Richard Fryer suited to conditions in winter sailing series on Oulton Broad

The winter sailing series on Oulton Broad continued last Sunday with weather which again would have been welcome in the summer – in fact if anything the wind was not strong enough.

'Where have all the dinghies gone?' continues to be the cry during the first Fast Handicap race with just 10 boats out – half the number of a couple of years ago. With the wind coming from the south east there were more reaches than runs and that suited Richard Fryer's RS400 as he can sail direct from mark to mark without having to zigzag.

He took full advantage of the conditions to pull out a big lead and hold his position on handicap. Duncan Madin was also well up in second place but he had to drop a place on handicap to Ben Falat's Phantom who moved up one.

The same three boats took the front places in the second race but they shuffled the finishing order. Although Fryer was again way out in front, this time it was not far enough as Madin picked up two places to take first with Falat in third, missing out by just two seconds.

The Squibs again turned out a splendid fleet with 12 out. Bryan Riley took an early lead but David Gooch gradually caught up and slipped past into a narrow lead as the course was shortened. But he had failed to notice which side of the line the last mark, No 6, had been laid and instead of rounding the mark he went straight for the line. Riley followed but realised the mistake earlier and went for the mark, getting there just in front of Gooch. Jim Tubby was third throughout.

The same three finished the second race in the same order but this time Riley made sure he was not going to be caught and pulled out an enormous three minute lead in front of Gooch, who in turn was two minutes in front of Tubby as the race turned into a procession with Squibs spread all round the Broad.

Alan Cone was welcomed back into the Laser fleet after a long absence through illness and he took up where he had left off, winning from Veronica Falat who changed to a Laser after sailing her Streaker in the handicap race with R Cook third.

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