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North West Senior Travellers' Series finale at Elton Sailing Club

by Dave Woodhead 9 Oct 2013 10:57 BST 8 October 2013
NW Senior Travellers Series finale at Elton © Dave Woodhead

Sir Ben will have to wait a while to win this one, he is just not old enough to enter this prestigious over 50s NW senior traveller series. The 2013 series concluded with a superb day's sailing at Elton Sailing Club. Thanks to being the recipient of the October #GetOutAndSail award, competitors were treated to free entry, free drinks all day and an exceptionally generous prize table. The weather also played ball after the last two events had been blighted by poor weather.

The day started with a gentle but shifty 8 knots of warm wind from the south west, and slowly built to 15 knots by mid afternoon providing perfect conditions for the last of this 7 event series. It was all to fight for although Tony Critchley from Bolton S C in his Supernova looked fairly certain to take overall honours in the series. Other top places were however up for grabs and perhaps because instead of the usual bottles of wine the prize table had goods to the value of £1000, there was just maybe a little more edge to this competition!

In the event Tony made certain of the final outcome by winning the Elton event. His 4 closest rivals gave him some stiff competition however and with boats as diverse as Merlins and Toppers in the same handicap race, the results were uncertain until everybody was ashore and the computer had done its calculations. Second was the usual leader on the water in all these events, the Merlin of Martin and Rene Watts from Hollingsworth lake. In third place, with their best result of the series was the Scorpion of Carol and Jon Haines from Elton. (once they have got the hang of rigging their new boat correctly perhaps they will do even better!) Fourth and fifth places went to regulars in the prizes, Darren Nield (Elton) in a Laser and the Graduate of Dave Ivins and Lesley Johnson (Bolton SC).

The series has had 56 different boats take part this year. It is usually only children who relish a birthday that will make them one year older but in the North West there are plenty of 40 something year old sailors eagerly awaiting their 50th birthday so that they can join in the fun! The format is simple. A series of 7 open meetings on Tuesdays held at different local clubs bringing together senior sailors from neighbouring clubs who might otherwise not cross tacks with each other. Four out of the seven count for the overall places, still allowing some time for holidays, visiting grandchildren, cruising etc. With the emphasis on friendly, fun sailing sailors from 50 to their early 80s take part. Many of these sailors have been dinghy racing for 40 or more years so there are plenty of wily tacticians on the water, experience rather than brawn can still pay dividends in sailing.

Thanks in part to the prizes donated by #GetOutAndSail partners, the series prize giving was a very jovial affair. With two firsts, three seconds and a third Tony Critchley was the deserving winner of the series.

Anybody wishing to know more about the series look for details on the RYA North West regional web site. The 2014 series dates will be posted there in due course.

A huge thank-you to the ten #GetOutAndSail partners; Crewsaver, Gul, Harken, International Paint, Navigators & General, Noble Marine, Ovington Boats, Rooster Sailing, Seldén Masts and Wildwind. Without them this initiative simply wouldn't be possible. It is their belief in #GetOutAndSail which will drive it forward and hopefully get more people out on the water.

Overall Series Results: (top ten)

PosBoat NameBoat TypeSail NoHelmCrewClubSouthportDelphBurwainBoltonHollingworthLLSCEltonPts
1st Supernova1074Tony Critchley Bolton SC‑22(DNC)‑31216
2ndFreebirdMERLIN‑ROCKET*3678Martin WattsRene WattsHollingworth Lake Sailing Club(DNC)(DNC)223(DNC)29
3rd LASER / Albacore160362Darren Nield Elton SC13(DNC)‑6(DNC)4412
4th GRADUATE2878David IvinsLesley JohnsonBolton SC(DNC)‑5(DNC)143513
5thC 'n CSolo5261Dave Eccles Leigh and Lowton SC(DNC)467(DNC)‑9623
6th Solo4876Gerald Whitehead Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club(DNC)(DNC)7106(DNC)1336
7th Solo4714Peter Dewhurst Burwain(DNC)1955(DNC)(DNC)938
8th TOPPER44700Anne Stevenson Elton SC(DNC)12(DNC)‑20571438
9th MERLIN‑ROCKET*3593J CahillI BeebeBolton SC(DNC)‑18912(DNC)81746
10th Solo5402Paul Salmon Elton SC(DNC)739(DNC)(DNC)DNC77

#GetOutAndSail - Supporting grass-roots sailing

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