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Lakeland & Borders ILCA Grand Prix Series 2023

by Greg Liggins 30 Oct 2023 17:25 GMT

The 2023 Lakeland & Borders ILCA/Laser Grand Prix series took in a total of 12 venues (with a further planned event at Beadnell cancelled in advance due to high winds). Just under 130 different competitors took part in one or more events, with Blackpool & Fleetwood YC taking the prize for most entries with 26 at their open.

A very light wind event at Killington SA was won by Ian Jones, perennial winner of the Northern GP series, followed by victory also at Blackpool.

High winds at St Mary's Loch SC saw Roo Purves take victory in a ILCA6. After three events, Tim Keighley had scored two second places, Greg Liggins two thirds, to go with Ian's two wins from three.

Very light winds at Annandale saw Gordon Riddell score an event win and cement his overall series credentials after a second at Killington. Greg did the same by taking victory at Bassenthwaite.

Tynemouth saw a strong turnout and a great home boat contingent. Very strong winds and a late thunderstorm provided a true test of endurance, with local Rob Holmes proving untouchable in the conditions.

Ian Jones again graced the series at Ullswater and stormed to victory, and by winning the next event at Coniston, secured his status as 2023 Champion with four events still to go. Tim and Gordon took second and third respectively at both events to give each a solid set of series results overall.

Greg and Stuart Belfield dualled it out at Kielder Water SC with Greg prevailing for his second event win of the year. George Colquitt won at Leigh & Lowton and Finlay Train at Solway YC.

With Ian having already secured first place, the next three places were to be decided at the series finale at Derwent Reservoir SC, with a point between Greg, Tim and Gordon. An epic day of racing in a fleet-decimating strong winds was a befitting way to decide matters. As he did at Tynemouth, Rob Holmes stamped his authority in the conditions by taking the event victory. With the overall contenders not able to improve on earlier series results, the series top 6 remained unchanged.

Thanks to both Richard Benson who has stepped up as series organiser this year, and Myles Ripley who retired from the role after a number of years. The series is friendly and welcoming to all ages, rigs and skillsets. Sailors who are interested in taking part and would like more information are encouraged to please contact us via the Facebook page (search 'Lakeland and Border ILCA Grand Prix'). Clubs in the region with an ILCA fleet who would be interested in hosting an event in the series, please contact Richard Benson to arrange a date.

Overall Results: (top six)

1st: Ian Jones (Dovestone SC)
2nd: Greg Liggins (Derwent Reservoir SC)
3rd: Tim Keighley (West Riding SC)
4th: Gordon Riddell (Delph SC)
5th: Stuart Belfield (Leigh & Lowton SC)
6th: Sian Riddell (Delph SC)

Full series results can be found here.

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