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Leigh & Lowton Junior Winter Regatta 2019

by Richard Catchpole 14 Jan 10:17 GMT 12 January 2019
Leigh & Lowton Junior Winter Regatta 2019 © Richard Catchpole

46 entries for the 2019 Junior Winter Regatta at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club was a great turnout considering the strong winds forecast for the day. Competitors were treated to some fantastic conditions with 14-18 knots blowing straight down the flash, giving plenty of spills and thrills for parents to watch from the clubhouse.

Winds were forecast to gust to 25+ knots and escalate during the day, so the OOD Richard Catchpole and his team kept races rolling to avoid the worst of the weather, getting all 3 races in by 3pm, before the rain and squalls appeared. The competitors more than played their part in the smooth running of the event with no general recalls or protests.

The sailors were split into 4 fleets for the day; a mixed handicap fleet consisting of Lasers, Teras, Fevas, and an RS200, a Topper fleet, an Optimist fleet and a Regatta Fleet. Given the conditions, most of the regatta fleet opted for the indoor and outdoor activities led by Lindsay Welfare, but one Tera, Alex Smith from Windemere must be commended for finishing completing all 3 races and claiming the first prize, while 2 LLSC club sailors who only learnt to sail last summer gave the first race a go, Jasmine and Nicole Perry, hats off to them too.

In the handicap fleet the first 4 radials battled it out closely all day, with Lorcan Knowles (LLSC) getting the first race by a foredeck length, but Tom Brindley (Redesmere) claimed the last 2 races, stretching away in the last race to finish with a good lead, enough to give him overall victory in this fleet. Marcus Howard (Redesmere) and Lewis Coop (LLSC) were the other Radials in close attendance. An RS Feva sailed by Felix and Theo Stewart (Windermere) was in the top 3 all day and almost won the event on the last race, one more big gust downwind might have done it! The Laser 4.7 of Joseph Blease (Bassenthwaite) had a good day, saving his best until last with a 3rd place.

There were enough Teras entered to have their own prizes. There was a tight battle for line honours between Zoe Sanderson-Davies (Windermere) and John Bridgeman (LLSC) with Zoe getting the upper hand in the first 2 races to win and also claim 1st girl overall in the handicap fleet. There was great entertainment in the final race as both of them took a swim on the same leg before coming out of the capsizes neck and neck again with John just pipping Zoe on the finish line.

14 Toppers made it a very competitive fleet, but Leah Fidling (LLSC) showed her experience to dominate from the front with 3 bullets to take the event and 1st girl. William Burbedge (Chester) also sailed consistently well into a clear 2nd overall. The battle for the third podium position was much tighter between 3 or 4 sailors Archie Burton (Beaver) finished with a 3rd place to clinch the position.

The Optimist racing was much closer than it looked in the results, but it was a convincing win all the same. Ben Welfare (LLSC) twice came from behind to beat Henry Smith (West Riding), once sailing through on the final legs and in the last Henry took a swim after leading all race. Jacob Bennett (Debdale Outdoor) in 3rd place overall persevered to receive the endurance award battling through 2 capsizes in the 2nd race, bailing his Oppie out.

Thanks to all those who travelled quite some distances to Leigh & Lowton to take part, hope to see you again next year!

Overall Results:

1st Tom Brindley (Redesmere)
2nd Felix Stewart & Theo Stewart (Windermere)
3rd Lorcan Knowles (LLSC)

1st Zoe Sanderson-Davies (Windermere)
2nd John Bridgeman (LLSC)
3rd Zak Sanderson-Davies (Windermere)

1st Leah Fidling (LLSC)
2nd William Burbedge (Chester)
3rd Archie Burton (Beaver)

1st Ben Welfare (LLSC)
2nd Henry Smith (West Riding)
3rd Jacob Bennett (Debdale Outdoor)

1st Alex Smith (Windermere)

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