Please select your home edition
Edition
Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

GP14 Midland Bell Series at Nantwich & Border Counties Sailing Club

by Michelle Evans 11 May 2019 09:28 BST 5 May 2019
GP14 Midland Bell Series at Nantwich © Michelle Evans

Nantwich & Border Counties SC is one of those venues on the Midland Bell circuit where you prepare for anything and ignore the forecast! A mill pond and grey sky greeted the unpacking visitors and a rare sighting of an early Andy Hunter who had rigged his boat before ours was even off the trolley. Sam Watson, keen not to start rumours of a more mature and timely approach to sailing, turned up as the sequence was starting and abandoned his car with the door open to make it just in time.

I didn't see the start of race 1 as we had inadvertently parked up on the shallows and were trying to get to the line with the rudder off at the time. In the lightest wind of the day the fleet of thirteen boats started beating up to towards the sunken bandstand. Proving they are a class act which ever way round they are in the boat, Andy helmed him and Sam to the win with Mark McKeever and Kevin Hopkins (Midland SC) second and Ian Willis and Keith Dutton (South Staffs SC) third.

After lunch we headed out for race two, Ian and Keith were over and had to go back and most of the fleet went left with Pete/Michelle (Chase SC) and Mark/Kevin going right and benefiting from getting the wind first. Pete and Michelle rounded first and stayed in the lead until the top of the penultimate beat where the irrepressible Mark and Kevin snuck past. To add insult to injury we then lost a place to Andy and Sam on the last beat to finish in third.

For the start of the third race we may have gently assisted Mark and Kevin over the line and were suitably sorry to see them having to go back round the pin end behind us. Proving his credentials as a good starter are still sound it was John and Graham that rounded windward first followed by Andy and Sam and then Pete and Michelle. The wind was building nicely at this point and we snuck past John and Graham on the run and started to advance on Andy and Sam. Behind, Mark and Kevin and Ian and Keith were trading places for most of the first half of the race and as we got sucked back towards the advancing pack Andy and Sam pulled out.

Nantwich is one of those places where you never relax as between the criss-crossing course, fluky shifts and its own micro climate you never know what is coming. For once though we did know what was coming as we couldn't get away from them, Mark and Kevin took us on the beat only to lose the place on the tight reach as we steamed past. The race ended with a gentle toot, so gentle that we carried on and did another three legs before realising.

Andy and won the day with two wins and he thanked birthday boy Sam for getting out of bed for him as well as their unofficial sponsor and his grandad Dave Edwards. Nantwich were as usual very hospitable, and a great day was had by all. The next event on the Midland Bell circuit is at Midland SC on 12 May. Four have qualified for the series already with Ian/Keith and Pete/Michelle tied on points at the top. See series-so-far results here [PDF].

Results:

1st Andy Hunter and Sam Watson (Nantwich SC)
2nd Mark McKeever and Kevin Hopkins (Midland SC)
3rd Pete Jacques and Michelle Evans (Chase SC)
1st Silver Fleet (5th overall) John Salomonson and Graham Flynn (Aldridge SC / Chase SC)
1st Bronze Fleet (6th overall) Peter Nugent and Charles Saunders (Staunton Harold SC)

Related Articles

West Lancs 24 Hour Race goes online for 2020
The 54th edition was scheduled to take place on 19th & 20th September Hosts of the UK's No. 1 Endurance Dinghy event, West Lancashire Yacht Club, set to launch an eSailing alternative for the 24 Hour Race. Posted on 22 May
Olympians and UK dinghy champions clash
Bashes and banter in eSailing Demonstration Event We're all stuck at home, we're all itching to go sailing, yet our boats are out of bounds. There was only one thing for it - virtual sailing! Posted on 2 Apr
Craftinsure celebrates GP14 Anniversary
A partner of the Association since 2012 but the connection goes back much further Congratulations to the GP14 Class on reaching 70 this year and in such great shape! Craftinsure is proud to have been a partner of the Association since 2012 but our connection goes back much further... Posted on 27 Mar
The best of the last 10 years at Looe Sailing Club
Must-watch video with start line chaos, massive waves, crazy capsizes and mast failures! Most-watch video from Looe Sailing Club in the UK, including an Enterprise pin end start that went horribly wrong, a Redwing dinghy on a screaming reach with a wet conclusion and a Laser tack around the mark causing much laughter! Posted on 23 Mar
In conversation with Steve Cockerill
An in-depth discussion with the top dinghy sailor and Rooster founder Mark Jardine chats with Steve about his own youth sailing, the changes which happened recently in the RYA Youth system and squads, coaching in the sport, becoming a sailor for life, his own dinghy sailing and a bit about Rooster, the company he founded! Posted on 12 Mar
Returning Tallulah win 2020 Concours d'Elegance
Stunning Scorpion at the RYA Dinghy Show 2020 The 2020 Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy Show has been awarded to the Scorpion Tallulah, owned by Jerry Hannibus. Posted on 29 Feb
GP14 End of Season Championship at Welsh Harp
Summer long gone and nothing pleasantly autumnal The weather was miserable! Summer long gone and nothing pleasantly autumnal. Monsoon season perhaps? And on the first day of the Championships the low pressure system that had been driving the wind all week was having a rest day. Posted on 29 Oct 2019
Tips for sailing with a young crew
What is different when racing with kids between the age of 6 and 12 Here are some top tips on sailing with young people. The guide covers boat set up, jobs for the crew, sailing techniques, kit and incentives. It is written from the experience of several people who have sailed with kids between the age of 6 and 12. Posted on 25 Oct 2019
Chase Brothers successful 24hr Race Charity Sail
Raising over £1,700 for charity One month on from sailing the 53rd West Lancs YC 24 Hour Race on their own and two brothers from The Chase Sailing Club have raised over £1,700 for charity. Posted on 23 Oct 2019
GP14 Masters & Youth Championship
Bassenthwaite microclimate defies forecast A select group of nine masters and four youths arrived at Bass SC eager to get sailing in the continuing Indian summer conditions of the Lake District. There were clear blue skies, and a warm south easterly wind to greet sailors. Posted on 4 Oct 2019