TT Round 5 - Halifax Sailing Club

Report by Stuart Backhouse 

12 Contenders travelled to Halifax for round 5 of the travellers series. Forecast for the weekend was for sunshine and 10 knots of breeze, slightly less on Sunday. The sunshine was spot on, but thanks to being on the top of the pennines what we got was a good force 3 / 4 all day Saturday.
The first race got away at the first time of asking (as did all the races over the weekend) Stuart Backhouse made the most of the wind shift up the first beat and rounding first, followed by John Browett and Ben Holden. Backhouse managed to pull away on the first lap as the other 2 fought for second place. Going up the 1st beat of the 3rd lap Backhouse got the wrong side of the wind shift that allowed Browett and Holden through and the race finished in that order with Neil Ferguson showing good boat speed and starting to catch the leading bunch.
As the wind was blowing easterly across the water, the courses were short beat, run, short beat run, short beat, reach back to the bottom, beat, run, and start all over again. This made boat handling, tacking a mark rounding vitally important (remembering the course also helped !).
Race 2 followed the same course but this time it was Chris Boshier leading the way. After pulling out a lead on everyone he was caught by Nick Grace and Holden, but Boshier held his nerve and kept the lead to the end with the leading three some way ahead.
After a short break and a slight change of course race 3 got underway. This time it was Holden, Grace and Ferguson way out in front, but being chased by Browett.
The fleet retired to Bens house for beer, curry and a early night after a hard days work on the water.
Sunday morning dawned to clear blue skies and I think most were looking forward to similar conditions to Saturday. Arriving at the club it was clear that the wind had swung round slightly to a more north easterly and as the morning developed grew into and good force 4 with gust even bigger. This was going to be a day for the heavy weights.
Race 4 got away with a big lift up the first beat favoring those starting at the committee boat. Boshier and Backhouse nearly laying the windward mark, just getting knocked off as the leading Grace, Browett and Holden crossed at the mark on port. The five pulled away from the fleet well until Backhouse went for a swim rounding the bottom mark and let Ferguson and Mike Rhodes through, Grace and Browett invented their own course (Browett recovered well to pull back, but Grace decided he was too far back and retired). Boshier not having the best of weekends after grounding his boat in race 3 thew away places at the finish line crossing the wrong way.
After a fantastic lunch of cottage pie or Cornish pasty Race 5 got away, with the heavy weights of Browett, Holden, Grace and Ferguson showing great form and boat speed, and the race finished in that order.
Race 6 and there was all to fight for in the top place between Holden and Browett which made for a bit of pushing on the line. The individual recall flag was raised and Holden correctly decided to go back, but put him at the back of the fleet and gave him a lot to do if he wanted to win. He fought back to 4th, but that wasn't enough on count back. Browett sailed a perfect race and took the line and the competition, followed by Grace and then Ferguson. Grace however was OCS which moved Ferguson up to 2nd and Backhouse 3rd.

Thanks must go to the race team for providing some excellent racing. To the galley crew at Halifax sailing club who provided us all with some proper Yorkshire food, and to Ben Holden for providing digs for the fleet.

Overall results as follows:


PositionHelmClubSail No.Race 1Race 2Race 3Race 4Race 5Race 6Nett
1J. BrowettDatchet7131442119
2B. HoldenHalifax23152311249
3N. FergusonYorkshire Dales242245334216
4S. BackhouseBurton244836557322
5N. GraceCastle Cove700722RTD(13)3OCS (13)27
6M. RhodesNCSC680510645727
7C. BoshierThorpe Bay6948110812532
8M. Metcalfe659118866634
9B. HootonBurton67869978838
10R. WhiteKing George23149779101042
11T. HootonBurton654121211119952
12A Mollatt23181011121011RTD (13)54



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