2021 Sailing

Sunday 29th August

By Graham Knox

After the excitement of meeting Stuart Bithell and the enthusiasm of our Juniors, racing at the Lake on Sunday was different from normal. As there were 7 Juniors out in Toppers, they were given a separate start. Their results were recorded both separately and merged, on handicap, with the other racers.

The north easterly wind offered good conditions but was particularly shifty in the eastern part of the Lake towards the main dam walls.

Jasper Bramwell was the clear winner in the Topper fleet, though he was chased closely at times by Lauren Marsh and Millie Hayfield.

Overall, the day went to the Solos who took the top 3 places. The lead was shared between Andy Carter and Martin Brennan who tied with a first and a second place. In the second race, that situation was broken by Les Bithell and Naz McGuire in a Merlin Rocket who gained the lead and got far ahead thanks to the breeze giving great downwind spinnaker legs across the Lake. Runner-up in that race was Mike Smith in a Solo who got ahead of Brennan at the last mark.

In third place in races one and three was Daisy Fisher in a Laser Radial who, although a Junior, opted to race with the older sailors.

When the results were combined, on handicap, Jasper Bramwell was placed 7th out of the 19 boats racing.

Sunday 22nd August

By Graham Knox

Report for Sunday 22nd August 2021

When the wind comes across all the buildings on the Lake Bank shore, it creates a wind shadow and a ver6y changeable direction and strength. So it was on Sunday with the race starts away from the Club, boats had to tack to marks nearer that shore and then had long legs sailing across the Lake. This gave a good chance from the faster boats to get clear away.

The results were dominated, with one exception, by the seniors with Richard and Heather Marsh (RS400) taking the win in the first and second races, and runner-up to Martin Brennan (Solo) in the third one. He had had two second places. However, Jasper Bramwell (Topper) -after the first race- did well to finish third in races two and three.

With 18 boats out racing, of which 8 were sailed by juniors, it was great to see such activity.

Away from home, Club members races well in Championships, Stuart Bithell, and crew Tom Pygall, won the Merlin Rocket one sailed in Scotland, Chris Massey and Tom Daniel finished 12th in the Scorpion one at Penzance and Daisy Fisher was 43rd out of 87 racers at the Laser Championship at Weymouth. 

On Friday, it was an exciting time as Stuart Bithell, our Gold Medalist, came to the Club to meet Junior sailors and be interviewed by BBC NW News. Later, Stuart rose to the challenge of a race in Toppers against these Juniors where he came second to Jasper Bramwell.

Sunday 15th August

By Graham Knox

The colourful sails of 6 Toppers brightened an otherwise dull day at the Lake on Sunday. With other junior dinghies, there were 12 youngsters out racing.

The light westerly airstream, with occasional stronger gusts during the first and second races, was sufficient to ensure that Richard and Heather Marsh, in a RS400, to get away to a clear lead which they held after handicapping in the first two races.

In the first race, behind the winners, Martin Brennan kept to his form sailing his Solo to runner-up spot, ahead of young Jasper Bramwell in a Topper with Dave Smith in his Phantom having a better result in fourth place.

For the second race, the fleet were joined by Adam McGovern sailing a Mirror with his 3 year-old daughter Betsy. Adam’s skill gave them second place, beating Martin Brennan. Colin Knott and Richard Long, in a GP14, despite a late battle with Brennan, finishing ahead on the water, came in fourth.

As the wind eased in the third race, Martin Brennan won ahead of the Marshs, followed by Adam Din and Olivia Zuniga (RS200) in third place with Jasper tied with Nick and Adam Hornsby (GP14) for fourth place.Other Club sailors are away at Championships for the Scorpions, ICLA Youths and Merlin Rockets.

Sunday 8th August

By Graham Knox

After a week of excitement, Sunday’s racing at the Lake added it’s own thrills. The gusty westerly wind brought some rain to dampen some keenness and resulted in some capsizes.

