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Burwain SC Solo Open Meeting 20/05/2023

Sponsored by Winder Boats & Impact Marine

Photo: Paul Hargreaves

The second round of the Solo Northern Series 2023 sponsored by Winder Boats and Impact Marine took place on the 20th of May at the idyllic venue of Burwain Sailing Club, located in Foulridge, East Lancashire.

There were 15 entries in total, of these 11 were visitors. It was nice to welcome so many visitors both old and new, with mentions going to Adam Cowley (Coniston YC), John Hartshorn (York SC) and John Colegrave (Yorkshire Dales SC) who are all competing in the Northern circuit for the first time.

On arrival at the club the wind looked set and was blowing straight down the lake, roughly 5 – 7 knots, but was swinging slightly which would add to the fun during the days’ racing.

Race 1 with a packed line and pin end favourite; the gun went and was closely followed by another, indicating boat(s) over the line, but no sailors returned to re-start. A tricky first beat saw Innes Armstrong (Burwain SC) leading from Steve Denison (RYA) followed by a large gap to the rest of the fleet where some boats were becoming becalmed as the wind temporarily died off. The two front runners pulled out a healthy lead with Steve Denison just nudging ahead of Armstrong and the rest of the fleet jostling for the next positions as the fickle wind played games with them. As the first two boats were just about to start the second lap, Armstrong was informed he was one of the boats over the start line and so promptly returned to shore for an early lunch saying he hadn’t heard (or seen) the individual recall. This left Denison with an unassailable lead to take the win, followed by Andy Carter (Leigh & Lowton SC) and in third was Stuart Norris (Shropshire SC). A pie and peas lunch followed race 1 which was much appreciated by everyone.

Race 2 & 3 were going to be held back-to-back, ever conscious of the travelling times of the visitors.

Race 2 saw the same start line position at mark No.2 but with a slightly changed course. With a minute to go it looked like the committee boat end was going to pay but a slight wind shift with 30 seconds to go saw local sailor Innes Armstrong go for the pin end and as soon as the gun went ( also, hearing the words “all clear” – a blessing to the ears of Armstrong who was OCS in the 1st race) he tacked onto port and cleared the fleet, leaving him with clear air all round the course. At the same time the wind again became very fluky leaving some boats sitting in no wind whilst others were having to sit on the deck to keep the boat flat. So it was that Armstrong led from start to finish and he was able to watch the remaining fleet finish from the clubhouse. A lot of place changes could be seen and it was Martin Honnor (Ogston SC) that managed to creep through to take 2nd from Andy Carter 3rd.

On to race 3 where one of four sailors could take the crown of Burwain Solo Open Winner. Denison, Armstrong, Honnor or Carter were all vying for glory, so all to play for in the final race of the day. As in the previous race the wind was very up and down in strength and direction but the fleet was compacted together when a gust from behind pushed Armstrong from about 6th into 1st place – could this be his title? The wind Gods said “no” and a shift from behind saw Honnor and Stephen Graham (Burwain SC) move out in front and establish a small gap, behind Denison and Armstrong were having their own battle. On the next downwind leg Honnor managed to pull away from Graham and also saw Armstrong and Denison pass Graham too. The shorten-course signal was sounded which meant Honnor took the race win and the overall event title (for the 2nd year on the trot). Behind followed a close battle to the line which saw Armstrong take 2nd place by one second from Denison.

Overall, Martin Honnor took the win with a 2nd place to count and crucially winning the last race from Armstrong who had equal points (obviously ruing his OCS!) In third was Steve Denison on 4 points and fourth was Andy Carter on 5 points.

The prizegiving was held in the bar where everyone gathered to discuss and analyse the events of the day. Martin thanked everyone involved for a wonderful days’ racing, along with promoting the next event - hoping for a good attendance at the Ogston SC Solo Open Meeting in two weeks’ time on Sunday 4th June.

So after 2 events sailed it’s looking like Martin is the one to beat, but I’m sure there will be other Solo sailors with something to say about that!

Report by Innes Armstrong

Photo: Paul Hargreaves

Left to right: Innes Armstrong 2nd, Martin Honnor 1st, Steve Denison 3rd

Photo: Justine Davenport

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