in that order. 16 boats set out for the second race though Guy Winder’s capsize with Harry Daniel meant a non-finish result. The start had been a little confused with Chris Massey taking evasive action where, in a RS300, a capsize is easily achieved. He recovered well to finish fourth. The final race saw Les Burns and Richard Hodgson sailing steadily to a third place finish.
Wednesday 31st May 2017
Surprises continue on Wednesday evenings when the handicap results are completed. With 19 boats out and a modest south-westerly wind, a Club line start was appropriate. In the first race, there was some congestion around the first mark but Chris Massey (RS300) was away with Julian and Evan Parry (MR). Andy Carter and Dave Fisher (GP14) also had a good track into the mark. Stuart Bates, with daughter Amelia crewing, had the light weight team to do well in the Merlins too. In the end of the 2 lap race, it was David Hughes, in a Mirror, who came out on top in the results. However it was the Parry’s who had the best results of the evening. The wind had started to ease for the second race and occasionally almost died on the long downwind legs. The Parry’s got clean away this time, unthreatened by Chris Massey. Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles (GP14) were better placed this time and finished second, ahead of Adam Din in a Laser. Coming in fourth was Ron Simpson (Solo) venturing out on a suitable evening.This time it was the Parry team that took the win.
Sunday 28th May 2017
There were many people watching the start of racing on Sunday, as it was near the cafe point. They may have wondered about the time sequence for the start on a line between the launch and a buoy. The holiday weekend may have accounted for just 14 boats out, including some of our younger members. There were 3 different classes of boat winning the races in a very shifty wind of variable strength. Chris Massey in his odd-looking RS300 was never able to get far enough in front to win, despite its speed so he counted a second and a third. Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine in a GP14 won the first race and then had a couple of second places. Andy Carter proved that a Topper may be much slower on the water but its handicap meant that he won the second race and came third in the third race. The Merlin Rockets found it hard to challenge for the lead until the final race which was won by Bruce Mager and Craig Jowett.
Wednesday 24th May 2017
There was a bit more wind than might have been expected off the Lake Bank shore and 2 races were scheduled. 17 boats out made for a competitive start line and those that got away round the first mark would get well away. Chris Massey in his RS300 looked to have a good early lead but was unable to hold off Steve Crook and Sally Townend in the Merlin, or Richard and Lauren Marsh (RS200) who won on handicap, with the Merlin second. Evan Parry, in his Laser 4.7 came in third on hadicap ahead of Chris Massey, in the 2 lap race. A quick turnaround and the second race again depended on getting round the first mark clear ahead. The wind decided to cease as the first lap progressed and the course was shortened at a mark. This produced some strange results as the Merlins were all unfinished and the Marshs again won with Chris Massey now second, and Gary Butler (Laser) in third ahead of Andrew Wake in fourth. Some others struggled to finish as any wind evaporated.
Sunday 21st May 2017
It was another active day at the Lake with members giving visitors a taste of sailing under the Royal Yachting Association’s Push the Boat Out initiative, in the morning. Conditions were excellent with sunshine and a good breeze.
In the afternoon, the usual racing was held with 6 Merlin Rockets dominating the racing results. They had particularly close tactical racing. Steve Crook and Sally Townend were the overall winners for the day taking the first and third race wins. David Winder, and son Oliver, took the second race and then changed crew to other son, Joseph, for the third race. Nick Brook, in a Solo, was always challenging but the speed of the Merlins with spinnakers flying downwind gave them an advantage. A couple of GP14s were also out, filling the lower places with Kevin Parry in his Topaz enjoying the day too.
Wednesday 17th May 2017
Another Wednesday night with a light air when a few looked at the water and decided not to race, though 11 boats did get out. The race provided a surprise in the results. Andy Carter chose a Topper to sail and won on handicap. Skills acquired many years ago as a champion Topper sailor gave him the edge as he put Richard and Lauren Marsh in their RS200 into second place. Adam McGovern chose a Laser for third place as he prepares for his honeymoon. So, again, despite the intention to have 2 back-to-back races on Wednesdays, only one race could be sailed.
GP14 and Scorpion Open Meeting – Sunday 14th May 2017
We had a great day’s racing at the combined GP14 and Scorpion Open on Sunday 14th May. In the GP14 fleet Adam McGovern and Chris Robinson teamed up after 8 years of sailing apart to take the Open Meeting with 3 race wins. In the Scorpion fleet the team of Andy McKee and Chris Massey sailed well in the mixed conditions to win with 2 race wins and a second. Well done to all who took part.