23 Junior sailors had enjoyed a week of coaching and fun. 13 years old Jasper Bramwell put into practice what he had enjoyed doing and won the second and third races on handicap to be overall day winner.

The first race was won by 18 years old Evan Parry in a Laser, who went on to take third place in the last race of the day and runner-up overall.

Always well ahead, on the water, Richard Whitworth – visiting- sailed consistently with Sally Townend in a Merlin Rocket to finish each race in second place, but overall third place!

In the second race, Nick Hornsby was leading the Solos and, caught by a gust, capsized before crossing the finish line, leaving third place in the race to Martin Brennan.

Young Daisy Fisher was away at a Topper event at Grafham Water where, in a fleet of 78 boats, she finished 5th overall, having won the fifth race.

The Club looks forward to catching up with Stuart Bithell, our Olympic Gold Medallist, soon.

Sunday 1st August

By Graham Knox

The overall results of Sunday sailing at the Lake, 1st August, were dominated by 4 Solos-led, as usual, by Martin Brennan. However the second race was won in a Mirror by Chris Massey and his 3 years old daughter, Annabelle.
Nick Hornsby, in his brand new Solo, led the third race until the last mark where Brennan took over the lead.
During this week, a daily training session is on progress for the Club’s junior sailors. Meanwhile attention has been focused on the medal race for the 49er class and there were whoops of joy as many watched early on Tuesday at the Club as Stuart Bithell and Dylan Fletcher secured their Gold Medal.

Sunday 25th July

By Graham Knox

It was a frustrating day for those involved in organising the racing at the Lake on Sunday. The light wind would appear from the east and fall away to nothing, then reappear from the opposite direction.

Martin Brennan, in a Solo, is renowned for an ability to find his way in such light conditions and he held the lead to the finish, ahead of Andy Carter, also Solo. Another Solo, in the hands of Kevin Parry started the day with a third place, which proved a consistent result for all the day’s races.

In the second race, it looked as if boats had all come to a halt off the café point. But then the wind switched on again and this time it was Andy Carter’s turn to win, followed by  Martin Brennan with Kevin Parry again third and another Solo helmed by Graham Booth taking fourth place.

In the third race, Martin and Rene Watts in a Merlin Rocket had, at last, a chance to get away in clear air at the start. While they gained distance, Martin Brennan again had the advantage of the handicap and won with the Watts’s runner-up spot.

Club members now have their attention fixed on the Olympics where member Stuart Bithell is the crew for Dylan Fletcher in the 49er Class. As I write, they have scored a second place in the first outing.

Sunday 18th July : Handicap Open Meeting & GP14 Northern Bell

By Graham Knox

The Lake sailing club is used to hosting Open events for its main classes, but this year had to be different. So, on Sunday, an Open Handicap series was held, with a separately scored GP14 element, as part of a Northern Bell Series.

The event attracted visitors from Bassenthwaite, Nantwich, Burwain and York.

In the very testing light wind conditions, the racing was surprisingly close with 3 different race winners. It certainly stretched the Race Officer, Commodore Stuart Bates, who had to move racing marks around to give satisfactory courses.

Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies (GP14) were always going to be strong contenders and took the first win, with John and son, Jack, Telford (GP14) runners up.

After a lunch break, the wind had settled to the north west and this time Martin Brennan (Solo) found the best route to win on handicap, with the faster RS400 of Richard and Heather Marsh in second place.

The third race was won by Sam Watson (GP14 Champion 2019) and Matt Birks who finally found form. Having a consistent day, the Telfords came in second place, with Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies in third place.

Overall, Adam McGovern was tied with the Telfords, but the first race win gave him victory. There was also a tie for third place which a race win by Martin Brennan gave him the advantage of the Marshs.

Sunday 11th July

By Graham Knox

The best turnout so far this year enjoyed racing in a light southerly wind at the Lake on Sunday. An alternative attraction later in the day had not deterred sailors from getting out on the water. The current dry spell has caused low water levels in the Lake making for difficulties sailing out of the harbour.

