by Alan Mallett
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Snowflakes sailed the annual Martin (Tino) Dugdale Memorial Race on Sunday over a 90-minute event.
The fleet, comprising six Yeomans and a solitary Laser, set off down the Street towards the New Inn. They then turned back upstream to a mark beyond the Mill, roughly opposite the Decoy Broad boathouse, back to the club house, and upstream this time only as far as a mark half-way between the broad entrance and the Mill.
The race was sailed in Force 1-3 winds, and produced a particularly challenging return down from the Mill, thanks to the usual selection of shifts. Perhaps inevitably the race became processional, led by Ian Hanson and Q Stewart who took control as the fleet passed the club house heading upstream. There they remained, not entirely unchallenged as Steve Cliffe and Chris Hanson were always breathing down their necks, but never getting quite close enough to finger their collars! Martin’s widow Joan presented the Trophy to Ian Hanson and Q Stewart after the race.
Frostbites turnout of 11 Norfolks and one Topper was slightly down on a week earlier, but there was still plenty of competition. In a Force 1-3 south-easterly Ian Tims and Martin Devlin again got clean away at the start with only Kevin Edwards and Rory Kelsey looking like challenging them. But they themselves were distracted by Sam and Pat Woodcock snapping at their heels all the way round in a race which, unusually, extended to the Lower Mark placed between Commissioners and Colman’s Dykes.
The wind was at its best either end, but the intervening area under the infamous willows saw most becalmed at one stage or another and quite a lot of place changing.
The second race produced a recall for five of the 12, Tims being unlucky enough not to realize until he had completed half a round. That left Wendy Bush and Ray Johnson miles ahead, but, in the mid-course doldrums, their lead was eroded and they were caught and passed by Edwards and also John and Caroline Ellis in a tight finish.
The one serious gust, a savage Force 5 plus blast, caught Sam and Pat Woodcock as they were running by the lee, lying in second place, towards the lower middle mark off Commissioners Dyke. The boat leapt onto the plane, and Sam turned into the wind as she rolled and half filled.
Sterling work, supervised by Sam, by Pat with a bucket enabled them to rejoin the race ten minutes later and at least finish. Ellie Edwards joined in with her Topper and did well to survive the same gust as she duly won the Junior Trophy.