The full results can be found on the 2017 Open Meetings page of our website. Please click here to view the results
Wednesday, 10th May 2017
In complete contrast to the previous week the question was ‘will there be enough wind for racing?’
The race team searched and settled on a simple course based on a westerly airstream. The wind was indeed patchy and fickle. Of the 11 boats that ventured out, Richard and Lauren Marsh in the RS200 shot away round the first mark and always found enough wind to hold a good lead. In the chasing pack, potential alternative winners varied. It was on the third lap that fortunes changed when, approaching the windward mark, Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles in a GP14 were overtaken by a group of boats finding some fresh air. Holding inside place at the mark, Andy Wake in his Solo led away and claimed second place overall, followed by Graham Booth, also Solo. Martin Brennan held on to fourth place while Chris Massey, sailing a Laser, had had to contend with Evan Parry sailing in his RS300 and sometimes going faster.
Sunday 7th May 2017
Sunshine and a good breeze were supplied for racing at the Lake. In the first race however the wind could be fickle and disappear then return strongly. The Merlin Rockets were well suited to the conditions but Nick Heginbotham, and daughter Lucy, had a magic moment when they rounded a mark, found a gust, and, spinnaker flying, zoomed away, leaving others in a flat patch. It was Steve Crook and Sally Townend’s turn in the second race, while the Heginbothams’ good fortune continued in the third race. Needless to say these boats were the winners on the day. However Nick Brook, on good form, in a Solo was in close contention with a second and third places (having come 3rd in an open event on Saturday). Martin Brennan borrowed a Streaker and with 3rd and 5th places showed his wide ability to come 5th overall, ahead of Ste Mason in a Laser, who gained a 2nd place in the third race.
Wednesday 3rd May 2017
The Hollingworth ‘hoolie’ blew all day with strong sunshine. However, as evening prepared with clouds, the wind moderated enough to encourage 14 boats to set out to race. With a reduced duty team, a line start was needed and a single race sailed. With fast downwind legs Steve Crook and Sally Townend were soon into an unassailable lead and won the handicap. Conditions also suited Nick Brook in his Solo, who had battled with a couple of GP14s to become second overall. Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine had to wait for the final lap to overtake Andy Carter and Nick Hornsby and claim third place and leading GP14. The course may not have suited the RS200 of Richard and Lauren Marsh who finished fourth. Of the few capsizes, Evan Parry showed that he could get up and carry on quickly.
Sunday 30th April 2017 – A very windy day rounded off the Frostbite Trophy
The GP14 fleet dominated the racing on Sunday on a very windy afternoon. Some great racing especially in race 2 with all three GP14s trading places throughout. It’s was great to welcome back Matt Mee and Chris Robinson who visited for the weekend and managed to take 3 race wins with Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine coming in second and Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies in third place overall. Well done to all who managed in the strong winds, the spectators were treated to watching some fast and furious racing.
Sunday rounded off the Frostbite Trophy that covered the first two months of the season. The overall spoils went to Martin Brennan’s GP14, that was crewed mainly by Steve Caladine, with Steve Crook & Sally Townend in their Merlin Rocket in second with Kevin Parry in third.
Saturday 29th April 2017 – North West Junior Travellers Trophy
It was great to see a total of 49 youth and junior sailors in 41 different boats out on the water and enjoying themselves sailing in what was round 2 (of 10) of this year’s North West Junior Travellers Trophy. The full results can be found on the 2017 Open Meetings page of our website. Please click here to view the results
Wednesday 26th April 2017
On Wednesday evening it was difficult to work out which was dropping quicker, the wind strength or the air temperature. However Nick Brook kept his Solo moving best to notch up his first Wednesday win of the season.
Sunday 23rd April 2017
A great day to be sailing at the Lake, sun & wind
Perfect conditions greeted Club members at the Lake on Sunday for what proved to be a busy day commencing at 10.30am. The conditions suited sailing in all its forms starting with the first meeting of the Junior Fun Club. This initial get together was run by Rhiann Bramwell with her army of helpers, especially the parents. With parents helping in rigging the boats, 2 Toppers and 4 Oppies, the eight Junior members were quickly on the water and enjoying the calm conditions. The ages ran from 5 to 11 years old. The sailing and fun took place near TS Palatine. With the enthusiasm of the Junior members and continued support of parents this will, surely, become a fixture at HLSC.
