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Snipe Open and North West Championship 2023 at Budworth Sailing Club

by Matthew Wolstenholme 21 Sep 14:23 BST 16-17 September 2023
Snipe North West Championship at Budworth © Joanna Prestwich

Budworth Sailing Club welcomed us to their Open meeting and North West Championships on the 16th & 17th of September for the final event of the UK Snipe Calendar in 2023.

The Friday prior, a training clinic was held for the 8 boats who could attend with Neil Martin bringing his Pizza oven to supply us with a fantastic meal afterwards. 18 boats competed for the Championship with 6 travelers from Devon, Kent, and Wales joining the locals including John Love, a legend of the Snipe Fleet in his 90s sailing every race even after an overboard moment.

Race 1 got under way at 1 p.m. on Saturday in a Force 2 from the North East with (from my experience of Budworth in the past) relatively stable conditions for the mere. James Prestwich & Jo Howell led at the first mark after spotting a fantastic lift the rest of us missed. Phil & Emma Hackney led the early laps after passing James & Jo on the run but it was incredibly close between the top 4 with many position changes. Neil & Jenny Martin eventually pipped them to the win with the juniors James Alexander & Finley Waterhouse starting with a strong podium as they start their practice for the Junior World Championship in Miami next year.

Race 2 after lunch had Eric Paalman & Aylish MacKenzie find their form and led from the start ahead of Peter Wolstenholme & Lloyd Roberts. The battle was incredibly close between the two of them with Eric & Aylish holding them off with never more than a few boat lengths between them until the final 50 yards when Peter & Lloyd found a shift that took a few seconds longer to get to Eric & Aylish allowing them to slip past for the win. Team Miami with another well-constructed race rounding out the top three. Peter & Lloyd again won Race 3, holding off Mark & Tracy Antonelli and Eric & Aylish after some pressure in the early laps.

Saturday night's meal was a group effort by the hosts with many of the sailors, supporters, and shore crew contributing to the fantastic meal with a buffet of starters and dessert with numerous main options available from the galley. As usual in the Snipe fleet, the club bar had a successful evening and a late night was had by many. (Apologies to anyone we woke up with our 4.30 a.m. antics)

A super juniors race was held on Sunday morning where some of our younger sailors got the opportunity to race crewed by their parents or another experienced helm, won for the second year running by Freya Antonelli. Congrats Freya!

Sunday was forecast to have more wind but did not immediately deliver, Race 4 started in similar conditions to Day 1 but with the wind further to the east, giving us a longer beat straight down the lake. Peter & Lloyd, Neil & Jenny and Team Miami (who had done well to join the fight at the front from the first beat after being 10 seconds late to the start) had a very good fight at the front with multiple lead changes, all 3 of them leading at one point but eventually finishing in that order. With the wind starting to pick up towards the end of the Race, Matt Wolstenholme & Emma Curren were very pleased to join the top 4 (crossing ahead of all at one point) after being 50 seconds late at the start but had to settle for fourth after a mistake approaching the finish.

Race 5 retained the increased wind, now F3 gusting 4, which clearly excited the fleet with a first general recall of the event for the first start before the second got under way under black flag. Matt & Emma took the lead early on with Peter & Lloyd joining them at the front at the end of the first lap. A very close battle ensued with multiple place changes every beat between the two boats before Matt & Emma eventually won out by a couple of boat lengths. Mark & Tracy took the final spot on the podium.

Race 6 began after lunch, the wind had dropped back to a F2 changing the state of play once again. Eric & Aylish and Phil & Emma made the best of a slightly changed course as the wind had shifted all the way east to lead early on with Matt & Emma just behind. Into the last downwind, Neil & Jenny and James & Finley found a lovely wind lane to catch the lead boats, Neil & Jenny passed all three, making the most of the puff, to take a lead they'd hold onto up the final beat with Eric & Aylish second and James & Finley slipping through into third.

The wind was back up for the start of race 7, Matt & Emma took the lead up the second beat after an exciting mark rounding at the end of the previous leg. They held their lead to the finish but were chased all the way by Peter & Lloyd with Mark & Tracy completing the podium.

This left Peter & Lloyd as champions with a comfortable 7-point lead over Neil & Jenny with Matt & Emma 1 point further back, James & Finley were 1st Junior in 5th. Huge thank you to Budworth Sailing Club for hosting us for a fantastic event, all the on and off-the-water team who made the event possible, and especially Mark Antonelli for organising it and all the hard work he puts in for us as a fleet.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelm & CrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
130757Peter Wolstenholm & Lloyd RobertsBough Beach SC41112‑6211
23022Neil & Jenny MartinRoyal Menai15‑7241518
328541Matthew Wolstenholm & Emma CurranBough Beach SC‑545414119
430834Eric Paalman & Aylish MacKenzieBudworth SC‑723552623
580226James Alexander & Finley WaterhouseBudworth SC3363‑83826
630226Mark & Tracy AntonelliBudworth SC6‑72637327
730617Phil & Emma HackneyBudworth SC2‑84775429
89611Patrick Sarsfield & Nat PearsonBough Beach SC969‑1069746
930881Marco Ballatore & Pauline PennyBudworth SC898‑11910953
1029538Robin Mister & Stephany WardBudworth SC1414129108(DNF)67
1130316Liz & Thomas PikeBough Beach1310118(DNF)DNS1071
1229676Nigel Harrison & Andrew FullardBudworth SC121210‑1412131271
1329408John & Liz ReedBough Beach SC1011(DNF)1611141173
1430227James Prestwich & Jo HowellBudworth SC11‑15141213111576
1529677Katherine & David AlexanderBudworth SC15‑16131516121485
1629834Beth & George HolbrookBudworth SC‑1717151717161395
1728276John Love & Steve WilliamsBudworth SC(DNF)DNF17131415DNS97
1830315Brian Gregory & John PriceBough Beach SC1613161815(OCS)DNS97

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