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West Riding Open and Streaker Northern Area Championship West Riding Sailing Club

A relatively small, but highly competitive fleet of Streakers gathered at West Riding Sailing Club for the Streaker Northern Area Championships and last leg of the Northern Paddle Series, at West Riding Sailing Club on Saturday 22nd October.

As the fleet rigged a steady but light northerly breeze filled in allowing OOD, Hamish Gledhill, to set a course and get the first race off on time. Isaac Marsh of Northampton SC made the best of the light variable breeze rounding the windward mark ahead of Ian Jones from Dovestone SC and Ian Priest from Scaling Dam SC. Ian Jones made inroads into Marsh's lead off wind, but Marsh held him at bay. This trend of cat and mouse continued for the next two laps, as Marsh held on to take first place. Steve Blackburn from West Lancashire YC pulled through from fourth to overtake Jones on the last beat to finish 2nd with Jones third and Ian Priest fourth.

The wind continued to track from the north to east as the day wore on with a new course for the second race in a slightly stronger F2/3 breeze. Again, Isaac Marsh led round the windward mark, with Jones second and Paul Newman from Shotwick Lake SC third. Jones took the lead on the second lap in an ongoing battle between the two leaders, with Marsh regaining the lead to take the win ahead of Jones and Ian Priest in third. Balckburn was fourth and Peter Kitchen from Tees & Hartlepool SC fifth.

As the wind tracked further east it dropped completely before the start of the third race. A course was set but the dying breeze had the OOD looking for the 'AP' flag, but an increasing area of dark water at the top moved steadily down the lake, with a new breeze filling in 90 seconds before the start. The breeze once again allowed the fleet to hit their straps as Jones took an early lead. This time he pulled away into a commanding lead to take the win. Alan Gillard from Sheffield Viking had his best race of the day holding second place from start to finish, ahead of Marsh and Blackburn finishing in 3rd and 4th place, with Ian Bradley from Ouse Amateur SC in 5th.

Marsh's two firsts ensured he took the overall win ahead of Jones in second and Blackburn in third.

At the prize giving the overall Paddle Series winner, Steve Blackburn thanked West Riding Sailing club for their hospitality and looked forward to the fleet returning next year.

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