Balls family enjoy arrival of summer
Summer finally arrived at Oulton Broad at the weekend – and it couldn't have come at a better time because it was also the Waveney Class Championship.
There was a good westerly wind blowing on Saturday which gave a good beat and run course for the 12 boats which were entered. The whole event consisted of five races with four to count and two races were sailed on Saturday.
The winner last year was Simon Marfleet in Iris and he looked as though he was going to hold on to the trophy as he comfortably won the first race from Phil Cooper and Trevor Balls. For the second race Jake Balls took the helm of Creeping Jenny and won, with Phil Large, who had taken over the helm of Iris, second and Geoff Little and Sue Harper third.
On Sunday, George Gower got the best of the start and led at the first mark and stayed there to the end. David Yapp, who had not sailed on Saturday, took second place and Trevor Balls was back on the helm in third with Iris fourth.
Three races with three different winners made the overall points situation very close going into the fourth race and Jake Balls edged ahead by winning his second race, just ahead of Iris this time, with Simon back on the helm, and Geoff Little made it a repeat of the second race by finishing third and moving into third place overall.
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By the final race Creeping Jenny was the favourite to win overall, although it was not impossible for two or three others to catch up. Geoff Little pulled out a lead on the first round and stayed ahead to become the fourth boat to record a race win, but Jake Balls worked his way up to second to make it a Balls family win overall.
The good weather on Sunday brought some of the best conditions this season at Gorleston, with 19 boats. The two morning races were dominated by Chris Sallis and Jamie Freeman sailing a RS800 and winning twice. The Hobie Tiger of Steve Shaw and Ed Anderson led the fleet around the course in both races and on corrected time recorded a second and third.
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The two races in the afternoon were sailed around an Olympic course. In the first race, Sallis and Freeman were first round the windward mark but suffered mast failure. David Houghton and John Symonds sailing a RS500 then took the lead followed by Richard Fryer and Carol Smalls in their RS400, these positions remaining unchanged at the finish.
In the final race Shaw and Anderson did horizon job on most of the fleet, lapping many of the other boats. However, on corrected time Houghton and Symonds took the win from Fryer and Smalls.