TTSeries 2023 to R2 (even though it says 2022)
Round 1 & 2 – West Lancs YC.
As with all good things our trip to West Lancs YC for the first wo rounds of the 2023 DF Racing UK TT Series was well worth the wait. The early birds that arrived on Friday were greeted by a distinct lack of any real breeze from any real direction but there were several who rigged and tested the newly filled marine lake. Others that arrived on Friday managed a coffee and retired to a bar rather quickly.
Saturday dawned chilly and windless and after an introduction to the club from Alan Tickle and a briefing from the weekends PRO Peter Baldwin there was plenty of time to catch up on people’s winter news whilst we waited for some breeze.
Peter set and reset the course throughout the day as the wind came and went and I’d suggest that his day was tougher than any of the 49 competitors. Eventually we got underway with the seeding races and on a day with little prospect of more than a handful of races it was important to get your mojo on early doors and hold onto it as best you could.
The first seeding race was taken by the ever helpful Jen Hand who showed the fleet the way round the course, the other two races were won by Nigel Brown and Buzz Coleman in some tough conditions.
The second race was won by Craig Raistrick, a newcomer to the 65 TT series but a great skipper and a bundle of fun too. John Tushingham was second having collected weed in the seeding race and Jim La Roche came home third following his second spot finish in his seeding race.
Race three saw Malcolm Price from Alton Water take the win with father and son duo Derek and Shaun Priestley finishing second and third.
The fourth, and final race of the day saw Tushy find his form and he nailed on the win with Nigel taking second spot and Craig third spot.
There the day ended, the wind died and there was little point in starting a race that we wouldn’t finish. So, the winner of the day was John Tushingham on 7 points, there were four skippers on 10 points and another four skippers tied on 16 points. Second spot went to Malcolm Price, third was Nigel Brown, Fourth was Shaun Priestley and fifth Jim La Roche.
There were points ties down the board which made the fact that Peter and Judith’s computer broke and the scoring was completed manually all the more complicated. The 49 skippers had enjoyed the sailing for sure and there would be many of them back the next day when some more wind was forecast
Cue social activities and a trip to the lovely Italian just across the road from the hotel.
Sunday kicked off with less of a delay and more wind which was a welcome treat. It was however still extremely chilly and even Tim Long, known for hardy shorts wearing had opted for a long trouser start to the day.
PRO Peter set a course which changed a couple of times during the day but was broadly the same and racing got underway after the morning briefing. With 54 competitors there were busier starts and there were many general recalls during the days racing.
Seeding races were won by John Tush, Buzz Coleman and DF95 National Champ Craig Richards. Buzz looked racy as he took race two with Tush close behind and Shaun Priestley in third spot. Nigel Brown took race three from Craig and John Brierley. Race four was Nigel again from Tush and father Priestley Derek whilst Tim Long, clearly not warm enough decided he should have a small fire onboard his boat during the A fleet start.
Race five saw John B take the win from Tush and Derek. The final race of the day was taken by Craig who bookended his day with his second win. Derek and Tush swapped spots with Derek second and Tush third.
Computer back working again the results were put through and despite only having one win it was John Tushingham who won the day on 10 points. Second was Derek on 14 points with Nigel snapping at his heels on 15 and Craig in fourth of 16 points. Further adrift in fifth was John Brierley on 29 points.
As the competitors left West Lancs YC the rain started and the wind dropped off which was ok because we were all sat on our cars on the way home with the heater on.
Huge thanks to the WLYC crew who, as ever, were just brilliant. Judith and the scorers were equally brilliant, but my person of the weekend has to be Peter Baldwin, who would have wanted his job this weekend, not many, but as ever his professional approach to the job just made everything run a little bit smoother and we are lucky to have him as PRO for the upcoming DF95 Globals in May.
Next stop is Lincoln, where we are assured another warm welcome. There’s still plenty of time to enter the event which takes place over the weekend of the 1st and 2nd April.
Sue Brown took some great photos, two of which are in this report, take a look at all the others by clicking here.
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