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Border Counties Midweek Series at Chester Sailing & Canoeing Club

by Mike Harvey 20 Jul 12:07 BST 29 June 2021
Border Counties Midweek Series at Chester Sailing & Canoeing Club © Mike Harvey

It was with great pleasure that I welcomed Eric and Julie Haselden, Martin Loud and Pete Coop from Winsford Flash SC, Dave Thomas, Jim Young, Jeremy Cooper and Dave Turtle from Shotwick Lake and Ted Garner from Budworth SC together with 6 of our own Chester sailors.

The day started a bit on the cool side, overcast with a slight drizzle. Gates were opened at 8am with the first competitors arriving shortly afterwards. As we were in the midst of the Covid pandemic the ritual of sign in and hand sanitiser procedure had to be gone through by everyone attending.

While boats were being unpacked and set up the Chester team were laying out the course on the river (we don't have the luxury of leaving the buoys out permanently).

The weather started to improve, the sun came out and at 10:30 the commodore, Mike Harvey, called everyone together to welcome them to our club. Mike explained that last January we have experienced one of the worst river floods for decades which resulted in over 2 feet of water in the club house and consequently we were still in the middle of repairing the damage. So we would be doing everything manually (no Sailwave) just old-fashioned pen and paper (race sheets) and calculator. Following the now customary reminder of Covid restrictions, Mike pointed out some of the obstacles which sailors could expect to encounter while on the water. Large and small motor boats, paddle boarders, rowers and canoeists. And, of course, the river current also had to be taken into consideration.

Dave Harrison (sailing secretary) then went through the briefing and as no-one had been put off by then we started our first race at 11.00 with 14 boats out on the water. The clouds had lifted, the sun was shining and the wind was up and it really was a great sight to see so many boats out on the water. From my vantage point in the OD hut, I could also see that there was a large dose of competitiveness out there as well.

After 45 minutes and 3 laps of the course, the first boat to finish was Supernova 1168 (Pete Coop) closely followed by Enterprise 23138 (Pete Blundell and Jacky Finch) and Streaker 1926 (Dave Turtle). The corrected times put Pete Blundell (Enterprise) (1), Jeremy Cooper (Lightning) (2) and Dave Turtle (Streaker) (3).

As the sailing conditions were getting better the OD decided to run the second race back-to-back and sounded the 5 at 11:50. Again there were 14 boats lined up and no false starts. Racing was tight with the Supernova (Pete Coop) leading from the start, closely followed by the Solo (Ted Garner) and the Albacore of (Eric and Julie Haselden) in close contention. After 4 laps and 50 minutes of racing, the Supernova crossed the line first, the Solo (Ted) second, with the Albacore third, Dave (Streaker) fourth and Phil Snewin (Solo) fifth. The corrected time put Ted Garner (Solo) first, Dave Turtle (Streaker) second and Jeremy Cooper (Lightning) in third place.

There was then a welcome break for lunch and a rest with tea and coffee supplied. A great chance to soak up the sunshine, enjoy the company and discuss the challenges of river sailing!

Race three started promptly at 13.45 with a course change as the wind direction had changed from NW to NNW. Again 14 boats headed for the start line and all were away first time. The wind was blowing at an average of 9 mph and boat position were constantly changing. Within the 45 minutes allotted time 12 boats finished completing 5 laps with 2 boats retiring.

Pete Coop (Supernova) crossed the line first followed by Dave Turtle (Streaker) second and Eric and Julie Haselden (Albacore) third. The corrected times put Dave Turtle (Streaker) first, Pete Coop (Supernova) second and Ted Garner (Solo) in third place.

The final results (3 races, 2 to count) were Dave Turtle (Streaker) first, Ted Garner (Solo) second and Jeremy Cooper (Lightning) third. All were rewarded with a bottle of wine. The above results were subsequently confirmed when all the data was put through Sailwave (Phew!!)

Mike thanked everyone for coming to sail at Chester and a special thanks to Dave and Dave who have put their time and effort into organising the series.

The next event of the Border Counties Midweek series is at Nantwich on Tuesday 27th July. Entry on the day (just £5 per boat) but please be aware that there is a lot of weed in the lake at present that may create a further challenge!

Please look at our website for more information or send us an email.

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Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stSTREAKER1926Dave Turtle Shotwick Lake‑3213
2ndSOLO5016Ted Garner Budworth SC‑6134
3rdLIGHTNING 368410Jeremy Cooper Shotwick Lake23‑65
4thSUPERNOVA1168Pete Coop Winsford Flash SC‑5426
5thENTERPRISE23138Pete BlundellJackyChester16‑87
6thSOLO5286Phil Proctor Chester‑7549
7thSOLO5963Phil Snewin Chester4‑959
8thALBACORE8065Eric HaseldenJulie HaseldenWinsford Flash SC‑117714
9thCOMET705Martin Loud Winsford Flash SC88‑1116
10thENTERPRISE23050Mike MadocksCarys DoneChester10‑11919
11thLASER RADIAL8Jim Young Shotwick Lake910(RET)19
12thENTERPRISE22688Dave ThomasShan StapleyShotwick Lake‑13121022
13thLASER/ ILCA 7126078Bill Johnson Chester12‑131224
14thENTERPRISE22954Andy ClayBeth SneeChester14(RET)RET29