There was a great range of boats out from the little Optimist dinghies for juniors to the fast RS400 double-hander with its asymmetric spinnaker.

Richard and Heather Marsh in the RS400 got away well in the first race and repeated that in the last one, though there were fewer starters in that one. Otherwise, it was a familiar battle between Solos and GP14s for the best places. After a slow start in the first race, Mike Smith (Solo) won the second race and took a third place in the last race of the day. Nick Brook (Solo) too had a poor start to the first race but, with two runner-up places to follow, came third overall on the day. Kevin Parry had his best result in the first race as leading Solo sailor in 4th place. Colin Knott and Richard Long in a GP14 got together again and took second place in the first race and third in the next one.

It was not an easy day for our younger sailors to shine but Jasper Bramwell (Topper) was third in the first race and fourth in the third one. Jessica Marsh and Annabel Hayfield in Optimists successfully completed two races.

Sunday 4th July

By Graham Knox

Sunday did not provide the best of conditions for racing at the Lake.

Six boats turned up for the Summer Pursuit Race which started in a light wind and not raining! That did not hold and when the rain came, the wind died and it was drifting conditions. Martin Brennan in his Solo is an expert in light airs and was the comfortable winner, ahead of Andy Wake, also Solo, and Chris Massey with Tom Daniel in a Scorpion. They were unable to take advantage of the speed generated by a large spinnaker.

These boats turned out again for another race with similar results. Racing in heavy rain and little wind is not the fun that sailors enjoy!

There was much else going on for sailors over the weekend. At Ullswater, the annual Lord Birkett Trophy Race (which saved the water from becoming a reservoir 59 years ago). In a turnout of 155 boats, Richard & Heather Marsh in a RS400 finished 13th.

At the prize-giving for Topper sailors in the North, Daisy Fisher came away with many Trophies at the conclusion of a series of events.  She is the Travellers winner in both the North West and North East and Area Champion for the North East.

A number of the Club’s Merlin Rocket sailors are now away on their annual pilgrimage to Salcombe for a week where they are already having an impact in the Results.

Sunday 27th June : Solo Class Open Meeting

By Graham Knox

An Open Meeting for the Solo Class attracted 20 boats to the Lake on Sunday. The winner, Adam Froggatt, came from Chase SC in the West Midlands with others from the Lake District, Yorkshire, Shropshire and more local clubs. In breezy conditions, there were a number of capsizes and the safety team were well occupied.

The first race was marred by a shift in wind direction that made the windward legs one sided and the downwind ones a lottery. Adam Froggatt worked his way through from a poor start to win, followed by Steve Denison and Ian Hopwood who were too busy vieing for the lead to cover each other.

The second race again saw Froggatt at the front, but was passed by Martin Brennan, who was able to use local knowledge to win. Two sailors from Burwain had improved results with Stephen Graham taking third ahead of Innes Armstrong.

The final race had a change of course with better legs to windward and the wind changing from strong to flat calm and back again. These conditions seemed to suit Ian Hopwood, from Nantwich, who won and Matt Sharman, from Leigh & Lowton, with Froggatt in third place.

Overall, it was a clear win for Froggatt who coped well with varying conditions, Ian Hopwood taking runner-up spot and Martin Brennan a solid performance in third place.

Sunday 13th June

By Graham Knox

Conditions varied on Sunday afternoon at the Lake. Two races were sailed in a good breeze and then calm for the third one. Although Mike Smith was on form in his Solo, winning the first race and then taking two second places, Martin Brennan’s win in the last race broke the tie in his favour. Third place overall was Martin and Rene Watts in their Merlin Rocket with third and fourth places counting.

Andy Carter only sailed the second race in his Solo and won that. It was good to see two of the Club’s young teenagers, Hector Droungas and Jasper Bramwell out in a GP14.

