Report by Innes Armstrong, Photos by Ian Southwell & Justine Davenport
Round 10 of the Winder sponsored northern series was held at Leigh & Lowton SC on Saturday 17th September 2022. 21 Solos in total turned out, made up of 12 visitors and 9 home boats.
On arrival the wind was fluctuating between 8 and 14 mph and direction varying anywhere between west and north.
Race1 with a clean start found Martin Honnor (Ogston SC) first to the windward mark, followed by a run/reach to No.3 buoy which was under the bank. Martin managed to get round in clear air but after that it was a melee of boats trying to get round with some having to tack to get to the mark. This left Martin with an unassailable lead which he held to the finish. Behind was like a game of snakes and ladders; Stephen Graham (Burwain SC) managed to climb up to 2nd with Ted Garner (Budworth SC) holding onto 3rd.
Race 2 back-to-back, another clean start with S Graham first to the windward mark and again managing to stay in clear air all the way to the finish. As in race 1, mark 3 was used and on the leg to it, all points of sailing were used; some on a run, some on a reach and even the leader having to put in a tack to get to the mark. 1st Stephen Graham, 2nd Martin Honnor and 3rd Jonathon Swain (Carsington SC).
After a well-deserved break for lunch, 2 more races were sailed back-to-back. A welcome relief to the sailors was that No.3 buoy was no longer in the course. This time, as in the first two races, the leader to the windward mark prevailed to the finish. It was Innes Armstrong (Burwain SC) who took advantage of clear air around the course and led to the finish. Behind, after much place changing, came Martin in 2nd followed by Stephen Dennison (Yeadon SC) in 3rd.
This left a “winner takes all” last race between Martin 1, 2, 2 and Stephen G 2, 1, 5 who had to win the last race. Another clean start was the order of the day for race 4. It looked like Stephen G was dead and buried at the start but managed to find some clear air to work up to 1st place at the windward mark. Could this be like the other races where the leader at the windward mark would hold on to the lead until the finish? Clear air allowed Stephen G to pull away on the next two legs whilst club mate Innes in 2nd was holding the pack up. Stephen led at the leeward mark but his 1st tack to go back through the line proved his undoing and in somewhat of a tangle he capsized and thereby lost any chance of winning the event, which must have pleased Martin as he sailed past him. But like a true athlete (yes, I said athlete) and sportsman, he didn’t show it! By this time Jonathon Swain had taken the lead and never relinquished it to take a well deserved win, with Martin 2nd and Stephen D 3rd.
With all four races completed, Martin won the event, Stephen G 2nd and Jonathon 3rd. Overall an excellent days racing which was made really interesting with four different race winners. Martin thanked all those involved, the race crew, OOD and galley team.
The next event in the Winder sponsored Northern Series will be at Royal Windermere YC on Sunday 25th September. The penultimate open meeting in the 2022 calendar.