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07/10/2023
Northern Championships Elton Sailing Club

 

2023 P&B Northern Paddle Series at Elton Sailing Club
2023 Rooster Super Series Northern Championships

by Neil Firth

 

Arriving at Elton Sailing Club for the Streaker Northern Championships, it was immediately apparent that this was going to be a super-competitive event, with the top three helms from the Nationals amongst the visitors getting rigged for the day's racing. Would this be an opportunity for Alan Gillard (Sheffield Viking SC) or Steve Blackburn (WLYC/Leigh & Lowton SC) to get one over on the reigning National Champion, Martin Penty (Beaver SC)? Or could someone else spoil their party?

The wind looked decidedly absent at first but, by the time we got to the scheduled 11am start, it filled in enough for some excellent racing, albeit with plenty of opportunity to find the inevitable light spot and watch helplessly as the fleet sailed around you. Of course, these things never seem to happen to National Champions and that proved to be the case for Martin. Despite a poor start in the first race, he soon opened up a comfortable lead. Steve was next to break free from the pack leaving Alan, Dave Borrett (Beaver SC) and Neil Firth (Banbury SC) to fight it out for third, ultimately finishing in that order.

Races 2 and 3 followed back to back after a hearty Lancashire lunch. The afternoon breeze was much the same as the morning, with the occasional stronger puff allowing some periods of full hiking. Steve found his best form in race 2 and went tit-for-tat with Martin for the whole race. After countless place changes it was Martin who snuck the last leg and the win. Meanwhile Alan was, once again, in a battle for third, this time against Phil Priestley (Yorkshire Dales SC) and Katie Masterson (St Mary's Loch SC). Phil hung on to third this time, followed by Alan then Katie.

Steve was first off the line in race 3, or so we all thought until the Elton SC tannoy announced him OCS! He returned to restart, allowing Martin and Phil to break away at the front and never be caught. The battle for third was a lot less clearcut, especially when the breeze conspired to bring the whole fleet together at the leeward mark. Alan was obviously thereabouts, but so too was local youth hot-shot, 13 year-old Ava Harris-Scott. She is more accustomed to her ILCA 4/6, but demonstrated her versatility by stepping into a borrowed Streaker and mixing it with some gold-fleet hot shots! In the end, Steve fought his way back to third and Alan just pipped Ava on the line to take fourth.

So, Martin Penty becomes Streaker Northern Champion 2023, with Steve Blackburn in second. Phil Priestley and Alan Gillard were tied on points for third which went to Phil on countback. Thank you to all the volunteers on and off the water at Elton SC for a well organised and competitive event.

This event was also the final open meeting of the P&B Streaker Northern Paddle series. Alan Gillard did enough on the day to win this prestigious title and hold last year's winner, Phil Priesley, to second. Dave Borrett completed the podium in third. Wendy Alexander (Rutland SC) won the P&B Streaker sail which is awarded to a class member drawn at random from everyone who raced in the series. Congratulations Alan and Wendy and thank you P&B!

Overall:

Sailed: 3, Discards: 1, To count: 2, Entries: 12, Scoring system: Appendix A

Rank HelmName SailNo Club Elton 1 Elton 2 Elton 3 Total Nett
1 Martin Penty 1982 Beaver SC (1) 1 1 3 2
2 Steve Blackburn 1942 Leigh & Lowton SC 2 2 (3) 7 4
3 Phil Priestley 1700 Yorkshire Dales SC (6) 3 2 11 5
4 Alan Gillard 2171 Sheffield Viking SC 3 (4) 4 11 7
5 Neil Firth 1977 Banbury SC 5 (7) 6 18 11
6 Ava Harris-Scott 1722 Elton SC 7 (8) 5 20 12
7 Katie Masterson 2112 St Mary's Loch SC (10) 5 7 22 12
8 Dave Borrett 1864 Beaver SC 4 (9) 9 22 13
9 Peter Kitchen 1914 Tees & Hartlepool YC (8) 6 8 22 14
10 Sandy Mill 2165 Winsford Flash SC 9 10 (11) 30 19
11 Steve Yates 1656 Elton SC (12) 11 10 33 21
12 Lee Strapp 1587 Elton SC 11 (12) 12 35 23

 

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