Away from the Club :

  • Daisy Fisher (2nd) and Jasper Bramwell (5th) were at the Rossendale Topper Open Meeting
  • Nick Hornsby & Martin Brennan were at the Ogston Solo Open Meeting
  • Dave Winder and Ian Laing were at the Grafham Water Merlin Open Meeting

Wednesday 9th June

By Stuart Bates

A light wind evening led to racing that was affected by some big shifts. Richard & Heather Marsh lead the evening on the water and on Handicap. Stuart Bates & Chris Massey in a Merlin (part of Chris’s attempt to sail every class that the club has in a series) finished 2nd in the first race, with Andy Carter 2nd in the second Race. Martin Brennan was 3rd in both races.

Sunday 6th June : Club Championship

By Stuart Bates

The Lake was very calm on Sunday as sailors came to race for the annual Club Championship. Little sign of wind was not auspicious but 7 Solo sailors turned up for the competition. As it was the end of half term and a number of other racing events elsewhere, only the keenest with patience would search for the air to propel their boat.

The racing, being raced in a single class, was extremely close throughout the day. Martin Brennan managed to maintain a slender lead in the first place from Stuart Bates, Nick Hornsby, and Mike Smith who were pressing throughout the race, with Stuart taking second place. In the second race Martin Brennan managed to hold off Nick, Stuart, Andy Carter and Mike. In the third race Andy Carter got into a commanding lead, second place was hotly contested again with Martin, Nick, Stuart, and Mike swapping placed throughout.

Martin Brennan was the eventual Winner of a hotly contested event, with Nick Hornsby taking second place.


Away from the Club :

  • On Saturday Martin Brennan was 2nd at the Shotwick Solo Open Meeting
  • The Juniors were at South Shields in the Toppers over the weekend
  • Dave Winder was at Whitstable Merlin Rocket Open Meeting
  • Ian Laing was at the Hunts CVRDA Meet in a Merlin Rocket

Friday 4th June

By Richard Whitehill

A beautiful calm ripple-free lake greeted the early arrivals at the lake on Friday 4th June, but the peace was soon to be shattered by laughing and yells of delight!

Chris Massey was first to launch, taking his daughter for a sail in a Mirror. Shortly after, the wind started to fill-in from the north, with a good breeze which held for the remainder of the evening.

A total of 11 boats took to the lake – 5 Toppers, 3 GP14s, 1 Mirror, 1 Merlin, and the club Laser.  Between the boats, a total of 17 people were on, and occasionally in, the water.  It was a typical, fairly busy, summer Friday evening at the club.  On the water there were a mixture of children / youth; a novice adult member being shown the ropes by an experienced sailor; relative novices out for the first time in ages in their GP – just practicing and getting the hang of it again – and introducing a friend to the joys of sailing; a long-standing member out for a sail in a (new to them) GP; our Commodore taking his son for a spin in his Merlin, and the club Laser out for a cruise in the hands of one of the parents.

The Topper youth gaggle always keep the RIB driver from being bored.  This week they seemed to be testing the hypothesis that if you get out of the boat and leave it upright it will always sail around in a circle and come back to you.  Conclusion:  It doesn’t!

The evening was rounded off by the kids having great fun in the harbour.  Swimming is not compulsory, but you’d be forgiven for thinking it is!

Next week (11th June) sees the return of the youth improvers course.  That will make it a busy evening, but all members are still welcome to launch and sail as they would on any Friday evening.

Wednesday 2nd June

By Adam McGovern

Tonight will be know as Big Wednesday, only 6 boats took to the start in the strong winds, 3 laser radials and 3 solos. Andy Carter, Nick Brook and Adam McGovern all had a brief stint in the lead on the first lap but it was Thomas Daniel who kept his mast in the sky and sailed a superb race to take a convincing win over Nick Hornsby with the rest of the fleet left practicing their front crawl.Only one race tonight as the sailors decided to head for the bar but some great sailing and well done to all those who braved the conditions and to Thomas master of the big winds!

