Tipsy Icicle Week 8 – the girls dominate the asymmetrics and the juniors do well in the Handicap fleet
The weather prediction for Sunday 26th February had been poor all week and it was probably this, compounded by the fact that Liverpool were playing in the Carling Cup Final, that meant that the turnout was down over previous weeks. Still, 34 boats made it out onto the water and the fleets got away after a 20 minute postponement as PRO Peter Baldwin waited to the wind to firstly fill in, then to stabilise. Whilst the first two starts went without a hitch, the handicap fleet suffered a general recall, caused by very enthusiastic Optimist sailors, followed by a black flag start. As the fleets settled down the asymmetrics were led initially by Mike Budd and Wendy Martin (RS400) in the early stages, but the fickle wind, varying in strength across the water allowed Bill Kenyon and Ben Ditchburn (RS400) to take line honours with Caroline Exley close behind. However, Louise McKeand and Cathy Partington in their RS200 had been snapping at the heels of the bigger boats all through the race and they took first place on corrected time. In the much depleted Laser fleet Royston Taggart led from the beginning of the race pulling nearly a leg out on Paul Heath in the next boat with Glynn Purnell in third. In the handicap fleet, Chris Day and Sophie Richards in the National 12 led on the water from the beginning and took the result on corrected time also with Andy Flitcroft in the RS300 taking second and Mark Platt in the Supernova third. The Solo fleet continued to be dominated by Steve Gillard, taking his sixth bullet of the series with Ian Hopwood showing consistency with his second place.
As the fleets came off the water to a superb, well earned, lunch from our renowned galley, it looked as though the second race was in doubt. However, over lunch the wind came back and with a shorter, triangular, course the three fleets got away cleanly. The wind did its level best to frustrate everyone’s best efforts and the boats stayed close throughout the race. Once again Louise and Cathy took the asymmetrics on corrected time with Dave Exley and Nigel Hall taking second and Bill and Ben third. In the Lasers Royston dominated the race again with Glynn second and Tim Luke in third place. In the Handicap race, the rest of the fleet could not shake the Toppers and Optimists off their backs and whilst Chris and Sophie managed to grab second place, Oliver Blackburn in his Topper took first place with Haydn Griffiths in his third, Jack Staniland in his fourth and H Pulford in the Optimist sixth. In the Solos Steve and Ian recorded a first and second respectively again.
Despite this week’s lower turnout, overall participation in the series is high with almost 120 boats racing during the series so far. Whilst the Laser and Solo fleet results look fairly certain the Handicap and Asymmetric fleets are still wide open with the Allen brothers and the Gledhill/Douse partnership in the Asymmetrics and Richard Catchpole in the Handicap fleet all away this weekend. Racing continues in this series until March 18th with entries on the day still available.