Oulton Broad thaw allows winter action

Following three weeks ice-covering, last Sunday was by far the best so far of the winter season on Oulton Broad, as the sun shone and the wind blew from the west to give very good sailing conditions.

The first Fast Handicap race was notable for some very close racing between the RS400 sailed by Richard Fryer and Carol Smalls and the RS500 sailed by Philip Highfield and Tamsin Butcher. They were both zig zagging running down the Broad and it was never certain which one would hold the lead when they met.

But although they finished well out in front it was Veronica Falat sailing in last place who took the race on handicap as she beat the leading Laser sailed by Alan Cone by almost a minute. The two Phantoms, sailed by Nick Favell and Ben Falat also had a close race until Ben took a swim which allowed Nick to take third place.

Bryan Riley took an early lead in the Squibs and steadily increased his lead but behind him there was a bit of place changing as Jim Tubby established himself in second place with Richard Sullivan third with the rest of the fleet not far away.

Two Toppers and a Feva took part in both slow handicap races. In both, George Catchpole in the Feva finished third on the water but moved up to first on handicap, beating Jake Smalls and Cathryn Brady in the first who had a much closer race in the second to finish just five seconds apart having swopped places.

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Richard Fryer and Philip Highfield had another really close race in the second Fast Handicap race with Fryer finishing first this time but with only a four-second advantage. But as in the first race they were nowhere near far enough in front to beat Veronica Falat who beat husband Ben into second place with Nick Favell third.

Simon Marfleet led the Lasers for the first two rounds before dropping a couple of places on the final round as Alan Cone moved up to win from Flip Foulds.

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Jim Tubby was the early leader in the Squibs but Bryan Riley got through on the second round while David Gooch picked up third place near the end of the final round.

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