Sunday 30th May

By Graham Knox

Martin Brennan won all three races on Sunday in his Solo, mastering the tricky easterly wind. It was good to have sunshine and breeze. At this time of year the wind can fill in around the Lake shoreline and have flat spots that are difficult to judge.

With the holiday weekend, there was a reduced turnout.  

Although Martin won all three races, there was close competition. Steve Crook and Sally Townend, in a Merlin Rocket set a high standard always out in front and finding the right way to tack for the windward mark. Alas, the handicap penalty meant that they finished third an all races. Mike Smith was showing the way in the second race, also in a Solo and lead for quite a while. He secured two runner-up spots. Dave Smith in a Phantom was consistent with a couple of fourth places.

Away from the Club : Chris Massey took his RS300 single-hander to Pennine SC, near Holmfirth, for an Inland Championship where he sailed consistently in third place.

Wednesday 26th May

By Adam McGovern

No wind was the order of the day as sailors arrived however to everyone’s surprise the 6 sailors that decided to launch were treated to a increasing breeze as the racing went on. Martin Brennan won race one with Mike Smith coming out on top in race two!

Sunday 23rd May

By Graham Knox

Sunday’s racing at the Lake was not for the faint-hearted! The strong westerly breeze was at the top of the range for many and there quite a few capsizes.

The winner of the day was Chris Massey, sailing his RS300 single hander, displaying his skill in a fast and light boat. He only capsized after finishing the second race. Second overall, and runner-up in the first and second races, was Nick Brook in his Solo. Nick was in good form and able to cope with the heavy gusts. Also on form was Nick Heginbotham in a Merlin Rocket, crewed by Daisy Fisher in her first experience of crewing in such a boat. Wisely, they did not hoist the spinnaker!

The Club’s younger sailors showed that they could manage to race well in such windy conditions. There was a close battle between Jasper Bramwell (who sailed all 3 races) and Hector Droungas in their Toppers. This was quite an achievement as they were easily blown over in the gusts, got the boat upright again and carried on. Jasper scored two 3rd places though he was just beaten by Hector for a few seconds in the second race.

Away from the Club : A very successful weekend!

Over the weekend Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies convincingly won the GP14 Northern Championship at Bassenthwaite Lake.

On Saturday, 16 years old Daisy had been to the North East Topper Championship at Scaling Dam which she won convincingly with 3 wins in four races.

Also on Saturday Martin Brennan won the Solo Open Meeting at Redesmere Sailing Club

Friday 21st May

Friendly Fridays returned with a Bang! Lots of boats on the water for the first ‘non-racing’ evening of sailing. A group of upcoming youngsters began with a session ran by our training team to get them back up to speed after lockdown, along with some other sailors who went out for a relaxing end to the week. Apres Sailing was still a highlight, as the kids made the most of a full harbour by leaping in en-masse!

Wednesday 19th May

By Adam McGovern

Sailors arrived to moderate westerly wind which just held out all night and resulted in some great racing.

The Phantom of Chris Massey and a trio Solos started strong in race one, I had a terrible start so watched them sprint away! The shifty westerly provided lots of opportunities during the race and Andy Carter took full advantage to battle through the fleet to take the win, myself and Ellie managed to fight through to second just ahead of Martin Brennan.

Race 2 started with a couple of boats the wrong start of the line and needed to restart. Chris Massey again sprinted ahead on the water but after learning from race one myself and Ellie got better start this time and followed close behind. The solo fleet again looked to have a good race with Martin winning the battle this time. On corrected time myself and Ellie took the win and amazingly it was a tie for second between Chris Massey and Martin Brennan!

Thanks again must go to the race team for setting a great course and showing us all committee boat starts really are the best!

In the overall series, the Marsh family lead the way, Martin Brennan is second closely followed by Adam & Ellie third and Andy Carter fourth.

Next up is the return of Friendly Fridays!

Sunday 16th May

By Graham Knox

Our changeable weather made for difficult conditions for sailing at the Lake on Sunday. However, it was a good day for a number of junior members to get out on the water.

