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Bolton Open 2006

A number of our “older” visitors remarked about the Bolton Open Meeting they had sailed some 20 (40!) years ago one June Sunday when they arrived to find a thick covering of snow. How different was this gloriously sunny summer June day when 24 Merlin Rockets entered the 2006 contest representing 10 different clubs.

The first race got underway, after a couple of general recalls, in a southerly breeze. With the wind direction changing dramatically during the hour before the first race, Race Officer Ian Platt set a complex course, perhaps in the hope that if the wind direction kept changing at least one leg would prove to be a beat! Richard Whitworth and Elena Bremer from Hollingworth Lake led the way, followed for the first 3 laps by Andy Davis and Holly Scott from Bala. On the 4th and final lap David Winder and Jill Blake from Hollingworth Lake overtook Andy and Holly for 2nd place.

After another general recall the 2nd race finally got underway under a black flag. David Winder and Jill Blake making another good start to lead at the first mark closely followed by Glen Truswell and Jim Lowbridge from Beaver patrol Yacht Club with 3rd Roger and Debbie Taylor from Hollingworth. Richard and Elena were out of the first 6, but gradually they began to claw their way through the field. At the end of the first lap David and Jill were still leading with Glen and Jim in 2nd, Andy and Holly had pulled up from 5th to 3rd and Richard and Elena to 4th. The second lap saw Andy and Holly move up to 2nd and Richard and Elena close further to 3rd. On the final lap Richard and Elena took the lead with David and Jill falling to 2nd. Glen and Jim were 3rd.

The final race of the day also started under a black flag and saw David and Jill lead all the way to the finish line. 2nd for a long time was Bruce Mager and Kathy Burton from Hollingworth until they fell back on the final lap to finish 5th. On the second lap Andy and Holly recovered from 5th to 2nd, a place they were to hold on to in a very close finish with Richard and Elena who charged through in the closing stages.

First Bolton boat on the day was Andrew Pilkington sailing with his son Alex. Overall winners: Richard Whitworth and Elena Bremer; 2nd David Winder and Jill Blake; 3rd Andy Davis and Holly Scott.


Report: Geoff Minns (with thanks to Leanne Pilkington for taking notes of what was happening at the front of the fleet whilst I was sailing at the back)

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