For the full list of competitors click below:
The top three in the Northern Traveller Series 2022 Martin Honnor, Innes Armstrong & Stephen Denison, along with Northern Rep Justine Davenport. Photo by Ian Hopwood.
The opening event was held at Burwain SC in East Lancashire. 14 Solos ventured out from various clubs, with one new name – Sam Paechter from Otley SC taking part in his 1st Solo event. Close racing was the order of the day with Martin Honnor taking the event.
Round 2 took place at Shotwick SC in Deeside. The forecast was for strong winds which didn’t disappoint but also reduced the numbers of Solos taking part. This event was won by Andy Fox who managed to tame the conditions.
The next event was held at West Riding SC just outside Wakefield. An ideal open with wind and sun on the cards. Tight racing meant that it went down to the wire with Stephen Graham taking the win from Chris Gillard.
Round 4 was the two-day Northern Championships held at Bassenthwaite SC in the north Lake District. Over the two days a mixture of wind strength tested the 23 sailors, which also meant that there were various race winners. Innes Armstrong with a series of consistent results became the northern champion.
The next event at Redesmere SC had a disappointing turnout of only 7 boats. Local sailor Tim Lowe took the win.
Round 6 at Hollingworth Lake SC saw only 11 solos taking part as the event unfortunately clashed with a super series event. Those that took part saw close tactical racing with win No. 2 for Martin Honnor. At the halfway stage in the series, Martin was counting 8 points with Innes Armstrong on 9 – this meant that going into the second half of the year it would be a close-run thing.
The event that followed was Ogston SC near Chesterfield. This was an event that Martin (at his own club) would hope to win. However, on the day the breeze was strong which played to Ian Hopwood’s advantage. Ian took the trophy with Stephen Denison in 2nd and Martin in 3rd.
Round 8 took place at Bala SC, again there was a clash of events (the Nations Cup this time) so only 4 Solos took part at this fabulous piece of water. This was the first time in many years that a Solo event had taken place at Bala, the clash was unavoidable but nevertheless it was sad to see so few participants.
The next event took place at Carsington SC just north of Derby. This was a joint Midland/Northern event with 24 competitors, the majority from the midland circuit. Close racing (as usual in the Solo fleet) again the order of the day with Oliver Davenport taking the win.
Round 10 took us to Leigh & Lowton SC west of Manchester. A good turnout of 22 Solos saw Martin Honnor take another win. And with still two events to go, the win at L&LSC meant he was now uncatchable and at this point Martin became the 2022 series winner.
The next event saw us travelling again to the Lake District and Royal Windermere Yacht Club. It didn’t look as though we’d be lucky enough to get any sailing in at all with a forecast of 0 to 2 knots of breeze. However, we did eventually manage to launch and racing took part in the south lake with the wind varying up and down in strength across the course. Stephen Denison managed to overcome the fluky conditions to win the event from John Reekie.
The last event (No.12) took us to Budworth SC in Cheshire, and it also saw the best turn out of the year with 32 Solos competing which was a very welcome sight to see. We had a visitor from Salcombe YC and our class President Patrick Burns all the way from Dalgety Bay, just north of Edinburgh. It was also great to see three female helms at this event, the highest number all season. This was made up of Hannah Robinson, Justine Davenport and Michelle Tunnicliffe, (only Kim Cant of L&LSC was missing). Martin had already won the series but the places below were still to be decided. It was all close racing again, with positions constantly changing. Martin took the win from Roger Guess.
So with the final event over, it was confirmed that Martin Honnor of Ogston SC was the overall winner, Innes Armstrong of Burwain SC taking 2nd and Stephen Denison of Yeadon SC in third. A special trophy for the club with the highest qualifiers went to Burwain SC with Innes, Stephen Graham and Justine Davenport making up the team to secure this particular trophy.
The prizes from the Solo association and the sponsors - Winder Boats Ltd were awarded at Budworth. We, the northern reps would like to take this opportunity to say a huge thank you to Winder Boats for their continued support this season.
On reflection, 2022 has been a good year for the Solos in the North. Overall, we had 112 sailors that ventured onto the circuit; made up of 87 competitors that took part in at least 1 event but that dropped to only 15 that took part in between 2 and 3 events and 10 travellers that qualified with 4 or more events under their belt.
Hopefully next year we will have more qualifiers with more people taking part in fewer events. It would be great to see you out on the circuit next year, here’s hoping for a bumper 2023 Northern Series!
Report by Innes Armstrong