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West Lancashire Yacht Club Regatta sponsored by Tim Harper Boats

by Steve Blackburn 20 Jun 2018 06:00 BST 17 June 2018
West Lancashire Yacht Club Regatta © Dave Porter

The Regatta was a handicap event and also incorporated the Enterprise, GP14 and Laser Open meeting.

We all arrived at the beach at Ainsdale on Sea to be greeted with an overcast sky a southerly Breeze quite a bit of Chop and a fairly steady force 2 – 3 winds. Unfortunately the turnout of boats was low due to West Lancs holding the Allen Enterprise Master' National Championship the previous weekend and the fact it was Father's day. All though we did have a few visitors from Yorkshire and East Lancashire.

We waited a while for the tide to arrive before we set sail for three races back to back. Our officers of the day was very good at adapting the course throughout the day and making the last race a bigger course for all of us the Enjoy. The course was trapezoid then a run and a short beat through to the finish. The tide was ripping quite strong and favoured boats on a port tack and a short starboard tack to the windward mark.

The start was port bias in race 1 and quite hard to go through due to the tide so most boats tacked on to port to make the way up the beat. John Hayes & Joel James GP14 (Southport) went round the windward mark first followed very closely by Steve Blackburn and Royston Taggart (WLYC) in their Enterprise. The salt water must have gone to their heads as on the second lap they both went to the wrong buoy and let Tim Harper & Gabe Hill GP14 (WLYC) to finish first on the water but second Overall. The honours were taken by George Graham (Burwain) in his Laser radial rig. Third was Gary Knott from Pennine SC in his Laser full rig.

Race 2 was started after a quick rest. Again the start was again port biased and everyone was off the line cleanly. The wind was a little bit stronger in this race but so was the tide. Again John Hayes showed his dominance up the first beat but followed very closely was Tim Harper and Enterprise of Steve wasn't far behind, in fourth on water was Rob Smallwood in his Finn and the lasers weren't far behind him either. John finished first with Tim second and The radial of George in third.

Race 3 saw similar conditions to the previous races but a slightly longer course than the previous again the Jeeps were in control up the first beat and both finished in top 2 with John winning the final race and the Open Meeting. Tim was in second but only a smidgen behind. Rob in his Finn finished 3rd on the water and won his fast handicap fleet as he was the only Finn out today. Gary Knott had his best race of the day and came in fourth and winning the Laser Open as radial rigs have the same PY as standard rig in an Open meeting so no advantaged can be created by swapping rigs. Next up to finish in fifth was Steve & Roy in the Enterprise and winning the Ent Open and second Ent was Dad and Son team Clive & Jordan Porter (WLYC) finishing second.

After racing we all retired to comforts of the Yachts club for a food, drink and a chat about how good the sailing had been. One sailor quoted "Why don't you sail here every week? It's amazing sailing at Ainsdale" and it wasn't even sunny, so another great tidal experience at WLYC, ready and waiting for the next time...

A big thanks to the OD, Rescue Team, and all the people who made this great event happen.

Overall Results:

1st GP14, 14188, John Hayes, Joel James Southport 6, 1, 1, 2pts
2nd Laser Radial, 158399, George Graham, Burwain, 1,3,3, 4pts
3rd GP14 14150 Tim Harper, Gabe Hill, WLYC, 2,2,2, 4pts
4th Laser, 212459, Gary Knott, Pennine, 3,5,5, 8
5th Enterprise 23310, Steve Blackburn, Royston Taggart 7,4,4, 8pts
6th Laser, 207113 George Pulman, Dovestone, 4,7,6, 10pts
7th Enterprise 21800, Clive Porter, Jordan Porter, WLYC 5,8,7, 12pts
8th Finn, 689, Rob Smallwood, WLYC 8, 6, (OSC) 11pts
9th Laser Radial, 213074, Stephen Roberts, WLYC, 10, 10, 8, 18pts
10th Laser 194782, Howard Wolstencroft, Dovestone, 9,9,9, 18pts

Enterprise Open
1st Enterprise 23310, Steve Blackburn, Royston Taggart
2nd Enterprise 21800, Clive Porter, Jordan Porter

GP14 Open
1st GP14, 14188, John Hayes, Joel James Southport
2nd GP14 14150 Tim Harper, Gabe Hill, WLYC

Laser Open
1st Laser, 212459, Gary Knott, Pennine
2nd Laser Radial, 158399, George Graham, Burwain
3rd Laser, 207113 George Pulman, Dovestone
4th Laser 194782, Howard Wolstencroft, Dovestone
5th Laser Radial, 213074, Stephen Roberts, WLYC

Fast Handicap
1st Finn, 689, Rob Smallwood, WLYC

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