Hollingworth Felucca 2008

Silver Tiller series sponsored by:
Speed Sails
A dire forecast for the weekend probably reduced the usual entry for this popular event as 11 visitors joined the strong home fleet for this Silver Tiller Open. Conditions on Saturday were certainly challenging and it looked like a contest for the maximum number of capsizes. But it was a tale of two very different days, as Sunday produced sunshine and the right sort of breeze for good racing. As ever, the challenge was to beat Richard Whitworth and Sally Townend on their home waters.

Whitworth took the early lead in the first race, in the gusty westerly wind with ‘white horses’ racing across the Lake. Spectacular planing reaches gave plenty of excitement, and some capsizes. However, Whitworth suffered a capsize after a spinnaker gybe giving the lead to Andy ‘Taxi’ Davis and Bruce Deppe. Locals Stuart Bates and Andy Hilton survived to come in second, while Whitworth closed in for third place. There was even more wind for the second race in which Julian Parry and Hannah Mitchell were the early leaders. Davis and Whitworth chased hard and broke through. They sailed hard and close, so that scarcely a boat length lay between them as they fought over the lead, which Davis held, with David Winder and Alex Pilkington taking third.

After some refreshment, the wind had moderated a little for race three. This time, William Warren and Chris Robinson joined in the battle for the lead. Whitworth’s local experience gave him the advantage and the lead, while Davis settled for third.

Sunday was so different with a shifty north easterly blowing across the Lake. An over keen fleet needed a recall and a black flag for a clear start. Warren found the right way to lead but the pressure of Whitworth eventually became too much and Whitworth took advantage after a spinnaker gybe to fly past to windward. Davis was safely in third place. So, the last race was to be the decider, after another black flag start. Parry again led round the first mark, but Whitworth soon got past and built a good lead. However Warren and Winder found a great port lift which Whitworth missed out on, to change the lead. Later, Whitworth found another port lift to pass Winder, but Warren held the lead. Davis could not finish better than fourth, giving the event to Whitworth.

Report: Graham Knox
Photos: Graham Knox

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