Oulton Broad pairing enjoy a golden day
David HannantNic Asher and Elliot Willis from Oulton Broad took gold in Great Britain's first medal opportunity at the ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Holland, winning the men's 470 title on the Ijsselmeer waters.David Hannant
Nic Asher and Elliot Willis from Oulton Broad took gold in Great Britain's first medal opportunity at the ISAF Sailing World Cup event in Holland, winning the men's 470 title on the Ijsselmeer waters.
Although Skandia Team GBR's two-time world champions went into the last day of racing for the double-handed fleet with a 20-point lead at the top of the table, it wasn't all plain sailing with their lead severely dented after picking up a disqualification for a premature start in the first of their two fleet races earlier in the day.
This dropped them to second overall, but the duo bounced back with a fifth in the second fleet race to see them back in pole position with a margin of seven points ahead of the final ten-boat medal decider.
Shifty wind conditions and rain showers provided the backdrop for the medal race with Asher and Willis gaining a good start but struggling with the fickle wind on the third lap before finding a surge of breeze to see them through to the finish the race in fourth place, which was enough to hand them gold over Australia's Matthew Belcher and Malcolm Page.
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Nearer to home there were 12 entries for Great Yarmouth and Gorleston Sailing Club's passage race to Lowestoft and back on Sunday.
The south-westerly breeze provided straightforward conditions, giving a very close reach on the southward leg and a broader reach on the return. This clearly suited the three Hobie Tiger F18 catamarans which soon pulled well clear of the rest of the fleet and Daffy Holmes and Steve Knight in the leading cat completed the course in less than an hour and this was good enough for them to win on handicap.
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Behind them, the dinghies were led by the RS400 of Martin Browne and Di Holmes but they were not far enough ahead of Phil Highfield and Jamie Freeman in a RS500 to beat them on corrected time; the RS500 took second place overall with Browne and Holmes third.
The breeze had faded slightly during the course of the race and when the fleet launched again for the afternoon race it briefly died away completely before suddenly swinging to the south and building to a force 4 which, with a choppy sea, gave some exciting sailing conditions. Dave Abbott and Julia Faulkner established a good lead in their F18 cat and nearly won on handicap but Highfield and Freeman in the RS500 did just enough to win overall, with Rollesby visitors Roger Wilson and Dennis Manning taking third place in their Albacore.