FROSTBITE SERIES A CLOSE RUN THING UP TO THE LAST RACE!
The outcome of the 2016 Open Frostbite Series was in the balance right up until the final race and in the end only 3 points separated the top 3 positions – the closest finish for many years!
The series was plagued by very light winds throughout but, even so, there was a total entry of twenty boats. It is much to the credit of the various race officers involved that all twelve races were completed on schedule.
The visitors took the top two positions with Gareth Morris (Gresford) and John Purdie in their GP14 maintaining a narrow lead to take overall honours from Mark Nield (Chester) and Jeanette Davies in an Enterprise. Third place went to Dave Turtle (Shotwick) and Huw Jones in their Fireball.
First junior was Kieren Lewis in his Optimist in 6th place. However, he would have been much higher in the rankings if he had competed in more races (too busy training for the RYA squad!).
It was very unusual that in the top 10 there were 9 different classes.
As a founder member of the then British Steel Shotton Sailing Club in 1983 I took part in the first beginners sailing course, in an Optimist believe it or not (quite a feat for someone 6' 4" tall!) and then began to help with further courses. My first dinghy was an Enterprise and much sailing in this and coaching by our first RYA Principal, John Swift, resulted in me gaining the RYA Dinghy Instructor award in 1984. In 1985 I joined the committee and over the years moved through the roles of Club Captain, Vice Commodore and then Commodore a position in which I proudly served for about 25 years. During my tenure as Commodore I saw the club become Corus Colors Sailing Club and then starting around 2004 I helped to steer the club towards independence from the Steelworks Sports & Social Club, the formation of the company and charity Shotwick Lake Sailing and the purchase of the lake and buildings. Although I have frequently raced at the club my main interest has been in the development of the club and ,of course, in the training section. In the early years John Swift, Alan Sourbutts and myself managed to get the club recognised as an RYA Training Centre. Then, some years later, on passing my RYA Senior Instructor qualification I was appointed as the RYA Training Principal, a role which I still perform to this day. Over the years I have sailed Toppers, Mirrors, GP14s, Herons, Lasers, Wayfarers, Wanderers and many others and my seafaring has included sailing a Sailfish 18 and a Leisure 17SL which I still own. Over the years I have witnessed massive changes and developments at the club and have cared passionately about its success and future. I have been truly blessed to have been able to serve such a fantastic organisation and to have made so many friends along the way.