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Border Counties Midweek Sailing at Shotwick Lake Sailing

by Dave Turtle 18 May 08:17 BST 14 May 2024

On Tuesday 14th May, Border Counties Midweek Sailing returned to its 'spiritual home' at Shotwick Lake, located just a few metres into Wales on the border with England. Fifteen visiting boats joined nine home boats to make a fantastic fleet of twenty-four representing a total of nine different clubs showing just how popular this event has become.

The dull and overcast start to the day did nothing to dampen the enthusiasm of the competitors with a good south-easterly breeze blowing across the lake and a very warm welcome by the host club. In fact, the rain soon cleared and the wind gradually built resulting in several "mishaps" but all-in-all a great day on the water.

Classes ranged in speed from a Topper at one end of the spectrum to a D-Zero at the other but this was not a problem due to the use of average lap times. It was great to see six double-handers competing, perhaps encouraged by the special prize presented to one of them at each event. Surprisingly, the four Miracles were the biggest fleet jointly with the Solos and Streakers.

The race team set an excellent course that provided competitive sailing for everybody and the start-lines were perfect which was particularly important with the short beats necessitated by the wind direction. Racing was keen throughout the fleet with plenty of place changes as fortunes changed in the challenging conditions.

However, the best part of the day for many was the lunch-break relaxing in the sunshine, catching up with old! friends and making new ones. This is a good point to give Dot a special mention and thank her for the delicious home-made cakes and drinks supplied throughout the day - it was worth coming just for the cake!

The competition was wide open with the final results only being decided after the all -important third race. No single person or class dominated the event with only one point separating the top four boats and count-back being necessary to split the second to fourth positions. Also, it was unusual to see nine different types of boat in the top ten!

The overall winner was Paul Newman from the home club in his Streaker, a great result considering the need for pain-killers due to a bad back (or perhaps that was the reason for his success?!). Paul's first win in a Border Counties event and well deserved, always in the leading pack and counting just three points and discarding a third place.

Second place went to the Mark Nield sailing a Laser (or should I say ILCA7?) with four points. He stuttered a little in the middle race with a ninth place which highlighted the importance of a clean start and good first beat, neither of which he had. However, Mark made a great recovery by winning the last race which gave him his best result of the series to date.

Last year's winner, Dave Turtle in his Comet, also on four points, had to settle for third. After a promising start, winning the first race, he gradually faded as the day wore on. It's uncertain whether it was due to the building breeze, old age or the extra piece of Victoria sponge for lunch.

Fourth overall was Commodore Jeremy Cooper, sailing his Lightning, also on four points. Surely one of the pre-race favourites after his recent open meeting successes at Winsford and Bartley, but it was not to be. Failure of the kicking strap moments before the start of the first race dashed any hope of an early success (there's probably a lesson there because the rope looked too thin to me?!). However, he followed up with two second places just missing out on a podium position.

Rounding off the top five was the Topper of Nayth Twiggs from Budworth. Nayth sailed impressively throughout the day and put together a consistent series of results including a fourth place. This earned him not only the honour of first Junior but also first "true" visitor.

The prize for first double-handed boat was hotly contested in every race by the leading Miracles and was eventually awarded to Simon and Julie who finished just ahead of Dave and Shan, both from the home club.

A great day on the water was rounded off by prize-giving outside of the clubhouse. Thanks go to Shotwick Lake Sailing for making it such a success, especially the Race and Safety teams and all the members who had given up their time to help. Also, a big "thank you" to Dave Thomas for continuing to organise the series and, of course, to all the competitors without which there wouldn't be a series.

Our next event is on Tuesday 11th June and we're going up in the world, literally! From the confines of Shotwick at sea-level to the 920 acres of Llyn Brenig at 1,200 feet, the highest club in Wales, so why not join us? Check the website below for further information.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1stSTREAKER1621Paul Newman Shotwick21‑33
2ndLASER/ ILCA 7189181Mark Nield Shotwick3‑914
3rdCOMET815Dave Turtle Shustoke13‑44
4thLIGHTNING 368410Jeremy Cooper Shotwick‑11224
5thTOPPER49191Nayth Twiggs Budworth‑745.59.5
6thSUPERNOVA1296Eric Haselden Winsford Flash4.5‑65.510
7thDEVOTI D Zero333Liz Potter West Kirby4.5‑10812.5
8thSOLO6107Ted Garner Budworth‑108715
9thSOLO5963Phil Snewin Chester‑97916
10thMIRACLE3520Simon DolmanJulie DolmanShotwick Lake‑12511.516.5
11thMIRACLE4103Dave ThomasShan StapleyShotwick8‑131321
12thSTREAKER1868Steve Bellamy Winsford Flash‑18121022
13thSTREAKER1785Dom Oakeshott Winsford Flash‑16.51111.522.5
14thBRITISH MOTH815Bill Webber Shropshire S C1315‑1628
15thSUPERNOVA1241Frank Lafferty Winsford Flash‑16.5141428
16thCOMET437Pete Chambers Winsford Flash6RET(DNC)30
17thSTREAKER2165Alexander Mill Winsford Flash‑21161531
18thSOLO5536Richard Wynn Budworth‑19171734
19thLASER/ ILCA 7203581Ian Duncan Shotwick Lake‑20191837
20thMIRACLE4108Geofrey WeirJim YoungShotwick‑22181937
21stGP1413813Peter ThomsDawn FrostNantwich14RET(DNC)38
22ndSOLO3871Phil Blakeman Redesmere15RET(DNC)39
23rdMIRACLE3597Neil WallaceSteve WallaceShotwick Lake2320(DNC)43
24thENTERPRISE22117Andy ClaySteph EdwardsShotwick Lake(RET)DNCDNC50

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