A total of 26 boats took part in Budworth SC's UK north west championship for Snipes on the 22-23 September

A total of 26 boats took part in Budworth SC’s UK north west championship for Snipes on the 22-23 September.

With high pressure set to control the weather for the weekend, the stillness and tranquillity of Budworth Mere shrouded in mist was lost on competitors anxiously waiting to start the first race. An hour or so later, however, half way through the impromptu volley ball championship final between Budworth SC and Maldon SC, the tips of the flags were seen to quiver – adrenaline up, the volley ball final was abandoned and the race was on.

In the first and only race on the Saturday, Budworth’s Neil Martin with crew Deborah Love took an early lead but then managed to round a mark the wrong way – “sporting” crews behind eventually persuaded Neil that he should re-round the mark. This he did but in so doing hit the mark and had to take a penalty turn, meanwhile, defending champion Peter Wolstenholme with crew Phil Marshall of Wilsonian SC took the lead. Neil, having none of this, was back in the lead by the next mark and this is the way it stayed. Third place went to brothers Ian and Stephen Gregory of Blue Circle SC, who stormed through the fleet after a slow start.

Sunday morning gave promise to a little more wind but it was still light and fickle. From the start of the second race in the competition, Budworth’s Mike and Ben Crompton built up to what seemed to be an unassailable lead only to be caught and passed by Neil and Jenny Martin. Third place went to Budworth’s Alan Williams and Liz Crouch.

In the third race, Peter Wolstenholme built up a commanding lead over two rounds but, to current form, Neil and Jenny steadily reeled him in and finally won comfortably. Grant Edwards of Budworth had passed his boat over to his son Geoff, which crewed by Millie Cowan (both 15), sailed a great race to finish third.

The weather had saved its best for the start of the fourth and final race of the competition. The championship had already gone to the Martins but all other places were up for grabs. The Cromptons hit the front at the first mark and looked to be comfortable as they extended their lead from the chasing pack led by Alan Williams and Liz Crouch. The fickle winds again deserted the leaders and the pack were soon with them. The race then became very close at the front with the ‘new rules’ being extremely well tested. The Martins had recovered from their indifferent start and were now streaking away for a fourth win while the rest were left to sort out the minor places. Alan Williams and Liz Crouch sailed a sensible race for second place just ahead of the fast finishing Mark Antonelli who took the right shifts up the final beat to finish third.

Overall Results

1st Neil and Jenny Martin (Budworth SC) 2.25 pts

2nd Peter Wolstenholme and Phil Marshal (Wilsonian) 8 pts

3rd Alan Williams and Liz Crouch (Budworth SC) 10 pts

4th Mike Crompton and Ben Crompton (Budworth SC) 10 pts

5th Mark Antonelli and Robert Whitehead (Budworth SC) 14 pts

6th Phil Hackney and Mike Hackney (Budworth SC) 19 pts