A fantastic weekend of racing, with a social to match, took place over the weekend of 13 -14th of September.
Early arrivals on Friday afternoon were seen taking advantage of a some fine light air A rig sailing conditions, not normally associated with Fleetwood, under sunny skies with Brad Gibson heading up some informal coaching of the 10 or so boats on hand. From there it was an informal gathering in the town centre at the ‘Thomas Drummond’ where skippers did their best to sample their way through the 10 differing Gin’s on offer and a few quiet ale’s over a meal.
Saturday dawned with the faintest of breezes from the East testing the resolve of all 29 skippers. Two fleets were sailed throughout the day and despite the best efforts of the sea breeze to make an appearance, it was light air going for the duration where PRO Chris Harris and his team made the best job of what was available getting 9 completed races in. On the results sheet Brad owned the day with a clear win, from French visitor Laurent Gerbeaud, with Tony Guerrier having a fine day to take third place.
In true Fleetwood tradition, a fantastic meal and social was organised by President Derek Priestley and wife Maureen who saw everyone well fed, the rest of GB’s Vin Rouge polished off and another challenging quiz added to the fun of the night. From there a few kicked on in the Mount to top off the day.
Come Sunday, the 30 skippers entered arrived to a light South Easterly that was predicted to straighten down the lake and increase in strength. True to prediction, by the first race skippers found themselves in mid to high-ish end A rig conditions with a beat up the full length of the lake with enough small shifts to be on the right or wrong side of providing a true test of boat and skipper. As the day wore on, the occasional gusts saw some skippers enjoy results with B rigs but it was the leading group of Brad, Martin Roberts and Robert Walsh who continued at the sharp end with some fast top end A rig sailing. With Martin back racing the famous pink 55, the battle between himself and BG was a cracking one and but for a few radio glitches could have gone either way. The wrap up had Brad taking the win from Martin, with Rob back in 3rd.
Over the course of the 2 days, there were some very good performances and individual high points. Phil Holiday showed some impressive light air form on Saturday, along with Tony Guerrier, John Shorrock and Tony Edwards racing the pimped Paradox. On Sunday it was newcomers Tracey Ballington, Peter Ferguson and Graham Whalley showing just how quickly they were coming to grips with the class by edging closer to A fleet throughout the day. Roy Stevens, Derek Priestley, Nigel Winkley, Terry Rensch and Victoria Gibson all had some strong A fleet finishes, enjoying the stronger going. In all we had 7 new Marblehead skippers race over the weekend and look forward to the next time we do it all again.
A big thank you to the Fleetwood Club and its members, along with our Race team of Chris Harris, Mark Dicks, Sarah Connor and Damian Ackroyd for the fun.
Link to pictures from Damian Ackroyd here
Link to pictures from Tim Lanigan here