Twenty two boats took to the water for a superb days sailing on Tuesday 7 May. The day was all about getting in phase with the windshifts upwind and seeking out the extra patches of pressure downwind. For these over 50 year olds, brought up sailing on northern reservoirs this was run of the mill stuff.
Race one set the scene for the day: It was always going to be about whether the RS400 of Graham Clow and Tony Wright (Delph SC) Supernova of Tony Critchley (Bolton SC) and Albacore of Darren and Joe Nield (Elton SC) could get far enough into the lead to beat the leading Solos and Graduate on handicap.
In Race one just as Tony Critchley looked like he had done enough to secure victory a sudden and monumental header saw him desperately attempting to scramble back into the boat without success. Despite a quick recovery it gave the race to the leading Solo sailed by Dave Woodhead (Elton S C) followed by the Nield's Albacore and the second Solo, Dave Eccles (Leigh and Lowton S C) Tony recovered to 4th.
Race 2 saw a similar pattern established, but this time Tony managed to stay in the boat and take the race followed again by the consistent Nields in their Albacore. (Quite remarkable that in a series for over 50 year olds there is a father and son combination sailing!)
Dave Woodhead led the slower handicap boats in to take 3rd and the Graduate of Dave Ivins and Lesley Johnson (Bolton SC) took 4th.It was down to race 3 to settle the event between the Supernova, Albacore and leading Solo. In the end Dave Woodhead managed to keep the faster boats within range to take them on handicap in his Solo, with the Supernova second and Albacore third. The improving Graduate took 4th place.
Elsewhere in the fleet a group of Solos and another group of Miracles enjoyed close class racing within the bigger fleet, whilst a couple of Phantoms and RS200s showed some great boat speed at times.
Prizes were awarded to the first four with the sprightly 80 year old Joe Nield claiming the oldest sailor prize. He can put those a quarter of his age to shame when responding to those sudden windshifts!