Solo Northern Travellers Open
The wagon that is the Solo Northern Traveller Series again rolled into Nantwich for the final open meeting of the year. The lower than expected turnout of eighteen boats was possibly down to the light wind forcast and widespread early morning mist, fortunately for those that did make the journey the warm sun quickly cleared the sky; the only thing that was missing was a stiff breeze! Tea and toast, deliverd to sailors whilst they rigged their boats, was gratefully received.
Race one made full use of the lake and included two decent beats. Nantwich's conditions occasionally helped those needing to make places and hindered others trying to get away – a real day of snakes and ladders was in store as the wind remained light and patchy. Places changed throughout the race but Dave Mitchell continued his recent form and led throughout to take the win. Tony Wright put in a solid performance to finish second with Oliver Dumbelton banging a corner on the last beat to climb the fifth-to-third ladder. The next three places were decided on the line with Pete Mitchell pipping Andy Fox and Chris Gillard.
Race two was held after lunch with a course change to take into account the small wind direction change. Race officer Matt Birks still managed to set two good length beats and made good use of the water. After some close racing, Chris Gillard showed the form that had already secured the Traveller Series win and held a clear lead around the final leward mark. Behind him Oiiver Dumbelton and Dave Mitchell were having a close battle – Oliver just ahead at as they started the beat to the finish. Dave saw more pressure to the left of the beat in the middle of the lake; Chris decided to loosely cover Oliver on the right. Behind in fourth place Pete Mitchell followed his Dad. At the top of the beat it was clear that the left had paid as Dave crossed the line first, Chris second then Pete and Oliver.
Race three started on a committee boat biased line with the wind swinging. Dave lead around the first mark with Tony Wright close behind. Chris, Tony, Pete and Oliver were all still in with a chance of taking second overall and were all close to the front of the fleet. Places changed constantly and a special mention must go to Harvey Jones for a spectacular beat where he must have made five places and almost landed second place. Unfortunately for him though there was a snake around the corner which pulled him back into the pack. With a lap to go Pete slipped through to the lead which he held to take the race win and secure second overall. Dave sailed cleverly to minimise risk and crossed the line in a comfortable second, followed by Oliver, Tony and Chris.
Congratulations to Dave Mitchell for his second sucessive open meeting win and also to Chris Gillard for winning the Solo Northern Traveller Series.
Overall Results: (top 5)
1st Dave Mitchell (Winsford Flash) 2pts
2nd Pete Mitchell (Winsford Flash) 4pts
3rd Tony Wright (Delph) 6pts
4th Oliver Dumbelton (Nantwich) 6pts
5th Chris Gillard (Sheffield Viking) 7pts