The afternoon began with the annual Spring Pursuit Race. Boats start in timed sequence with the slowest boats first away and lasts for an hour. It was the turn of two 9 years old girls, Jessica Marsh and Annabelle Hayfield, to lead the way in their Optimist dinghies. Although there was very little wind, they managed to get well away. It was some time before the Solos and Lasers could start. Martin Brennan (Solo) found enough air to get away and make progress. Some breeze picked up from an easterly direction which brough him into the lead with others of senior sailors making progress. In the end, Brennan won the race, followed by Tom Daniel in a Laser, Dave Smith in a Phantom and Kevin Parry in a Solo.

The two following Spring Series races were sailed in a better, but shifty south east wind. In such conditions, Brennan is hard to beat! Mike Smith was the closest in another Solo and young Jacob Din (Laser) sailed well into third place.

There were fewer boats out for the last race and the results were familiar. Again, the order was Brennan and Mike Smith in Solos, with Dave Smith next in his Phantom.

Over the weekend, two Junior members were at a Topper Training Weekend at Pennine SC where, in a testing Open meeting, 16 years old Daisy Fisher won and 13 years old Jasper Bramwell finished fifth.

Sunday 9th May

By Graham Knox

There was a great breeze at the Lake on Sunday giving some exciting racing and close overall results. The westerly wind had some strong gusts which, with spinnaker hoisted, saw the RS400 and Scorpion dinghies tear downwind with great speed and spray.

The first race was won by Chris Massey and Tom Daniel in the Scorpion, pairing up again in readiness for major events. The conditions suited them well though, on the water, Richard and Heather Marsh in the RS400 were far ahead, coming in second place. Not far behind was Martin Brennan in a Solo. He had been the clear overall winner the previous week in tricky shifty winds.

In the second race, Nick Brook added to the mix in his Solo. While Chris Massey and Tom Daniel were again the winners, Nick Brook was in strong form and, on handicap, beat the Marshs by a few seconds to take the runner up spot. In so doing, he put Martin Brennan down in fourth place. Mike Smith, Solo, was caught out downwind on a strong gust and capsized but got up and determined to finish the race. This gave Kevin Parry an incentive to stay ahead of him. Unlucky for Kevin, on the last leg, he too capsized, righted the boat and finished.

The breeze had eased for the third race and some rain came with fewer boats out. Nick Brook was off from the start determined to keep ahead of Martin Brennan and maintained his competitive advantage to the end by 8 seconds at the finish line. The Scorpion had to settle for third place, but was winner for the day.

The Club’s young sailors were at Pennine Sailing Club in Toppers for an active weekend. 16 year old Daisy Fisher was second overall out of 30 boats and 13years old Jasper Bramwell sailed brilliantly for 7th place despite being the youngest competitor.

Wednesday 5th May

By Adam McGovern

A light to moderate westerly wind was on offer for sailors this evening. A reaching start off the club line resulted in a close fleet at mark 1 but it was the GP14 of myself and Ellie that managed to stay close enough to the RS400 of Richard & Heather to hold on for the win with the top 3 finished off by Martin in his Solo after a close (too close at times) battle with Andy.

Confusion at the start of race two resulted in a few of us missing the start however Richard & Heather didn’t make any mistakes to take a comfortable win ahead of Nick and Rod in the GP14 and Andy in his Solo.

A special mention must go to Lauren & Jess Marsh for completing their first race in a RS Feva #thisgirlcan

In the overall series Richard & Heather are now starting to stretch their legs taking a 3 point lead ahead of the GP14 of me & Ellie, with the Solo of Andy Carter only 0.5 points further back.

Sunday 2nd May

By Stuart Bates

Good racing was had by those competing, however the official race reporter Annabelle Massey got rather distracted by a picnic!

Sunday 25th April

By Graham Knox

There was a sharp contrast for sailors at the Lake on Sunday from the previous week. The breeze was coming from the south east quite strongly at times, enough to capsize the unlucky.