In slightly more breeze 14 dinghies took to the water for the Spring Pursuit Race. The race was 50 minutes long with boats starting on their PY Rating. This resulted in one of the last boats to start, winning, namely Merlin Rocket 3596 helmed by Martin Watts, crewed by Renee Watts. They were pressed all the way by Chris Massey in his RS300.
The final two races of the day took place in more breeze, certainly with regard to the first one. The wind increased plus varied in strength and direction giving testing conditions especially for some of the newer sailors. 14 boats took to the water in the first race but had been reduced to six by Race 2. These two races were closely fought for with only 10 seconds in both races between first and second place. The GP 14063 of Martin Brennan crewed by Steve Caladine proved to be the fastest on handicap taking pole position in both races.
It was good to see Jasper Bramwell crewing in an RS200.
Wednesday 19th April 2017
After a crowded start line the south westerly breeze meant the 12 boats out racing had a relatively short first beat to F mark to try to get themselves sorted out. After that the race began to settle down and the lightish breeze favoured the RS200 and Merlins who steadily pulled away from the other classes. So by the end of the two lap race the Marsh family in their RS200 had their first Wednesday evening win, followed by the Merlin of Steve Crook & Sally Townend with the newlyweds, Adam & Sam McGovern, in their GP14 in third place.
Sunday 16th April 2017
It was a miserable drizzly day with a light wind that would not encourage sailors. In the first race, 7 boats set out to race with Martin Brennan in a Solo the comfortable winner, ahead of Chris Massey’s RS300. In third place was Adam Din, with Rana crewing, in a Club GP14. Graham Booth (Solo) came fourth and decided it was too cold to do any more races. Jasper Bramwell (Topper 4.2) tried, but did not manage to finish. The second race results were similar, except that Kevin Parry in his Topaz finished fourth and Jasper Bramwell did well to collect a fifth place in the single lap race (for the slower boats).
Four boats raced in the last one and again Martin Brennan beat Chris Massey on handicap, by a smaller margin after a better windward leg. Dave Smith (Solo) came in ahead of Kevin Parry.
So, overall it was again Martin Brennan winner for the day, ahead of Chris Massey, followed by Adam and Rana Din. The tie between Dave Smith and Kevin Parry (on points) went in Dave’s favour.
Wednesday 12th April 2017
The late afternoon sunshine brought a good breeze off the Lake Bank. Chris Massey went out and enjoyed some exciting reaches in the RS300 before the race start. However, the wind had some flat spots and some found them after the start. There were narrow streaks of wind too. Of course the lead was fought between the RS200 of Richard and Heather Marsh and the RS300, with Martin Brennan and Sophia Miles in the GP14 ready to take advantage. On the second lap, Adam McGovern and Steve Mason closed up on Martin Brennan but were never able to break through. So, despite a run-away lead on the water by the RS300 and the RS200 not far behind, the winner again was Martin Brennan with Adam McGovern in runner-up place. Richard and Heather Marsh held third place on handicap. Other boats suffered the usual dieing breeze of a Wednesday evening.
Sunday 9th April 2017
Despite the sunshine, there was some strength in gusts to catch out the unwary racing on Sunday. The handicap racing proves that the fastest boats do not necessarily win! Consistency still counts and so winning the first and second races gave Steve Crook and Heather Marsh in a Merlin Rocket the best results for the day, though finishing third in the third race. Martin Brennan and Andy Carter, in a GP14, were next best with a couple of runner-up spots and a win in the third race. Chris Massey in his RS300 single-hander was always challenging and came third overall on the day ahead of the RS200 of Richard and Lauren Marsh. Surprise of the day came with a second place in race 3 for Rana Din in a Laser Pico.
On Saturday, in a Junior Travellers event at Elton, in Bury, Adam Din was a convincing winner with young brother Jacob doing well too.
Wednesday 6th April 2017
Wednesday was a challenging evening of racing in light westerly winds. However the GP14 of Martin Brennan / Sophia Miles managed to hold off the challenge of Richard & Lauren Marsh in their RS200 for the win. Third was the Merlin of Start Bates with Steve Caladine crewing for him.
Sunday 2nd April 2017
Sunday was again blessed with sunshine and a light but fickle westerly air. This brought out the largest fleet of boats to enjoy the racing. The results again showed a mixture of success. The faster Merlin Rockets have to lead by a considerable margin which Stuart Bates and Tom Daniel managed for the first race. The second race was won by Andy and Elmarie Carter in a GP14, while Oliver Whitehead in a Solo won the third one. Overall, Stuart Bates and Tom Daniel had the best outcome on the day.
