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Marlow Ropes Tipsy Icicle Series at Leigh & Lowton Sailing Club - Day 11

by Richard Catchpole 19 Mar 02:48 PDT 17 March 2019

A spectacular day to sign off on the Marlow Ropes Tipsy Icicle Series!

After the howling gales of the previous week caused racing to be abandoned, sailors attending the final day of the Marlow Tipsy Icicle Series were treated to a hard but satisfying day's sailing to finish with. Gusts of 30 knots were recorded by Peter Baldwin's race team with the first race generally in the 18 knot range turning down a notch or two in the afternoon to finish at 13 knots, even dropping to 8 knots for one lap in the last race.

Not surprisingly there were no recalls all day long as competitors were more concerned with keeping their masts above water and dealing with some large oscillating windshifts and cat's paw gusts.

The first race for the Lasers found Garry Knott (Pennine) taking control once again, with Neil Skellam (LLSC) and Patrick Hamilton (Burwain) given him some close attention. In race 2, with Garry buried mid-fleet, the leaders decided to go on a different course to the one set by the OOD oops! This allowed Garry and the rest of the fleet to overtake. The third race was a little lighter, and although Garry was again dominant, this time Bill Busby (LLSC) claimed second spot, followed home by Patrick. Garry stamped his authority on this fleet from the start and even had the luxury of discarding some first places in his series victory.

Going into the final weekend Mark Platt (Bolton) in his Supernova and Steve Blackburn (LLSC) in his Streaker were the two in contention for the title in the Handicap fleet. Mark laid down the gauntlet with a 1,2 in the first two races, leaving Steve needing to win the last race to win overall. In the event the Supernovas demonstrated their superiority in the conditions as Andy Flitcroft (Bolton) beat both of them to another race win in the series. Gareth Williams (LLSC) finished the series strongly with a 2,2, but it wasn't enough to get on the podium overall. So Mark Platt won by 2 points after some really good tussles in the series.

The Asymmetric Fleet had some spectacular racing with the lead changing on a regular basis, gains to be made upwind and downwind on the windshifts and gusts. Ben Williamson/Jon Willars (Welton) sailed some excellent upwind legs to take the first race, with Richard Catchpole/Gary Coop (LLSC), Dave Exley/Nigel Hall (LLSC) and Chris Pickles/Mark Lunn (LLSC) having a high-speed last mark jousting match before finishing in that order. Catchpole/Coop took the next by half a boat-length from Exley/Hall, while Hamish Gledhill/Martin Spencer (West Riding) had led for much of the race. In the last Exley/Hall showed us why they deserved the series win, grinding down a healthy Pickles/Lunn lead to take them on the final lap. Caroline Exley/Andy Dawson (LLSC) wrapped up a third place.

Not many Solos braved the conditions, understandably. Geoff Edwards (Budworth), coming late to the series, dominated the day with three bullets. Tom Weiz (LLSC) and Steve Ferrington (West Kirby) shared out the 2nd places. Phil Barnes had already wrapped up the series, sailing superbly throughout the early part of the series.

It was all to play for this weekend in the juniors, albeit with Optimist Ben Welfare (LLSC) ruled out of the running through zone squad commitments. In the event Thomas Link (LLSC) won two of the races to take the overall series victory from Daisy Fisher (Hollingworth) and Megan Greaves (Elton). Megan had the better results of the two of them on the day but not enough to topple Daisy. In Race 2 Thomas led the fleet around the wrong marks the others followed like sheep and all competitors lost that race to a DSQ. Fortunately, the error didn't impact the overall results and Thomas ran out a worthy winner of the series.

The club also said a fond farewell to its catering team, who have fed and watered our winter sailors for twelve years straight we will miss you and your cakes! The new team will take charge this coming weekend.

Full results can be found at

A series survey can be found below where LLSC is looking for feedback about the series to help us work out any improvements for future years:

Despite the various weather disruptions, this brings a good Marlow Tipsy Icicle Series to its conclusion - many thanks to our sponsors for their support, along with the excellent photographs from Gerard van den Hoek through the series.

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