This has meant no result was certain until the finish line was crossed. Even then, as is the nature of handicap racing, slower boats could finish in a burst of speed or become becalmed whilst the clock ticked on.
The results at the second event at the picturesque Burwain Sailing Club were dominated by Ian Jones in his Laser where he took three firsts. Ian managed to find wind and the right shifts all day even in the last race after he had hit the committee boat on the start line! The only other consistent boat all day was Dave Woodhead in a Solo who was never out of the top three.
The nature of the day meant some pretty erratic results for most, nevertheless the front runners in the series all managed to pull together two countable results. This gave Mark Platt, the first of the Bolton S C Supernovas 3rd place, just beating fellow Bolton Supernova sailor Andy Flitcroft. Last years series winner Mark Fearnley in his Blaze came next followed by the 3rd Bolton Supernova Tony Critchley.
The three Supernovas mentioned look strong contenders to win the series club prize ( top 3 boats from one club) as they are never out of the leading pack in any race.
It was to their home club, Bolton Sailing Club, that this sailing circus of over 50 year olds next met up to do battle. Perched high on the moors Bolton is rarely without wind. However the visit coincided with one of these rare occasions.
This series is now in its eighth year and, quite noticeably, there are some new youngsters just turned 50, who are starting to show up and bring a very competitive edge to the racing. So this year we have welcomed top Laser sailor Ian Jones and at Bolton more newcomers arrived with a reputation for sailing performance in the form of Paul and Karen Brotherton sailing a delightful vintage National Twelve.
This event was far from the walkover that Ian had enjoyed at Burwain. At Bolton we had three different race winners and only one point separated the first four boats with places second to fourth decided on a 3 way tie break.
Out of this highly competitive fleet it was Mark Platt who emerged as the overall winner, perhaps aided by some local knowledge? At least he knew his way round because to this observer the course looked very confusing at times!
A former front runner in previous years making a return after time off, Darren Nield from Elton Sailing Club in his Solo took second place ahead of fellow Solo sailor Richard Catchpole (Leigh and Lowton S C). Ian Jones this time had to settle for fourth whilst Paul and Karen Brotherton in the National Twelve took fifth despite missing the last race. Tony Critchley and Andy Flitcroft followed in their Supernovas.
After three events 46 boats have now sailed in one or more of the series. There are another four events to go and at the moment Ian Jones has the lead but all that could change. In the other prize categories Richard Hemingway in a Solo is leading the veteran rankings whilst the first two handed boat is the RS 200 of Steve and Liz Marsh. The next event is Tuesday 3 July at Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club.