Wednesday 29th March 2017
A wet and breezy evening started this summer’s Wednesday Evening Series, although it hardly felt like summer. 11 boats took to the water in dismal and wet conditions but with a decent southerly wind. As the wind held throughout the race then everyone just about finished before we ran out of light! After some close racing it was a 1st and 2nd for the GP14 sailors, Martin Brennan/Sophia Miles and Adam McGovern/Sam Barker. 3rd was Ste Mason in a Laser.
Sunday 26th March:
On Mother’s Day son Evan beats his Mum on the waterLast Sunday we had perfect weather conditions; a warm spring day, sunny with a NE wind which was decent in strength i.e. helm & crew both sitting out but not manic. Those who were out enjoyed some competitive racing with three different race winners, each from three different classes. However the standout performance of the day was from 14 year old Evan Parry racing in his Laser 4.7 who won the first race by the comfortable margin of 52 seconds on corrected time. Whilst on the water the various classes appeared spread out when the results were produced it was indeed confirmed that it had been excellent competitive day’s racing. If you look at the scored points for all the three races (i.e. no discards) Adam McGovern with Ellie Davies won the day with 5 points (1st in the third race & 2nds) followed by Evan in his Laser 4.7 with 8 points (a 1st, a 3rd & a 4th) and Steve Crook & Sally Townend in their Merlin had 9 points (with a 1st in the second race, a 2nd and a 6th!). So on Mother’s Day son Evan beat his Mum Sally.So after 12 (out of a possible 26) races for the Frostbite Trophy, Steve Crook leads the way with nett 15 points, followed by Martin Brennan with 18 points and Bruce Mager is in third place.
Sunday 19th March 2017
Sunday’s incessant rain did not deter the keenest (and most competitive) sailors. The wind was not as strong as forecast and offered great racing conditions. The only problem was that the leading boats in the first and second races had a different course in their minds to the one that was set. So, in the first race all, except one, set off to round a mark that was not shown in the course. This gave a huge advantage to David Smith in his Solo who had it right. However Steve Crook and Sally Townend in their Merlin Rocket gained enough speed to finish in the lead while Smith was handicapped near the finish when his boom broke. In the second race, all except Martin Brennan and Steve Caladine in a GP14 rounded a downwind mark incorrectly and so were obliged to retire, giving the win to Brennan. All went better in the third race which Brennan won on handicap despite the speed of Crook haring away. Richard and Heather Marsh in the RS200 sailed steadily for a couple of third places.
So, at this stage, Steve Crook and Martin Brennan are tied on points. This makes it a Merlin and GP14 battle for overall lead, with the RS200 very close behind.
Sunday 12th March 2017
It was the Merlin Rockets turn to show other racers the way round the Lake on Sunday. Conditions were better than expected with sunshine to start with, before light rain and a shift in the westerly wind. Steve Crook and Sally Townend led the way round in the first and third races, but Richard Marsh and young Lauren, in a RS200, liked the second race which suited their asymetric spinnaker. Over the 2 Sundays, they still lead the results. On the day, Stuart Bates and Andy Hilton, in a Merlin, were close with a couple of second places giving them third place overall, ahead of another Merlin with Bruce Mager and Craig Jowett close behind. Colin Knott and Richard Long got their GP14 ready for the last race where they came third after applying the handicap.
The results for the Frostbite Series will be covering the Sundays in March and April so, at this stage, it is too early to tell likely winners.
Sunday 5th March 2017
Ten boats set out for the opening races of the season at the Lake. This was made up of 8 different classes of dinghy, some new to the Lake. Although others may have found the day wet and miserable, sailors were pleased to get out on the water again.
In the best wind of the day, Tom Daniel and Jane Clayton in a Merlin Rocket won the first race. The second race better suited the RS200 of Richard Marsh and young daughter Lauren. The third race was shortened as the wind dropped and changed direction. Adam McGovern in a Laser was well placed to secure the victory.
As racing is now based on a handicap system, the overall results for the day, gave the Merlin Rocket victory followed by the RS200. Consistency by Martin Brennan and Andrew Brook in a GP14 put them in third place overall, ahead of the Laser of Adam McGovern and the unusual looking single-handed RS300 of Chris Massey in fifth place.