Noble Marine - 2017 Bolton Open
Race Report from Mike Critchley
Bolton Sailing Club welcomed 13 visitors to the Noble Marine Travellers event, added to this a Bolton fleet of 17 making a tremendous total of 30 boats, racing in bright sunny conditions.
Race One started in very light shifty winds with the first beat taking the fleet to the top of the lake behind the island. Andy Flitcroft (Bolton) got away with an excellent start and had a commanding lead for the first lap with Mike Gibson (Bartley), Chris Hawley (Bartley), Mike Critchley (Bolton) and Paul Earnshaw (Haversham) battling for second and third places. Mike Critchley had a minor altercation with Mike Gibson and ended up doing turns and was pushed to sixth place going into lap two. After the windward mark on the downwind leg the wind died off for the leaders; Andy Flitcroft & Mike Gibson. With the wind now filling in from behind for Tony Critchley (Bolton), Tim Hand (Swarkstone) and Iain Wilson (Blackpool & Flyde), the lead was reduced to a couple of boat lengths. Chris Hawley suffered unfortunate gear failure whilst in second at the leeward mark. The final beat to the finish line saw a number of position changes with Paul Earnshaw taking the lead narrowly ahead of Mike Gibson in second & Mike Critchley in third.
Race two got underway with a steady breeze filling in ten minutes before the start. All the usual top flight sailors got away cleanly with Mike Gibson, Chris Hawley & Iain Wilson holding the first three places going into lap two. Challenge came in from behind from Matt Biggs (Blithfield) and Tim Hand but, they we unable to upset the top 3 places with Mike Gibson finishing first, Chris Hawley second and Ian Wilson finishing third.
Race three started with Mike Gibson and Matt Biggs taking early leads with the Critchley brothers battling for the third position. The wind held a constant force two but was still offering a challenge with some shifting conditions. The race was finally won by Mike Gibson with Matt Biggs in second, and Tony Critchley taking third position.
The overall result was:-
Mike Gibson taking first, Matt Biggs taking second & Tony Critchley took third.