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Vane 'A' Bradford Cup and Jim Rose Bowl at Fleetwood

by Tony Wilson 4 Sep 2017 07:02 BST 2-3 September 2017
Vane 'A' Bradford Cup at Fleetwood © Tony Wilson

With a 6mph wind forecast from the South, a reach in either direction would be called for on each leg of the 'A' Vane boat sailing. This makes it awkward for the scoring, as normally a 3 points are awarded for the upwind leg and 2 points for the downwind leg.

A slight hint of Westerly meant the first leg could be classed as the beat. There was a lack of wind with flat spots as we arrived but by 11am, due to a delayed start the wind had actually appeared and it was due West.

Four boats had entered for Saturday's Bradford Cup, with 2 guys from Fleetwood and the Bell family making up the second set of pairs. Robert Bell, son of Alan, was to be sailing a very similar carbon exemplar as dad, whereas Eddie Greenwood was sailing 'Dark Horse', a heavier older boat at an extra 10 pounds in weight. Peter Whiteside was sailing 'Blue Note', the heaviest of all at an extra 10 pounds heavier than Eddie's and weighing in at a massive 48 pounds all up. Were the local lads going to fair worse than our Welsh based visitors with boats each costing probably more than my family car?

The first race off from the start had Eddie up against Rob. It looked like Eddie had got a good start, but then went into irons as his boat was dithering and hesitating into which direction it wanted to continue on its course at about a third up the lake. It looked like all was lost before the last 50 yards or so of the lake, then the boat picked up its feet and took the first 3 points.

The return leg saw spinnakers attached and both the local old boys were truly on form and clinched another 2 points each.

Jim and Tony were helping out as pole-off mates until John P. and Peter J. turned up a little later to complete four full pairs and we had Eric Watkinson, the main man with the clipboard for the scoring.

Four boats in total meant each would race each other for a total of three ups and downs to complete one full round. Just before lunch Alan was feeling a little light headed so his last race was cut short. Alan was going to retire but John volunteered to walk the boat, so just after the break the unfinished race was completed.

Round 2 started and John was also feeling still a bit under the weather, so Alan's boat was out of the racing. Rob was now starting to have better results apart from a collision on one round. It was Eddie that was now moving down the ladder, although he did seem to be leading up to the end of the first round with 8 points along with Peter on 7 points.

The finish came at about 4pm with two complete rounds, and again Peter Whiteside was the victor with one of the older boats taking the cup. Tomorrow was another day and could have different opponents in different conditions would Peter be able to keep up the pressure and repeat his performance.

An enjoyable time was had, with good weather and adequate wind throughout the day.

Bradford Cup Results:

1 Peter Whiteside 22pts
2 Rob Bell 12pts
3 Eddie Greenwood 8pts
4 Alan Bell 3pts

Jim Rose Bowl (Sunday)

Another day another Trophy. Although we were promised a couple more folk, we ended up with the same guys and their yachts as the previous day. The weather could have been the deciding factor also making it less favourable for the others travelling in from Yorkshire.

Is it Summer? 14 degrees celcius and persistent rain for the day... in comparison to Saturday, you would have thought you were in a different season. Saturday had a constant flow of families hogging the lake side with their crabbing nets and buckets, but today not a soul in site. Sun cream was left in the car and a layer of waterproofs were the order of the day.

The wind was from the South East and although a lot stronger, the heavier duty A sails this time were attached. Peter won his beat leg against Rob, then Eddie won his beat leg also against Alan. The running leg had both Alan and Rob's carbon-fibre super machines fly down the lake winning over both Peter and Eddie by a good third of the lake.

We had a couple of restarts due to boats touching but most races were completed quite quickly as each leg was virtually a reaching leg in either direction with hardly any boats coming in to contact with the side due to being well trimmed.

It was decided to leave the day to just one round as we were very low in helpers and the weather had played its part. Rob had only slipped the first 3 points against Peter, otherwise took the rest for the Trophy. Peter had done well against the lightest boat with his heavy ship 'Blue Note' and had only been pipped by a single point to Rob for a well earned second place.

With an early finish Rob was testing out a few new settings and also one of those fancy lead lumps that fit on the bottom of the boat. Maybe next time we'll see David from the Bell family to make up the trio of flash carbon machines.

Jim Rose Bowl Results:

1 Rob Bell 12pts
2 Peter Whiteside 11pts
3 Alan Bell 4pts
4 Eddie Greenwood 3pts

Please check the Fleetwood website for further information and possibly more pictures. See

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