With the majority of the RS400 fleet away at their inlands championships and the Toppers at a training event it was still a healthy 42 boats that made it out onto the water for this, the penultimate weekend of the UK’s largest winter series on Sunday 11th March 2012 at Leigh and Lowton sailing club. The weather forecast had been poor all week but more wind than expected did arrive and although it was patchy and shifty from the NNW it did not deter 7 new boats to the series onto the water.
First away was the 12 boat asymetric fleet sailing their usual windward/leeeward course and in race 1 Terry Oliver/Mark Cuthbert (RS400) won while Tony Taylor/Sarah Tyson (RS200 Budworth SC) , after a battle with Louise McKeand/Cathy Partington (RS200), came in second with Louise and Cathy third. The 12 boat Laser fleet welcomed the return of the youths who then proceeded to show the elder helms the way round. After a general recall the black flag was out and Howard Green became a victim to this when he decided to start a minute before everybody else. After a close fought race early on Andy Stott found his groove and won by a considerable distance with Chester Candish second and Paul Heath third. In the 7 boat Solo fleet Chris Gillard (Sheffield Viking) continued to stamp his authority on the fleet with another win in race 1 with Steve White second and Malcolm Waddington third. In the boat handicap fleet Andy Flitcroft (RS300) battled hard with Richard Catchpole (RS300) and came home first with Richard second while John and Roseanne Walters (Flying 15) sailed to third.
After a lunch from our renowned galley raqce 2 got underway and in the asymetric fleet the battle continued between the RS200’s of Tony and Louise and it went to the wire as Tony caught Louise on the line to snatch first place from her. In the Lasers it was Andy Stott who led from start to finish and again disappeared into the distance. Andy Green sailed through to second and Sally Hazlewood third. In the Solos Brian Sprague won with Chris Gillard second and Alan Catto third. Filtcroft and Catchpole continued their close racing with Flitcroft leading throughout and who triumphed after Catchpole capsised. Carol/John Haines (Scorpion) came home in second with Gareth Willams/Jen Turner (National 12) third.
With only one weekend left the Laser and Solo fleet results look fairly certain but the Handicap and Asymmetric fleets are still wide open.