Some strong gusts provided exciting reaches but flat spots also had an impact. The runaway leader was Richard and Heather Marsh in their RS400, but the handicap gave Martin Brennan, in a Solo, the win ahead of the Marsh pair and Julian Parry also in a Solo. The slowest boat was the Mirror of Chris Massey and young daughter Annabelle who finished fourth, thanks to the handicap system.

There was confusion at the start of the second race as the fleet were too keen to get going. So another try was successful. A change of course kept racers closer together and let to an exciting finish with 5 boats crossing the line within 10 seconds. The overall results again showed Martin Brennan as winner, after a long battle for success with Julian Parry coming in second. Les Bithell and Emma Turner, in a Merlin Rocket, had a better race in third place with Tom Daniel, in a Laser, fourth a couple of seconds ahead of Chris Massey (now in a Laser too).

Fewer boats sailed the last race, perhaps exhausted by the strong breeze. Again the racing was close and Julian Parry now finished ahead of Martin Brennan, beaten at the finish by Chris Massey and Les Bithell with Emma Turner.

This concludes the first series of the year with Martin Brennan overall winner, Les Bithell and Emma Turner second, the Marshs third and regular Solo sailor, Kevin Parry in fourth.

Three of the Club’s young Topper sailors took part in a high level training weekend at Leigh & Lowton.

Wednesday 21st April

By Adam McGovern

Wednesday night was an interesting evenings racing, partly due to the light (5-7 knot) easterly that was a bit patchy.  As expected, Richard and Heather Marsh managed to get away quickly building a gap that resulted in their win.  Further back the inclusion of e-mark in the course there was always the chance of a mix-up in the order, and as the Solo fleet approached on the first trip there Andy Carter managed to sniggle his way from 3rd Solo through to the lead of the fleet.  Keeping just ahead of the Solo Fleet Adam McGovern, crewed by his dad making a visit from Wales (where adults aren’t yet allowed to sail!).  Further down the fleet Naz McGuirk and Steve Mason were making their first appearances of the year and Daisy Fisher was out in a Laser 4.7.

Thanks to Martin & Janice Brennan for running the Box and Dave Fisher for stepping into the Rib at the last minute and then once again getting some great photographs of the action.

Sunday 18th April

By Graham Knox

On Sunday, the Lake looked glassy as sailors arrived. A dozen boats set out to try and race in what should have been a light westerly airstream. Alas, a  slight zephyr was coming from the north east.

Les Bithell and Emma Turner made the best effort and got round others well ahead on the shortened one lap race. Following them were Adam Din and Olivia Zuniga in a RS200. Others struggled to get round as the airstream did change direction.

There was no support for another race in these conditions, but a few went out for some fun on the water. Adam McGovern and Chris Massey took their very young daughters out in Mirrors, while the young Bramwells ghosted around in Toppers.

Wednesday 14th April

By Stuart Bates

With the snow having cleared away, but the bitter wind still around, people turned up at the club to find that once again the local Hollingworth breeze had kicked in. Dave Smith & Chris Massey chose to run Boat Start & Finish and Dave Fisher assisted in the RIB.

Steve Crook & Sally Townend aced the start, with the rest of the fleet giving them plenty of room to tack off onto port and sail off, hotly pursued by the Richard & Heather Marsh. Richard soon took the lead on the water, but Steve was pushing hard all race to maintain the gap. Further back in the fleet Adam McGovern & Jasper Bramwell were having a good fight with the Lasers until a spinnaker issue caused them to fall back. The Solos had a good close race, joined by Nick Hornsby & Rod Daniel in the GP until a bad tack by Andy Carter, getting his tiller extension caught under the thwart, led to him being the only capsize of the evening (and thankful he had chose to wear his drysuit!)

