Sailing roundup

A very windy south westerly breeze kept numbers down on the Waveney as only the bravest from Beccles ASC tackled the force five gusts under dark skies.

Ollie Meek worked hard to keep his reefed Topper Tic Tac upright and led a fleet of seven novices around a short course, finishing two minutes ahead of James Denny and George Browne. Only two Optimist helms made the Bittern Cup start, George Curtis enjoying the quick pace to earn another win with Alex Clayton unlucky not to finish.

The popular Clubhouse Trophy pursuit race became an endurance test with challenging beat upriver and quick run back, that had Elena Edwards take a bang on the head, capsize but still finish fifth and Matt How in Laseround remaining dry, picking up a well-earned third. Rory Kelsey and Georgie Roll in Norfolk Tankard battled to the front only to see Mark Langston in his Streaker Small Beer accelerate away on the gusts and take another win.

How continued with a good start in the Coronation Cup as the heavens opened, but Kelsey and Gorbould, in their Norfolks, took first and second on corrected time.

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Overcast skies and extremely gusty conditions deterred many River Cruisers from competing at the Yare Sailing Club's Reedham Regatta on Saturday, with only four boats making it across the start line.

The slower, smaller yachts struggled even to do this against a very strong ebb tide.

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Kevin Rhead's May, with her integral topsail rig, relished the conditions, even with a reef in and the triple-reefed Puck (Andy Garnham) and late-starting Modwena, helmed by Mark Cassidy, could not prevent her from taking first place.

Sunday was not quite as gusty and the intermittent sunshine made things look better, bringing eight boats to the start line for an upriver passage race to Buckenham Sailing Club.

The slower boats were set off first, in order to lessen their disadvantage on the last of the flood tide, and Modwena made the most of her good start to lead all the way upriver and take victory in the race. Others were not so fortunate with both Insh'allah (Daisy Wells) and Kelly Halifax on Anne being blown into the bank.

The return passage race back to Reedham saw May take first place and the overall trophy for the weekend by a mere 25 seconds on corrected time from Modwena.

For the second week running, sailors on Oulton Broad had to cope with strong winds. In fact, it was so bad on Saturday that the keelboats didn't go out, leaving dinghies to entertain the spectators.

However, nothing seems to faze Duncan Madin, who continues to dominate the Saturday Fast Handicap series.

On Sunday more boats raced but, while the wind was not quite so fierce, there were some squally showers that added to the challenge.

Alan Cone won both Fast Handicap races while Joe Drake did the same in the Slow Handicaps. Three Broads One Designs raced and Guy Foulger in Peewit had a narrow win ahead of Mark and Annabelle Drake in Warbler, while the six boats in the Waveney fleet had the misfortune to be racing when the heaviest rain fell.

Trevor Balls and Valerie Walker were the winners in Creeping Jenny ahead of David and Suzanne Yapp in Foxglove.

The Mixed Keels race rounded off a good weekend for the Drake family when Warbler finished first with another Broads OD, Sam Cole's Pipit, in second place ahead of the chasing Waveneys.

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