OVERCAST conditions greeted the fleet at the start of this race as well as blustery winds which required a lot of skill to handle with a strong incoming tide.

The horn started the race at 11.40 with a field of nine boats which was very quickly turned to eight as GP 14 ‘Sandy Bottom’ (well named in this case) broached and capsized at the very start of the race.

It was a long way to the first mark with no one boat making the running.

Six boats rounded the mark and headed the two miles to the next mark at number seven, Readings Shout.

Tommohawk 44 rounded first but struggled to make headway against the strong tide, and was quickly joined by the rest of the fleet.

Ten minutes of tacking and trying to beat the tide proved difficult, but as the tide slowed as it came to high water, Tommohawk 44 made the break as others still found difficulty to make any headway.

Nighthawk 35 who was sixth coming into the mark was next to break free and started to chase the lead boat, whilst others still struggled.

On returning to the first mark the field had split with three falcons racing hard to catch Tommohawk 44 who had pulled out a 200 yard lead – a lead it would successfully defend to the finish line.

With three miles of racing still to do the Laser of Ernie Griffiths just embraced the conditions to full, making up ground on the much larger Falcons and using its higher handicap to advantage.

Redfoot 42 making it first appearance of the season moved up into third place but could not make any impression on Night hawk35 or Tommohawk 44 in this fast and furious race.

The wind conditions increased as the tide turned which added to the excitement before Tommohawk crossed the line to win the second race of the session, followed by Nighthawk 35 and Redfoot 42 who would be place fourth after the handicap of the laser was put into the equation.

The race distance was just over 6½ miles long and completed by eight boats in quick time, and at the end of the day many will sleep well tonight if they haven’t fallen asleep already.

Reece Tomlinson helmed the falcon to victory giving his dad Tony a rest in his maturing years, nice to see Reece back on the Mersey.

Interesting course set by Richard Whitehead the officer of the day support by Ken Southall in the box, well done.

Refreshment by Sam 'souperb' and thanks also to the safety boat crews for their cover and a very cold day for being in the middle of the Mersey.

Result: 1, Tommohawk (Reece Tomlinson); 2, Nighthawk (Ady Dodd); 3, 167512 (Ernie Griffiths).