2021 Sailing

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 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