Snowflake racing sets tone for rest of the winter season
- Credit: Archant
Snowflake Sailing Club's first points meeting was by all the accounts a record breaker.
Twelve dinghies competed in the Allcomers races – four Toppers and eight Lasers – with six Yeoman in the keel boat races.
A combination of good sailing weather and a keen sailing group set a great tone for the rest of the season. In truth this group included some celebrated young and older sailors.
The fleets set off down river with the wind direction favouring a good run to mark one; the route back past the club house gave spectators a good view of some hotly-contested rounding of mark two.
Upriver and the run back also saw some close-hauled sailing, especially amongst the Yeoman fleet. The dinghies were spread out between the Toppers in one grouping and the Lasers – usually ahead. Flip Foulds took a commanding lead in race one but Richard Whitefoot held on for the series win.
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Sally Dugdale knows several of the younger sailors through her coaching – Tom Thwaites was the fastest Topper; he was challenged by his sister Ellie, Charlotte Knight and the return of the Hickling's Rose Ling. These four lost out to the Lasers on speed – the handicap could not make up the deficit.
The Allcomers races were won by Richard Whitefoot in his Laser Booty, followed by Flip Foulds in My Pants 2 and in third was Kim West in Michil. Toby Pearce and James Patience joined the dinghy fleet after lunch – this meant that this tiny winter club had some of the best coaches, best Topper and upcoming Laser sailors in the region.
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Cries of 'water'' and 'starboard' could be heard as these larger keel boats headed at some speed around mark two.
Watching these boats really can be quite a spectator sport as the local group of sailors do not want to give water to each other. Sally Dugdale, sailing her Yeoman Lavinia, won the keelboat races, Q Stewart was second in Kittiwake and Derek Jones third in Griffon.
This was a really excellent start to the points series despite a drop in the wind after lunch that saw some retirements.
The arrival en masse of sailors from Gorleston and the last Eel's Foot race of the year indicate the real start of winter sailing at Rollesby Broad – only the unseasonably warm weather indicated anything else.
A rare outing in their Tasar saw the Sallis' rightly lead pretty much from start to finish, with Mike McNamara's Harrier in closest pursuit.
With 20 boats on the start line, it was a good job the southerly wind spread the pack on the 1km beat to the cut. Ian Ayres in his Solo led the main pack with Dave Houghton and John Symonds (Wayfarer) recovering from a mid-fleet start and slowly working their way through to the front group. Good spinnaker conditions meant the Wayfarer slowly pulled clear enough of the single-handers to take the win from Ayres with Roger Wilson (Solo) leading home the next group to take third. A short split fleet second race saw Houghton again win in his Wayfarer from the Sallis. In the afternoon McNamara took the win from Houghton.