Graduate Dinghy Association

Three home boats and three visitors competed at the Bolton Sailing Club Graduate Open on 25th August. The standard of racing was very high, resulting in hard won finishing positions at all positions in the fleet.

Competitors were greeted by blue skies, warm sunshine and a nice gently building southerly breeze.

Jeff Robinson, the principal race officer for the day decided upon a committee boat start for all 3 races, thus maximising the length of the first beat.

In the first race, the Flitcrofts and Parkers got off to a great start, quickly getting ahead of the rest of the fleet. The Flitcrofts had the smallest of leads at the first mark which grew and contracted periodically throughout the race with never more than 4 boat lengths between them. With slightly superior downwind speed the Parkers got into the lead at one point on the run but the Flitcrofts managed to get an overlap at the leeward mark, regain the lead and hold onto it for the rest of the race to finish first with the Parkers second. Further back in the fleet Adam Froggatt and Richard Freeman pulled away from the rest of the fleet and were chipping away at the lead boats to finish third.

After a change of course the whole fleet got a good start in the second race. On the first leg, the Flitcrofts and Parkers stayed on starboard for too long, leaving Adam and Richard to round the windward mark with a good lead,... a position which they held on to for almost all of the race. Close behind the Flitcrofts were David Ivins and Alexis Johnson. By the last mark, the Parkers had reeled-in Adam and Richard, almost touching as they gybed. On the last leg to the finish the Parkers made better use of the shifts, beating Adam and Richard to the line with the Flitcrofts a boatlength behind in third.

With everything to play for, there was another change of course for the last race, this time fully utilising the whole length of the water. The Flitcrofts got squeezed out at the start which Adam and Richard absolutely nailed. At the windmark mark they rounded first with the Flitcrofts just inches away after recovering on the beat. On the long run north there was plenty covering going on. The Flitcrofts managed to edge ahead of Adam and Richard, who in hot pursuit scooped too much water on a gybe. With such a high calibre of racing and everyone so close they elected to retire. The Flitcrofts were able to maintain their lead to finish first, with the Parkers second and David and Alexis third. Pete Jacques and Michelle Evans had their best race of the day with a fourth in what was only their second time out in a very nice looking boat.

After a testing day of close competition, the Bolton Graduate Challenge Trophy was presented to the overall winners Andy and Sue Flitcroft. In 2nd place were Chris and Chloe Parker, 3rd Adam Froggatt and Richard Freeman, 4th David Ivins and Alexis Johnson, 5th on countback were Peter Jacques and Michelle Evans and 6th Dave and Liz Wilson. Our appreciation was shown to all the visitors who participated in this open event and to Jeff Robinson and his OD crew who were kindly supported throughout the day by Geoff Benson who also presented the prizes.

Overall Results:


Pos Sail No Helm Name Crew Name Club R1 R2 R3 Pts
1st 3001 Andy Flitcroft Sue Flitcroft Bolton Sailing Club 1 3 1 2
2nd 2839 Chris Parker Chloe Parker Southport Sailing Club 2 1 2 3
3rd 2955 Adam Froggatt Richard Freeman Chase Sailing Club 3 2 DNF 5
4th 2878 David Ivins Alexis Johnson Bolton Sailing Club 4 4 3 7
5th 2879 Peter Jacques Michelle Evans Chase Sailing Club 6 6 4 10
6th 2929 David Wilson Liz Wilson Bolton Sailing Club 5 5 5 10