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GP14 Northern Bell Open at Budworth Sailing Club

by Paul Gray 9 Jun 21:08 PDT 2 June 2024

The night before an Open even tends to be a quiet affair, not at Budworth! We played host to an evening with Craig Mitchell who is an Umpire in the Sail GP series and we had 40 members and guests from the Open.

Whilst Craig was getting ready for the Canadian event we were able to have a live interview with him and get a glimpse behind the scenes and build up to the race. All monies raised were in aid of the RNLI where Nick Devereux is raising funds to support this important and worthwhile cause in memory of a friend.

Anticipation for this year's event was high after Budworth played host to the successful Northern Championship in 2023 and Budworth was able to attract 24 entries for this one day event. The weather forecast was for a good F3 with F4 gusts from a westerly wind, which brought with it plenty of blue skies - a glorious start to the summer.

The home fleet of Budworth was further bolstered by a few of the participants from the preceding GP14 Youth Nationals at Winsford Flash SC, where Budworth performed extremely well with a 1,2,3 win. Alas with it being exam season, a number had to get back to the books!

After arrival and boat set up, competitors took full advantage of the Galley being specially opened for breakfast with bacon and egg baps to get everyone fueled and ready for the day followed by the morning briefing by our PRO for the day - Jon Chapman.

The course was set on the shore so everyone knew the layout before racing to get to the start line and the first Race. First to the mark was Chris Hearn and his crew Matt Birks who put in a great first leg to jump the assembled competitors. The gusts strengthened and shifted hard and this caught a few boats out causing at least 5 capsizes creating a slalom at some marks and an upturned boat had 'turtled' on the finish line, which made for some interesting rounding at the last mark to get the angles right to attack the finish. Russell and Ali Cormack (Budworth SC) made the most of their local knowledge to take the first place, quickly followed by Nick Devereux and his father Hugh (Budworth SC) in second and third place was taken by Mark Platt and Chris Jobson (Bolton SC) who had a slow start in the middle of the pack, but showed their quality to battle back up the fleet.

After a delicious lunch from the Galley and copious amounts of tea and sun cream - the sun was really beating down by now, Race 2 got under way without a hitch. This time Mark Platt got away cleanly from the start and dominated the race to finish first, with Nick Devereux in second and Russell Cormack in third. Further down the fleet there were plenty of battles taking place with Bill Kenyon and Matt Williams (Budworth SC) picking up two places to finish fourth and father and son team Chris and Angus Gill (Budworth SC) trading places with several boats but then had a fantastic third lap to gain two places into 12th position proving that gains can be made right up to the last. The gusts continued to prove troublesome at the gybe marks with a spectacular capsize from Paddy and Liam (Bolton SC) but the crew kept their head and soon righted the boat to continue safely on their way.

After two closely fought races, the top three were all equal with 4 points and one last race to go... it couldn't be closer if we tried especially as one race was to discard. So a straight shot out between Mark Platt, Nick Devereux and Russell Cormack was about to play out in Race 3.

The starting hooter went and the whole fleet jostled for position to get some advantage in the shifting Budworth winds and it was tight racing for the first 2-3 minutes until the fleet started to separate. Russell took the first mark and held on for the first lap with Mark in hot pursuit. Nick had a slower start and was battling from 5th position to make up water on the lead two. At the end of lap 2 Mark had overtaken Russell for the top spot whilst Nick gained a place to move up to 4th. Julie Waddington (Bolton SC) was then holding onto third with Nick pushing through and finally grabbing third spot by the end of lap 3. Mark had managed to hold off Russell to finish first and in doing so claimed overall first for the event, with Russell in second and Nick in third.

After a quick shower the bar was packed for the prize-giving ceremony where Mark Platt and Chris Jobson were presented with the Budworth plate for winning the event and Mark gave a short speech to thank the team behind the event and other competitors. Mark also noted that after the event at Budworth there were close to 100 competitors to have taken part in the Northern Bell series, demonstrating the strength of competition in this series and great participation as we approach the Worlds in August this year. The PRO and galley team did a great job and were also thanked for their contributions to running the event.

Silver fleet was won by Julie and Chris Waddington with Bronze fleet trophy to Chris and Angus Gill.

First female helm was won by Julie Waddington, Youngest competitor was Ishan Tekur (10 yrs) from Budworth SC and the Belly up prize for best capsize to Paddy Lambton/ Liam Dempsey.

There were plenty smiles and tired limbs after a hard day's racing - with the sun shining and great wind all day. We couldn't have asked for more.

Overall Results:

PosFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1Gold14217Mark PlattChris JobsonBolton SC(3)112
2Gold14240Russell CormackAli CormackBudworth SC1(3)23
3Gold1372Nick DevereuxHugh DevereuxBudworth SC22(3)4
4Gold14140Bill KenyonMatt WilliamsBudworth SC44(5)8
5Silver14187Julie WaddingtonChris WaddingtonBolton SC6(9)410
6Gold13875Simon JoyceSteve JoyceBudworth SC55(7)10
7Gold13966Gary HowlandRosanna JoyceBudworth SC(8)7613
8Silver13611Sharon FreelandPaul FreelandLlandegfedd Lake SC(11)8614
9Silver13567Kieron InmanPaul JenkinsWest Kirby SC(9)8917
10Silver13721Ross BairdMatthew BairdBudworth SC(12)111021
11Silver14112David MorrisDan HambletonBudworth SC(13) 101121
12Silver13979Mike MartinNina MartinBudworth SC10(13)1222
13Bronze13732Chris GillAngus GillBudworth SC(DSQ)121325
14Bronze13959Montri BursseleursJo HowellBudworth SC(14)141428
15Bronze13489Liam DempseyPatrick LambtonBolton SC15(16)1530
16Bronze13883Paul GrayJames HughesBudworth SC1615(17)31
17Silver14251Chris HearnMatt BirksBudworth SC7(DNS)DNS32
18Bronze14208Simon HenshallSavannah HenshallBudworth SC1717(19)34
19Bronze13612James LawlorJessica PriceBudworth SC(DNF)191635
20Bronze14210Tom LentonIago HughesBudworth SC(DSQ)181836
21Bronze13419Robert BaileySarah RobertsBudworth SC(DNF)20DNS45
22Bronze13817David BeesleyTBCBudworth SCDNCDNC(DNC)50
23Bronze13905Davd RotherhamPeter MillsBudworth SC(DNF)DNSDNS50
24Bronze13874Pavan TekurIshan TekurBudworth SC(DNF)DNSDNS50

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