Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th October – Merlin Rocket Open Meeting
by Lou Johnson (from Lymington Town SC who travelled north to compete in the Felucca Trophy)
Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club hosted the final Craftinsure Silver Tiller event 2017 on Saturday 28 October followed by a three-course meal, prize-giving for the year, dancing and of course the obligatory going through the port hole – for those who have never been to the club and those who well… like going through!
Before the evening festivities there was work to be done on the water, although it looked as though Andy ‘Taxi’ Davis crewed by Alex Warren had it in the bag, there was one boat of the Chris and Chris (Gould and Kilsby) that could stop the celebrations. Going into the final event, Taxi and Alex were yet to score a restricted result, failing to get a decent one here would mean victory could be snapped away. So, what was going to happen, in 3 races time all would be clear.
On waking at 6am on the south coast, the news came on and amongst other heighten topics one stood out for our reporter and that was the weather… gales in the north. Oh goodie, as we hitch the boat on the back of the car and set off for the 250-mile journey north! The further north we travelled, the greyer the skies got, and the more the trees appeared to move. On arrival at HLSC, the story was unchanged from this point, outside it was grey and wet, while inside the clubhouse you got the wonderful friendly welcome of the galley team making breakfast and plenty of hot and cold drinks to go around.
Now it was down to business, RO Nick Brook, got the fleet started on time at the bottom end of the lake, with low cloud cover and strong shifty squalls coming through it was a good job we had a lead rib to guide the way as this was round the cans racing.
Race one was a tight fought battle, with eventually local hero Richard Whitworth crewed by Sam Mottershead taking the gun, closely followed by Taxi and Alex in second and, Caroline Croft and Matt Lulham-Robinson in third.
In for the HLSC famous lunch spread with open sandwiches and cakes for all the helms and crews. There was no time to waste as the wind was building and there were still two races to do. Out the fleet went for back to back races. This time the bullet went to Taxi and Alex, second to Chris and Chris, and third to Richard and Sam. The final race of the day, and it all got a bit wetter and a bit windier. From the 24 boats that entered in the morning just 13 would make the finish line of this race. Shifting gusts, lovely long broad reaches in some big puffs saw lots of fast and furious, if not frightening at times, action for those spectating in the clubhouse. The course was shortened to three laps, perhaps this something to do with the car headlights on vehicles as they drove past, who knows? First place went to Sam Pascoe crewed by Rachel Rhodes, getting her first Merlin race win, second to Dave and Oliver Winder showing a wide load on flat water in the breeze works well, and third to the Chris and Chris.
Once a shore the party began, as the prize-winners and guests were welcomed in black tie dress to a transformed sailing club, of beautifully laid tables and a glass of prosecco.
There was plenty of evening cheer as Chairman Chris Martin presented the overall series prizes, with Taxi and Alex being awarded the Craftinsure Silver Tiller 2017, along the Grand Slam, the highest place boat over the Silver Tiller, Salcombe Week, the National Championships, and the Inland Championships.
There were a few announcements before the dancing could begin…
Rod Daniel from Craftinsure joined the class for the evening, and was delighted to announce that they would be continuing their support into 2018. Thank you Craftinsure.
Chris Martin announced that the Committee intend to award Guy Winder an Honorary Membership to be ratified at the AGM given his services to the class over many years.
Taxi along with thanking the Craftinsure, HLSC for hosting the final event and the fleet for yet another great year thanked Winder Boats, for building him such a great boat 10 years ago that he is still completive today. He did like to highlight that this might not be great for new business, however it should be good for the second-hand boat market.
On Sunday, a few more took to the water, with sunshine and a gentle breeze, from the opposite direction. Taxi and Alex mastered the conditions best to round off a successful weekend (and year) by also winning the Felucca Trophy for both days racing.
Thank you, Hollingworth Lake, it may be a long way from the south coast, but it is always worth the journey.
This report was first published in Yachts & Yachting Online.
Saturday 7th October – Solo Open Meeting
Report by Dave Smith
Eight visitors from 6 clubs joined 11 home boats to compete in our Solo Open Meeting on Saturday 7 October. 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.
Tuesday 4th July – North West Senior Travellers Series
On Tuesday 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. Here are the full results:
Sunday 11th June – Laser Open Meeting
Sunday 11th June saw 16 sailors come along to our Laser Open Meeting on a day of brisk winds and, as a result, plenty of thrills and spills. The event was dominated by HLSC’s Richard Marsh, back in a Laser after a few years away, who won with two firsts and a second followed by Malcolm Marsden and Graham Macwhirter who were only separated by Malcolm’s first in the last race. Here are the full results:
Sunday 14th May – GP14 / Scorpion Open Meeting
Hollingworth Lake SC held a combined Northern Bell series GP14 Open Scorpion Open on Sunday 14th May. Although the Club does not have any Scorpions, it has one member who is well known in that fleet as a crew, so all boats were visitors enjoying a change of scene.
With a good day’s forecast, boats set out little noticing a dark cloud in the west. The Scorpions got away at the start and some 5 minutes later the GP14s started as the rogue cloud became blacker and the wind increased. The Scorpions were on the downwind leg by now, while the GPs were battered by the wind and hail that followed on the first beat and continued on the first downwind leg. The younger (and fitter) sailors coped readily. So Andy McKee and Chris Massey stormed away in the Scorpions, and Adam McGovern and Chris Robinson took the GP lead. These two boats were to take the honours for the day. As the sun returned, the wind became more variable and shifty.
After a good lunch, two races were sailed back-to-back. At first, the wind became more north westerly, it strengthened to give excellent racing conditions. There was no change to the lead in either fleet but the second and third places were contested. In the final race, Steve Walker and Jerry Hannabuss in the Scorpions got the best of the start and never surrendered the lead to Andy McKee. In the GPs, Martin Brennan and Richard Long had the lead for much of the race, gradually succumbing to Adam McGovern on the last lap.
Saturday 29th April – North West Junior Travellers Trophy
Saturday 29th April saw a total of 49 youth and junior sailors in 41 different boats sailing in what was round 2 of 10 of this year’s North West Junior Travellers Trophy. Some photos of the days sailing can be found here http://www.hlsc.org.uk/nw-junior-travellers-2017/
Here are the results:
The relevant Notice Of Race for all these Open Meetings will appear here as the date of the Open Meeting draws nearer. We will also post the results and a report about the event here after the Open Meeting.
An aerial photograph and a plan of the lake showing the approximate positions of our club marks can be viewed in The Lake section (under About Us) of this website.
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