1976 Northern Area Championships at West Riding, 17th & 18th July

The event was hosted by West Riding Sailing Club, Wintersett Reservoir, nr. Wakefield, Yorks.

A full entry of 50 boats had been reached some time ago and of these, 47 boats arrived and enjoyed a weekend of perfect weather, even though the winds were very light on the first day. The level of the lake had been somewhat reduced due to the drought, but there was in fact, ample room, and the Race Committee, although harrassed by wind shifts prior to the starts managed to lay some very good courses, which produced some very interesting and exciting racing.

Practice race. Very light and variable breezes.Won by Chris Owen (Northwich).

First race. Again in very light airs. Ron Harding (Huddersfield) led at the first mark, and held the lead for some time closely followed by P. Drake (Pennine) and J. Gillard (Sheffield Viking). Eventually Gillard pulled out into first place and held that position to the finish, with Stuart Bottoms (Errwood) taking second place. Chris Owen, despite making a poor start came through the fleet to take third place.

Second race. After a short postponement due to lack of wind, the race was started, and the fleet drifted slowly towards the first mark, with Chris Owen, P. Robinson (Ripon), M. Garside (Huddersfield), and A. Sawyer (Northwich) rounding the mark in that order. The long awaited wind then arrived and settled down gradually to a steady Force 2/3, and by the end of the first lap Garside had pulled up to third place behind Chris Owen and Robinson and these places were maintained to the end of the race. The duel for 4th place between Gillard and Sawyer was very close and exciting, first one and then the other forging ahead. On the last lap, however, Sawyer passed Gillard and took fourth place.

Third race. With the wind now steady at Force 2/3 and the issue being wide open, tension was running high. The start was postponed for 10 minutes due to a technical fault on the start launch, and then, after two general recalls, the race finally got under way. From the start it was apparent that some of the main contenders had not had very good starts, and at the first mark, R. Major (West Riding) was in the lead, with Garside second, Gillard third, with Chris Owen, Stuart Bottoms and Robinson a number of places further behind. However, at the windward mark on the second lap, things had altered drastically. Garside had taken the lead closely followed by Robinson, Stuart Bottoms, Gillard and Chris Owen in that order, with Major having dropped to seventh place. Superb spinnaker work on the next leg took Robinson in to the lead and Chris Owen into fourth plac. Shortly afterwards Chris Owen overtook Gillard and Garside to take up second place behind Robinson who was then well in the lead. But the nail biting was still not over, as, in the last windward leg, Robinson sailed a little too wide and two splendid short tacks byChris Owen took him into the lead with Stuart Bottoms close behind in second place, and these positions were held to the end of the race.

Overall Impressions—An excellent weekend. Sunny and warm for the spectators, and some first class racing for them to watch. Nice to see that Chris Owen, although having to overcome some first class opposition who were always in contention, fully justified his place in the English team at Monnickendam in August. By the time this report is in print, the World Championships will be over, but you can be sure that the good wishes from all in the North go with our team. 

Rank Boat Sailors Club
1 42919 Chris Owen Northwich S.C.
2 7241 Stuart Bottoms Errwood S.C.
3 29263 P. B. Robinson Ripon S.C.
4 36997 J. A. Gillard Sheffield Viking S.C.
5 14907 M. Garside Huddersfield S.C.
6 41245 G. Bottoms Errwood S.C.
7 17671 A. Sawyer Northwich S.C.
8 19518 W. Maxfield Weaver S.C.
9 41321 D. Glover Crosby S.C.
10 26343 P. Bowers Huddersfield S.C.
11 30945 J. C. Wells Ripon S.C.
12 29946 R. M. Major West Riding S.C.
13 38883 A. J. Farris Delph S.C.
14 24813 G. Sunter Halifax S.C.
15 23974 S. M. Gorton Hollingworrh Lake S.C.
16 35567 A. E. Tinker West Riding S.C.
17 35375 P. McDonld South Yorks S.C.
18 37870 A. T. Dennis North Lincs. S.C.
19 21888 D. Harding Huddersfleld S.C.
20 7774 S. Beicher Delph S.C.
21 6417 R. Webster Ribble Cruising Club
22 33121 Ron Harding Huddersfie!d S.C.
23 33460 K. A. Goulding Lowton S.C.
24 22024 J. Hartley Blackpool & Fleetwood S.C.
25 47944 H. S. Mossie Lowton S.C.
26 32607 P. J. Woolass Rossendale Valley S. C.
27 43008 D. S. Smith West Riding S.C.
28 24855 K. D. Clark West Riding S.C.
29 20422 P. Campbell-Kelly Turks Head S.C.
30 29820 T. Sheard Lough Neagh S.C.
31 33042 K. E. Major West Riding S.C.
32 31188 H. N. Wright Scaling Dam S.C.
33 8879 G. Bretherick Turks Head S.C.
34 34238 D. Taylor Northwich S.C.
35 42074 S. Bullock Lake District Boat Club
36 46468 G. R. L. Lister Derwent Reservoir S.C.
37 40126 N. Salter West Riding S.C.
38 21931 A. H. Graham Derwent Reservoir S.C.
39 41100 W. S. Finnegan West Riding S.C.
40 24744 G. M. Hirst Fly Flatts S.C.
41 14669 G. F. Counter West Riding S.C.
42 9608 C. Addle Wigan S.C.
43 17094 D. Young Lowton S.C.
44 35603 N. Marsden Blackpool & Fleetwood S.C.
45 26251 A. White West Riding S.C.
46 11163 M. C. Henderson Roa Island S.C.
47 37364 P. Drake Pennine S.C.
48 D.N.S. P. J. Twining North Lincs. S.C.
49 D.N.S. I. S. Entwistle Wigan S.C.
50 D.N.S. M. Wigham Blackpool Light Craft Club

 

Editors Note: This article is from Reflections No. 26 October 1976, page 12. It has been captured by OCR, so typos & errors are possible.

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