The less than favourable forecast deterred several competitors, however 6 visitors joined 8 West Kirby boats to battle it out at West Kirby. Saturday, the forecast proved right and Race Officer Tony Marston delayed the start until 1400 in the afternoon and set 3 sprint races on the lake. The competitors agreed that only the last race would count towards the Northern Championship overall results.
The first two races were led all the way and won by Mike Hartley, crewed by Simon Hall. The last race however, saw Judy Armstrong, crewed by husband Paul, overtake Mike in the lighter winds, to take the overnight lead towards the Championship overall results.
Picture by Alan Jenkins.
There is some great footage courtesy of Dan Skinner; click on the following link: https://www.facebook.com/WestKirbySC/videos/2248608968584602/?t=1
Sunday brought light airs to start with on the Dee Estuary, but the rain quickly took charge and the wind almost disappeared in the first race as the leading pack tried unsuccessfully to round the first gybe mark. A 9.7M tide swept the leading pack towards Chester, allowing the back markers to catch up and eventually overtake the leaders, leaving all to play for in the second race.
The second race on Sunday could not have been more different.
Picture by Dan Skinner
The wind quickly increased to around 12 to 15 knots at the start, then gusting to well over 20 knots just as the fleet rounded the windward mark to embark on the leeward leg. The run was simply exhilarating and what sailing in the river Dee is all about! Except of course for some who decided that swimming was a better sport to partake in.
The wind continued to increase, leaving the Race Officer little choice but to send the fleet ashore after two races sailed.
The overall winners were Judith and Paul Armstrong, followed by Mike Hartley and Simon Hall in second place, Mike Banner and Jason Upton in third and your Commodore crewed by Mark HInton in Fourth. Full results here: https://wksc.org.uk/results/ALBACORE%20NORTHERN%20OPEN%20MEETING%202019.htm