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Fortune favours Wirral sailors
FORTUNE at last shone on West Kirby Sailing Club in North Wales as they enjoyed a splendid Regatta at Beaumaris during the Menai Strait Fortnight.
West Kirby and neighbouring Hoylake host the second Wednesday date on alternate years but the last few Regattas have been wrecked by strong winds.
On this latest occasion it seemed the event might be lost due to lack of breeze.
Approaching start time the sea was like a mirror and officials had no option but to signal a delay.
Within minutes a smart breeze arrived from the south west and it made for probably the best racing of the fortnight with a true test for the crews.
The Falcons celebrating their Diamond Jubilee were out in force and it was West Kirby Rear Commodore John Burthem who had Hawk at the head of affairs to lift the Jack Orrell Cup.
Jemima Riley sailed Hirondelle into first place in the Hilbres to claim the Hilarity Poignard.
Steve Stratton in Fidelio withstood several challenges in the Hoylake Operas to put his name on the Gough Trophy.
The Mersey Mylnes were only two strong and victory was claimed by Chris Kay at the helm of Meridian.
The second week opened with the Menai Bridge Boat Club Regatta which threw up its usual list of hard luck stories as the wind played tricks.
On the Tuesday, the fleet sailed round Puffin Island for the Beaumaris Town Regatta and it became a total lottery under the lea of the island with huge leads sometimes counting for nothing.
Eventually a few craft got clear and headed back for the finish but many were left way behind and finished well adrift of the leaders.
Sadly, conditions deteriorated on Thursday for the Royal Mersey Regatta at Beaumaris and many crews opted to stay ashore.
Two Mylnes were among the reduced fleet and victory was claimed by Meridian with the reward being the Charles Mack Cup.
The Conway Yacht Club Regatta on Friday went ahead in a moderate breeze but it was uninviting for the concluding Regatta due to be staged by Royal Anglesey Yacht Club on Saturday with a gale sweeping down the Strait. Officials were left with no option other than to hoist the abandonment flag.
Generally, it was a successful fortnight although issues still stand with the not so co-operative local authority which hopefully will be ironed out sooner rather than later to ensure the future of this much loved sailing festival.
The Regattas Committee also has some tidying up to do ahead of 2014 when the Fortnight will run from July 26 to August 9.