Please select your home edition
Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Lightning 368 Noble Marine Insurance Travellers Trophy Series at Aldridge Sailing Club

by John Butler 4 Oct 2020 21:16 BST 3 October 2020

The weather forecast was for an extremely wet and windy weekend, and Storm Alex certainly put some visitors off travelling, whilst others were prevented by local lockdown measures in North Wales from making the journey down to the diminutive lake called "The Swag", home of Aldridge SC near Walsall in the West Midlands.

In the end seven Lightning 368 sailors contested the Open Meeting, with 4 visitors joining the locals for a "drownathon", with force 2-3 winds and occasional savage force 4 gusts.

Race 1

Mervyn Berry and John Butler led away from the port end of the start line, crossing the rest, but Caroline Hollier soon overtook John before the windward mark with Jason Gallagher in hot pursuit.

Mervyn held onto the lead, but Caroline's superior downwind speed on the run meant that she closed on Mervyn, whilst Jason got past John at the turning mark. Once past Mervyn, Caroline drew well clear, leaving Jason & Mervyn dicing for second, with Jason eventually getting ahead, but Caroline was out of sight at this stage.

Race 2

John Butler again had a decent start leading up the majority of the 1st leg, but overstood the windward mark letting Caroline and Jason through. Mervyn took John on the reach to the turning mark, and the race looked to be a typical procession at this point.

Caroline went clear, and Mervyn was catching Jason fast on the run. On the next lap Mervyn caught Jason on starboard and Jason hit the mark whilst taking avoiding action. Meanwhile, up front Caroline succumbed to a strong gust and capsized, allowing all the chasing bunch to get past except John.

Whilst Jason was doing his penalty turn, Caroline got past him again and she closed fast on Mervyn on the final run, but he held his nerve to take his maiden win in a Lightning competition, although there was only a second or two in it at the end.

Race 3

Mervyn Berry & local Jim Griffin both had superb port tack starts, with Mervyn consolidating his lead for a complete lap, initially ahead of Jim, with Bryan Westley third.

Jason made short work of the two immediately in front, and rapidly pulled through to second. At the gybe mark, the wind had again increased and Mervyn did a spectacular "splat" capsize whilst attempting to gybe, embedding his mast in the black silt of the lake.

Jason carried on past the upside down Mervyn without gybing, with Jim still in contention, and Caroline steadily making up ground from a long way back to take advantage of Mervyn's misfortune, then passing Jim, who dropped into third.

Mervyn, sporting a very muddy sail, never got back in contention to put Jim under pressure, so the order was maintained to the finish with Jason well ahead of Caroline in the end.

Thanks go to Rear Commodore Sue Cornes and her "drowned rat" race team in what were really challenging conditions.

Overall Results:

1stCaroline HollierWest Oxfordshire SC1‑223
2ndJason GallagherDenholme SC2‑313
3rdMervyn BerryChase SC31‑44
4thJohn ButlerSutton‑in‑Ashfield SC54‑69
4thTom TaylorAldridge SC45(DNC)9
6thBryan WestleyAldridge SC‑66511
6thJim GriffinAldridge SC(DNC)DNC311

Related Articles

Noble Marine 2021 Lightning 368 Travellers Series
42 qualifying races at twelve locations The Noble Marine Insurance 2021 Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series took place over 42 qualifying races at twelve locations, with one cancelled event due to low water levels at Shotwick Lake SC. Posted on 23 Nov
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Rum & Mince Pie Open
A record season's turnout of 21 boats at West Oxfordshire Sailing Club The season ending finale of the Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series took place on 13th November at West Oxfordshire SC in what is affectionally known as the "Rum & Mince Pie", and yes, rum & mince pies were on offer! Posted on 15 Nov
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Open at Hunts
A gusty and shifty event for the fleet The weather reports in the preceding week looked so bad it was questionable whether this meeting would go ahead but with the worst of the wind pushing back to Sunday 9 visitors made the trek to Hunts for what was going to be a gusty and shifty open. Posted on 3 Nov
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Inlands at Chase
Some dramatic reversals of fortune across the whole day 11 visitors joined the 4 home boats for another race day of lightish & shifty winds at this superb Midlands venue, which led to some dramatic reversals of fortune across the whole day. Posted on 20 Oct
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Open at Haversham
Ten boats arrive despite the fuel hysteria Held over a weekend when fuel supply hysteria hit the UK, the Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Haversham Open meeting took place on Saturday 25th September at Haversham Lake north of Milton Keynes, with 10 boats contesting the event. Posted on 28 Sep
Lightning 368s at Sutton-in-Ashfield
Eight helms for Noble Marine Travellers event Six visiting Lightning 368 sailors from as far away as Essex & Cheshire joined two locals for the Sutton in Ashfield SC Open Meeting in Nottinghamshire on Sunday 12th September, part of the Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series. Posted on 13 Sep
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Travellers at Oxford
Returning to Farmoor Reservoir after a few years break A bright Bank Holiday weekend saw the Lightning 368s return, after a few years break, to Oxford SC on Farmoor Reservoir for the next round of their 2021 Travellers Series. Posted on 2 Sep
Lightning 368 Travellers Series at Up River YC
Penny Yarwood wins, taking Southern Championship title too With local sailors having taken the first four places in the 2021 Nationals, eight visitors were attracted to join the nine home boats for the racing, and it was great to see four local boats out with junior helms who were still classified as children! Posted on 25 Aug
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Open at Cookham Reach
Part of the 2021 Travellers Trophy Series Seven visitors joined eight locals for the Cookham Reach SC Open Meeting, part of the 2021 Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Travellers Trophy Series. Posted on 28 Jul
Noble Marine Lightning 368 Sea Championship
Held during the Lymington Dinghy Regatta The Noble Marine Insurance Lightning 368 Sea Championships took place on 3rd & 4th July as part of the Lymington Dinghy Regatta in 12 to 25 knot winds and lumpy sea conditions that proved challenging for all the competitors. Posted on 10 Jul