Budworth Boxing Day Open meeting for RNLI
Boxing Day traditions are easily discarded -when a blustery westerly blows at around 40 mph.
The forecast deterred some, but thirty hardy souls took to the water in their boats for the Boxing Day Open. A steady, but twisting wind tested the qualities of all sailors, and everyone was able to end their day with the cobwebs blown out, and exercise removed the excesses of turkey and stuffing!
From the start a long, but equal, beat allowed some sizable gaps to appear. Sometimes the sheer strength of the wind overpowered all but the strongest and heaviest. The subsequent run and next beat was followed by a good planing reach, before a gybe mark caused many casualties. While many succeeded, the three flights of single handed, handicap and Juniors were now split in half. Just nine boats survived to end race 1.
John Hayes (GP 14) with a very light crew of 16 year old Poppy James, showed how weight was not the answer – and in the single handers, 21 year old Isaac Marsh, tore away from his pursuers.
University student Isaac, is currently on work placement with Pinnell and Bax, and is clearly gaining great experience with them, for he held his Streaker balanced and trimmed, while he just ‘streaked’; away from the rest.
In Race 2, with no less wind, and the same course, just 8 boats ventured out, all finishing. The Handicap proved a battle ground with Nick Devereux, crewed by Geoff Edwards in commanding position.
They would have been in contention, had they not achieved an almost perfect ‘head over heels’ capsize in race 1.
Brothers Andrew and Stuart Brown provided spectator interest in their RS200 by capsizing 3 times in quick succession, and yet still finishing creditably. Winner of Race 1, John Hayes, followed closely behind, but the PYR difference of 84 gave him the prize.
Ian Brookes and Phil Barnes in Solos were close behind Isaac Marsh for half a lap, when suddenly the Streaker lived up to its reputation -Isaac taking the third lap with many minutes to spare.
A beautiful day ensured that everyone enjoyed themselves on, and off the water. While some sailors found conditions cold, they felt inspired by the early morning Boxing Day swim by the Warrington Dolphins, who share the water.
Visitor and home numbers were down on previous years, yet the Regatta was viewed as highly successful, and the beneficiaries being not only the RNLI, whose crews go out in all weathers, but also sailors, organisers and spectators who enjoyed a superb Boxing Day.