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Border Counties midweek sailing at Chester Sailing and Canoe Club

by Dave Turtle 21 Jun 2023 15:23 BST 6 June 2023
Close racing on the first lap - Border Counties midweek sailing at Chester © Brian Herring

"When the weather is fine then you know it's a sign for messing about on the river...."

The third round of the very successful Border Counties Midweek Sailing series was held on Tuesday the 6th June on the river at Chester. There were seventeen boats of all shapes and sizes ranging from a Topper to an RS100 together with a large group of helpers and supporters that led to a great atmosphere for the day.

The sun was shining and there was a pleasant easterly breeze which, to be fair, is not the best direction for Chester being sheltered by a high bank of properties and trees on that side. However, the race team did an excellent job and managed three exciting races along the length of the river directly outside of the club.

The starts were especially challenging, considering the number of boats, and "clear wind" was at a premium. Other obstacles for the competitors included large pleasure craft, rowing skiffs and paddleboards. A further complication was the reversal of flow in the last race when the high tide topped the weir!

After a short postponement for the wind to settle, the first race was away with Andy Todd in the RS100 and Dave Turtle in a Comet setting the pace. These two held on to the lead until the final lap when Pete Coop, the series leader, in his Supernova overhauled them to take line honours. However, after handicap adjustments Dave was first, Pete second and Andy third.

The fleet then returned to shore for a leisurely lunch in the sunshine before back-to-back races in the afternoon.

Race two followed the same course although the start line had been adjusted that caught-out a few unwary sailors. Again, the start and first few marks were crucial to a good result. This time Andy established an early lead that he held to the finish which resulted in a well earned fourth place on handicap. The race was won again by Dave in the Comet closely followed by the Solos of Ted Garner and Bill Webber.

With first overall already decided, the third race was focussed on the battle for second. Pete in the Supernova looked to be well in control only to become becalmed in the middle of the course allowing the slower boats to catchup as the breeze filled in. Ted was getting to grips with the challenging conditions and took the race win and second overall. Mark Nield in a Laser had his best race of the day finishing second, which moved him up to fourth overall just ahead of Andy in the RS100.

However, it's not all about the winning (?!) and there were many friendly battles throughout the fleet with no position safe until the very end. It was great to see five double-handed boats competing with the prize for the day going to Peter Blundell and Jacky in an Enterprise.

Many thanks to everybody at Chester Sailing and Canoeing Club for making us so welcome and hosting such a pleasant day sailing on the river. The day was made more special by the generous sponsorship of PHP Projects who covered the entrance fees and provided prizes.

Our next event provides a complete contrast in sailing conditions and is at the ever-popular Bala on 11th July. This is closely followed on 25th July by Llyn Brenig, the highest club in Wales at 365m above sea level, which is a new venue for us.

Contact for the series:
Series website: bordercountiesmidweeksailing.wordpress.com

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stCOMET815Dave Turtle Shustoke11‑42
2ndSOLO5016Ted Garner Budworth‑10213
3rdSUPERNOVA1281Pete Coop Winsford2‑735
4thLASER/ ILCA 7189181Mark Nield Shotwick Lake‑5527
5thRS 100 8.4360Andy Todd Bala34‑57
6thSOLO5154Bill Webber Shropshire S C‑6369
7thCOMET311Steve Bellamy Winsford Flash4‑9913
8thENTERPRISE23138Peter BlundellJackyChester86‑1114
9thSUPERNOVA1296Eric Haseldon Winsford‑98715
10thSTREAKER1621Paul Newman Shotwick Lake7‑12815
11thTOPPER48258Nayth Kukla Winsford‑12101020
12thENTERPRISE23137Wally RileyLesley RileyChester1111(DNC)22
13thENTERPRISE22688Dave ThomasShan StapleyShotwick Lake13‑151225
14thSOLO5536Richard Wynn Budworth‑14131326
15thCOMET690Carl Ellis Winsford1614(DNC)30
16thGP1413834Mike HarveyReg BinnersleyChester15‑161530
17thGP1413711Dave HarrisonDuncan CourtChester‑17171431

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