Tipsy Week 9 - Force 7 gusts straight down the Flash!
After narrowly missing out on the RYA’s ‘Club of the year’ award on Saturday the UK’s biggest winter series continued at Leigh and Lowton on Sunday with weekend number 9 of its 11 weekend run. The Tipsy continues to attract new faces to the start line, with 126 boats taking to the water so far. Fleets consisted of Asymmetric, Handicap, Solos and Lasers. The weather forecast was spot on and for race 1 we started with a clear blue sky and a force 4 breeze blowing down the lake from the north west and this tempted 7 new boats to the series onto the water. After dinner race 2 was started with the wind at a force 4 but as the asymmetric got away the wind picked up and gusts of 33mph (force 7) were recorded out on the water. This led to fast down wind action, many capsizes and a lot of retirements so that in the end only 12 boats in all fleets finished the race.
This weekend a total 48 boats took to the water and in the 19 strong handicap fleet Richard Catchpole (RS300) returning after a two week layoff, recorded two firsts places. Andy Flitcroft, Bolton SC (RS300), was hot on his heels with a second and a ninth while Mark Platt, Bolton SC (Supernova), sailed well to a third and a fourth.
In the 16 boat asymmetric fleet it was Paul Allen (RS400) crewed by ‘supersub’ Joe Hartigan who took line honours in both races. Showing that all the tinkering with his new boat is beginning to pay off Mike Budd and Wendy Martin (RS400) sailed to two seconds and Bill Kenyon/Mark Atherton (RS400) managed a third and fourth and a third.
Without a crew for his RS400 Stuart Belfield dusted off his Laser and led the fleet around the Flash in both races taking two firsts in the 8 boat Laser fleet. Paul Heath was bridesmaid with two seconds and Graham McWhirter followed him with two thirds.
The 8 boat Solo fleet was again dominated by Chris Gillard with two firsts. Ben Sprague recorded two seconds and Malcolm Waddington had a third in race one but sat out the second race.
It was a cold day out on the water and the PRO, his race and rescue team were kept very busy but allowed the fleets long beats and fantastic off wind legs. Again the galley kept everybody supplied with cooked breakfast and hot lunches as well as plenty of tea for the spectators who didn’t fancy race 2!
There are two weekends left of the series and the last weekend, the 17th & 18th March, incorporates the RS 400 Northern Tour event and Rs Vareo Winter Championship.