The wind held through to the end of the race and the results were :

  • Richard & Heather Marsh – RS400
  • Steve Crook & Sally Townend – Merlin Rocket
  • Martin Brennan – Solo
  • Evan Parry – Laser
  • Julian Parry – Phantom

Sunday 11th April

Well what a difference a couple of weeks make, 2 weeks ago it was 20+ Degrees, but Snow welcomed the sailors to the club! It must have been brought south by Steve Crook, who was making his first appearance of the season.

Thanks to the Race team for what was not the best of days to be stood around, or sat in the RIB.

Official report from JG Knox

A couple of inches of snow in the morning did not deter sailors from racing at the Lake on Sunday. There was another great turnout for those keen to be on the water. But the wind was reluctant to settle in any certain direction.

There were 3 different race winners in 3 different classes of boats. It was the Solos that came out on top overall and best able to cope with the variable conditions.

Merlin Rocket sailors were keen to show that they were on the pace and, in the first race, Les Bithell and Emma Turner took the win beating the expertise of Steve Crook and Sally Townend finishing fourth. In between, Julian Parry was trying the Phantom single-hander to come in second ahead of Martin Brennan (Solo).

Conditions in the second race did not improve with flat spots to slow down everyone. The single handers coped best with the Solos doing best in the hands of Andy Carter and Martin Brennan. They were followed in by Chris Massey and Evan Parry in Lasers.

There were fewer takers for the third race. The wind had now settled in to a north westerly direction. Rounding ahead at the first mark, Richard and Heather Marsh (RS400) hoisted their spinnaker and found a good breeze to carry them across the Lake. As the others got to the mark, the breeze had all but disappeared and the Marshs were out of sight. Despite the benefits of the handicaps for the slower boats the lead was not threatened. This time Martin Brennan got past Andy Carter in a close race for the runner up spot with Chris Massey in fourth place.

Wednesday 7th April

By Adam McGovern

A light westerly wind resulted in some close racing this evening. The Solos of Martin Brennan and Mike Smith took full advantage of the conditions to sail well and secure a 1-2 with the GP14 of Adam McGovern and Eleanor Davies coming home in 3rd. We had some tight battles throughout the fleet with Evan Parry just getting the better of Tom Daniel in the lasers and the GP14 of Nick Hornsby and Rod Daniel had a great race with the other Solos with Kevin Parry winning that battle.

It’s great to be back! A big thanks to the duty team once again.

Sunday 4th April

Following on from a tough year and a Winter Lockdown that really tested the mental strength it was with great joy that we were finally able to get back on the water.

Official report from JG Knox

With the easing of restrictions a week ago, sailors were keen to get racing on the Lake again. Some had been on water during the past week. However, it was great to see 15 boats out on Sunday.

In the breezy conditions, it was always likely that the five Solos would have the closest racing in the results. However, the range of boats would also see who was in the fittest trim to race. And there would be several capsizes as the day became more blustery with the clouds building. Some sudden windshifts would catch the unwary.

In the first race, Chris Massey (having been out on Saturday with his young daughter in a Mirror) was race ready to win in his RS300. It was the Juniors in Toppers who showed up well, with Hector Droungas in second place, ahead of Nick Brook (Solo), having got past Andy Carter. Fourth place went to Jacob Din (Topper). Although Nick Brook and Daisy Fisher were tied on two race results, the last race success gave the day to young Daisy.

Other points of note:

Martin & Rene Watts provided the courses and ran the racing, with Richard Hodgson, Stuart Bates, Dave Smith and Kevin Parry assisting at different times.

Mike Smith was the unfortunate winner of the first capsize, but several others had a swim as well, notably Evan Parry who death-rolled his laser immediately infront of Nick Brook, who barely managed to avoid serious contact.

Adam McGovern was proving how good Betsy is at rigging, by failing to get the boat rigged correctly without her help! Richard Marsh said that in the second race, on the reach from E to B that as they approached Cafe Point in a massive gust that it went very quiet in the boat as they approached the point at high speed! Fortunately they managed to clear the point in their new (to them) RS400.

It was a testing day, in terms of the wind that came through off the club shore, but the dinghy park was filled with happy sailors at the end of the day