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Clipper Ventures

RC Laser and Df65 Southport Winter Series at West Lancs - Day 1

by Tony Wilson on 10 Jan 8 January 2017

With the sound of the wild geese honking away over the Ribble estuary, it was a miserable day for sailing if you could see your way through the fog. Saturday had been hidden away under some very low cloud and was breathless, so maybe Sunday was going to turn out the same. From the Lytham St Annes side across to Southport, where the wild birds usually make their way over to Martin Mere, was near the location for the first of the RC Laser and Dragon Force 65 of the New Year's 6-part series.

12 RC Laser and 10 Dragon Force 65 Skippers had turned up to the West Lancs Sailing Club and must have been eager to get some racing in, as this is a real good turn out and had visitors from quite far a field. Dave Fowler from Kingsmill reservoir Derbyshire, Tim Long from North Wales and also a guy that was in all the way from across the Atlantic.

Also the regulars we had from Southport - the usual happy crowd Skip, Alan T, Ken, Colin and Jordon, just to show how friendly faces can keep the masses in good spirit.

The course was set for 2 laps with a reduced timing start of 1 minute between classes in the light breeze that was only just about manageable for 'A' rigs all round. Two races just about completed and then the wind totally died.

Cups of coffee or tea and bacon butties finished off while waiting around for about an hour until the wind decided to fill back in. As there seemed to be a hint of the cloud slightly breaking and the light breeze had returned, quickly the countdown Auntie was started again as we now had some time to catch up on..

There was no guessing as to who would be at the forefront for each of the classes and it was John Tushingham's Dark Destroyer DF65 in all black attire that seemed to really stand out.

3 more races led nicely up to the call for lunch. Hot dinner and a pud followed by another cuppa. Some were even sitting outside on the terrace taking in some fresh air while nattering about the mornings proceedings and maybe other stuff, as it was mild enough for January.

In the afternoon we could still use the exact same course and the wind held up nicely for a further 7 races. Despite there being so many boats on the water, there seemed to be very little contact or conflict between the separate classes. Obviously there was the odd infringement of rules, but most responded to complete the penalty when made aware.

It was also good to see the odd newcomer and when we think of how many could have also been sailing with many familiar faces missing, it could have been some mighty flotilla.

Highlight for some for the day must have been the group of folk that had turned up midway in the morning for their yearly skinny dipping session. Wouldn't you have just loved to run off and hidden their clothes.

Well worth the wait for the wind to pick back up, and a good day was had by all. If you weren't able to attend you missed out on the mince pies and Stollen. Please check out the video to get the full feel of the day.

Day 1 Results:

RC Lasers
1 Dave Fowler
2 Shaun Holbeche
3 John Sharman

Dragon Force 65
1 John Tushingham
2 John Brierley
3 Tim Long

Round 2 is at Southport in a fortnight (22nd Jan 2017), then the one to look out for is the Dragon Force TT event, N03 is the biggie dual weekend of DF95 on the Saturday and again the joint Df65 and RC Laser racing on the Sunday.

If you want a timely prompt, email Alan T at West Lancs to be added to his vast mailing list.

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