Over the Christmas period there have been a couple of events which have been attended by Bolton Sailors.

The first being the Plum Duff at Delph on Sunday 30th December. Several Bolton boats arrived at Delph to find the lake a mirror. We were supposed to be sailing three pursuit races, but spent the first ‘race’ chatting on the shore whilst waiting for some wind.

When we finally got going in the very light breeze most Bolton boats didn’t realise how long it would take to ‘pump’ to the start line and most arrived late. There was a lot of skill required to make up time and start overtaking the slower boats to get a better position, something I lacked! Having said that, at least I didn’t finish last (and I beat Richard!)

The second, and final race, started in a bit more wind but again the lack of skill (and too much weight) meant that I finished around half way down the fleet having just been overtaken by Mark Platt (GP) and Andy Pilkington (MR) just before the gun went. It was a good day though and a good chance to chat to fellow Phantom sailors and to swap tips on boat rigging. I can’t remember the results and they aren’t yet on the Delph website. I know though that Mark let someone at Delph win the event this year though!

The second event was the New Years Day Pursuit Race at Leigh and Lowton. Richard and I arrived nice and early to find the lake once again still. Having got the boats ready we then had to find out what time the Phantoms started…34 minutes after the Toppers…34 minutes!

We watched the start from the shore and then launched with about 15 minutes to go so we had plenty of time to get to the start (I didn’t want a repeat of Delph). There were only two Phantoms there, so not a crowded start line, but I had to beat Richard so needed a good start! Lack of wind meant it was more of a drift for most of the race. I’d got ahead of Richard quite early on and an incident with a Topaz X-something resulted in him falling further behind. I was quite lucky in being able to catch a boat up, overtake and pull away into some clear wind most of the time whereas Richard seemed to get stuck with the pack. After two and a half hours racing the finish gun finally went. Annoyingy about ten minutes after I had crossed the line so I had to complete another lap. Richard on the other had was one of the first boats to cross the finish line so didn’t. I continued for what felt like an eternity to do another lap (unlike at Delph where you held position while they noted sail numbers, you had to complete the lap). As there was no wind I knew this would affect my average lap time. In the end I finished 37th out of 66 with Mark Platt in 14th, Richard in 46th and Ruth Shevelan in 55th place. The event was won by Neil Marsden in a GP14. The full L&L results can be found at http://www.monkeyit.co.uk/llsc/Results/NYD.htm