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GP14 Open at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club

by Graham Knox 16 May 07:03 BST 13 May 2018

Hollingworth Lake SC gave a warm, and very sunny, welcome to five Scorpions and a fleet of eighteen GP14s for their annual open meeting. On the previous day, when there was a dire shortage of wind, Neil Marsden gave a masterclass in training to GP14 sailors. On that day, the forecast for Sunday had been for rain and breezy conditions, but that proved wrong!

A north westerly wind is not the best direction for the Club as it flows over local buildings. However, Neil, crewed by long term sailing partner Derrick Hill, soon sussed out the fluky wind patterns. Indeed, he usually had to work his way through the fleet.

Not unusually, the fleet were too keen on the first start and the Race Officer, Julian Parry brought out the black flag. This kept everyone in order. Some of the wily locals showed the way at first but it was not long before Neil Marsden took the lead with Adam McGovern and Ellie Davies trying everything to find a better route on the windward legs. Steve Crook and Les Bithell (familiar name, unusual role) held third place, ahead of Mark, and son Sam, Platt.

After lunch, two races were sailed back-to-back. Again the fleet were too keen and had to restart. This time, the route to the windward mark led to some surprises as the leaders found that one of Saturday's trainees, Kevin Parry with John Walker, had found a different and better route to the mark with a starboard tack. Alas, they were unable to hold on to the benefit as the front runners piled in. This time, Mark Platt took the lead as Marsden had to work his way through. The downwind legs saw good use of the alternative gybe strategies. Platt looked to be holding the lead but Marsden was catching up and soon a covering battle was commenced. At this stage, Club Commodore Andy Carter, with wife Elmarie, was able to take advantage and gain the lead while the others fought. Whilst Marsden was able to overtake the Carters to win, they held the runner-up spot with the Platts coming in third.

The wind was a little more stable in direction for the final race which got away first time. This time however the Platts were prepared and took an early lead while Marsden had to find a way through this competitive fleet. That Neil Marsden finished second to the Platts is a tribute to the tenacity with which he and his crew worked their way up. Neil had stamped his mark on the event, with the Platts challenging well for second place overall and Adam McGovern taking third place in the race and third overall. The Carters were just one point behind overall.

So Marsden and Hill, past World Champions, have not lost the way to success in the GP14 fleet.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stGold13654Neil MarsdenDerrick HillBlackpool & Fleetwood SC11‑22
2ndGold14217Mark PlattSam PlattBolton SC‑4314
3rdGold14145Adam McGovernEllie DaviesHLSC2‑435
4thGold13855Andy CarterElmarie CarterHLSC‑6246
5thGold13873Steve CrookLes BithellHLSC35‑78
6thGold13838Justin SmithTim McGovernTynemouth SC57‑812
7thGold14240Roger MeeDavid WinderHLSC76‑1013
8thGold14063Nick HornsbyCraig JowettHLSC9‑10514
9thGold13746Martin BrennanNick BrookHLSC‑88614
10thSilver13561Colin KnottRichard LongHLSC‑109918
11thSilver387Thomas DanielRyan RichardsHLSC‑13111122
12thSilver13060Richard MasonNichola ThomasonHLSC1113‑1524
13thBronze13933Zena MartinLeann PilkingtonBolton SC‑12121224
14thBronze4615Stephen ParryJens KuhnYork RI SC‑14141428
15thBronze12811Les BurnsAlice MorrisHLSC16(DNF)1329
16thBronze13761Kevin ParryJohn WalkerHLSC1515‑1630
17thsilver14111David HughesGareth HughesHLSC‑18161733
18thBronze14230Ralph Haliburton ChaplinAdam ChaplinBlackpool & Fleetwood SC1717(DNC)34
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