Kelsey puts his Beccles experience to the test

Action from Beccles Sailing Club Picture: Jeremy Rake

Action from Beccles Sailing Club Picture: Jeremy Rake - Credit: Archant

A particularly fickle westerly wind coupled with a falling tide greeted the sailors as the first race began at Beccles Sailing Club.

Action from Beccles Sailing Club Picture: Jeremy Rake

Action from Beccles Sailing Club Picture: Jeremy Rake - Credit: Archant

As usual the novice race kicked off proceedings, although the victor was sailing an unusually sporty dinghy for the novice race, this being a Laser 2000 helmed by Charlie Porter.

The pursuit race proved a breeze for Rory Kelsey and crew in his Norfolk – having sailed these waters for many decades, there's few conditions with which he is not familiar.

While many struggled to make the best of the fluky wind and disappearing water, Kelsey left the fleet standing. Indeed, the previous week's winners of the Clubhouse trophy, the Rolls, had to concede defeat as they became grounded on the Norfolk bank, sailing a touch too close to the wind and the muddy shoals.

The rest of the afternoon provided a proper test of sailing skills and, in some cases, patience as more race entrants were stranded in amongst the lily pads.

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As the westerly wind continued to disappear and then reappear from the east, trying to set sails accordingly was a frustrating exercise.

There was occasional relief as some beautiful gusts blew through the fleet, and those lucky enough to be in the right spot to capitalise made extra headway along the course. Kelsey was again able to make the best of what was on offer and take his second win of the day.

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A hat-trick of wins was denied Kelsey by the late arrival on the day of the Curtis duo, George and Glen, who recorded another first in the Bacchante Trophy.

Harry Shipley also managed to strike in his last race and notch up another win in his Laser, pushing him towards the podium positions in the Will Judge Cup.

Other notable performances in the Mirror Trophy were from young Josh Jones and crew in his Feva 2daloo.

They managed to navigate the course and overcome the challenging conditions to secure two first place finishes, whilst some of their fellow competitors succumbed to the ill wind, retiring from the race and even, in one case, abandoning their boat in the reeds.

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