Snipes race to the Queen Mary Scoring system which means the last day is a nail-biter as crews tussel for their final series places against their close fleet rivals. The Solo fleet have invited visitors to join in the club fleet racing after their open meeting on the Saturday 17th. Other fleets will also be expecting good turnouts as their series are being closely fought to the end. So all in all it’s going to be quite a day at Budworth SC on the 18th October. Even if you are not sailing it will be fun to watch.
Welcome to New Members Timothy Ainsworth and Don who have joined in the Sunday racing in their S nipe. Timothy was last a junior member some 35 years ago; the Anisworth family were great supporters of Budworth SC for many years so its great to see the connection remade. Paul and Catherine have also purchased a Snipe and will begin with sailing on a Saturday when the handicap racing and coaching will enable them to learn the ropes in more relaxed conditions. That said they are also crewing regularly on a Sunday to gain more experience whist their sons join the Junior training program in Optimist and Topper. There have been many other new members who joined in 2015, they have been benefiting from the extensive coaching programs to build their sailing skills as well as helping to get to know others in the club.
Snipe North Western Championship held at Budworth Mere 12/13 Sep 2015.
The forecast was good for the weekend; a westerly wind F3 on Saturday and south easterly F2 on Sunday. The rain clouds had disappeared and a westerly wind allowed the officer of the day to set an almost windward leeward course on the lake without disturbance from the surrounding trees on the North and South side. 14 Snipes were rigged and launched from the jetties each with their own agenda; either be it to win, top 5, or ‘better than last year’. As usual some snipes travelled 200+ miles to attend the annual Snipe competition.
The first race saw last year’s winners Mark & Tracy Antonelli having a closely fought battle with Phil & Emma Hackney and Eric Paalman & Jess Kelly. Team Antonelli was victorious just ahead of team Paalman who had a last minute battle with team Hackney. A 9th place for visitors Richard Marshall & Alan Williams was rectified in the second race where they won the race followed by John & Deborah Love and team Paalman. Local sailors team Hackney showed the rest of the fleet how to do it in the third race of the day by sailing a large lead to win from team Antonelli and team Marshall. Three races with 3 winners on the first day was a good reflection of the competition and close racing of the day. A perfect evening meal prepared by fellow Snipers followed by a dessert Mary Berry would have been proud was finished with a good campfire and marshmallows on sticks.
The forecast for Sunday was as predicted and as expected subject to various wind shifts. The forecasted South Easterly made it a bit tricky for the officer of the day to set a good course. 15 years of experience running the Snipe Open came in handy for Steve Hayward and Chris Allen to set a good course. The treeline on the South side would affect the strategy of how to approach the tricky rounding marks with little wind. Halfway during the race team Love was ahead of team Paalman and team Marshall. Team Paalman suffered gear failure and had to retire with a broken main sheet. Team Marshall, Love, Antonelli, and Hackney had a close fought finish. Team Marshall beat team Love and team Antonelli. Team Hackney just missed out because of a 720 following an infringement just before the finish line.
Having the extra rest after retiring from race 4 must have helped team Paalman who led the way to the finish line followed by team Antonelli and team Marshall. James Prestwich and Miles Buckley had a flying start in the last race and showed everyone around the course beating team Antonelli and team Paalman. With 6 races and 5 different race winners it was anyone’s guess where they ended up in the rankings.
Team Antonelli won the event with team Marshall and team Paalman 2nd and 3rd on equal points. A special mention should go to team Love who sailed in a well deserved 5th place. In the bar afterwards everyone reflected on their sailing and thought about the “what if”” and “if only” scenario’s. It was a perfect weekend sailing with lots of ‘serious sailing and serious fun’. I can’t wait until next year.
Eric Paalman – Snipe GBR 30834
Results Snipe Open 2015 xls