Bolton GP14 Open Meeting Report

The fleet of nine including two visitors were greeted by a barmy 21°C, sunshine and a 12 knot breeze gusting up to 15 knots from the south east, champagne sailing conditions.  Race officer, Andy Flitcroft started promptly at 11:00am, setting a two beat, 4 lap course.  Visitors John Hayes and Joel James and Mark Platt and Chris Jobson were over the start line at the committee boat end and had to return. 

Sam Platt and Dale Knowles and Julie and Chris Waddington then pulled out a good lead over the rest of the fleet with the lead changing several times.  The lighter pairing of Julie and Chris having the edge downwind and “Crew’s Union” pairing of Sam and Dale better boatspeed upwind.  John and Joel worked back up to fourth and Mark and Chris just managed to pip Julie and Chris for second place.  Sam and Dale took line honours. 

Following a wholesome lunch, the fleet were back out on the water.  A square line encouraged the boats to be evenly distributed and the fleet got away cleanly.  Keiron Inman and Paul Jenkins from West

 Kirby won the committee boat end and as the fleet tack across onto port, no boat was able to cross them.  Keiron tacked on to port to cover the fleet allowing Mark and Chris to tack without “ducking” and hold a c

ommanding position which lasted 1

5 seconds until Mark’s toestrap came loose, depositing him in the water followed by a lengthy time capsized.  John and Sam took full advantage with a similar pattern to the first race with the lead changing several times.  John and Joel had a little more downwind speed and were able to compete more upwind with Sam and Dale.  John and Joel closed out the win with Sam and Dale in second place and Chris Aubrey and Noah Khawar claiming third. 

Going into the final race Sam, John and Mark could all win the event and PRO, Andy set a 3 lap course with a beat the full length of the reservoir, some fast three sail reaching legs, three gybes and a tactical run into the leeward mark.  All three boats had their moments in the top spot until the second leeward mark when Mark discovered crew, Chris had a secret knitting talent which he demonstrated with the spinnaker, genoa sheet and the pole as a needle.  Chris thought Mark could do with working on his time and distance skills, especially in a drop, gybe scenario in 18 knots of wind.  This really opened the way for John and Sam and again it was “nip and tuck” all the way to the finish line with John’s greater experience just winning out. 

So the final race order was the final result with John and Joel worthy winners, Sam and Dale second and Mark and Chris third.  Chris and Julie Waddington were winners of the Silver fleet in fourth overall with Paddy Lambton and Liam Dempsey winners of the Bronze fleet. 

A great day’s sailing with competitive close racing throughout the fleet.  John graciously thanked the galley and bar staff, race team and the club for an excellent event and a warm, friendly welcome.