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It’s a perfect day for Snowflake as Yeoman sailors dominate racing

PUBLISHED: 10:06 27 December 2017 | UPDATED: 10:06 27 December 2017

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

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Boxing Day ranked as an almost perfect day of winter sailing as far as Snowflake Sailing Club was concerned.

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy WildmanAction from Snowflake Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

The sky was a dazzling blue, the few clouds had no darkening effect and best of all the wind was brisk. According to the meters around the club house, it was consistently 16-19mph with some gusts of up to 21mph and one dip for a very short while that showed only 8mph.

The day was all about two open trophy races for all classes in each race. The first race for a wooden spoon and fork known as the Boxing Day Spoon trophy, the second for the Arthur Mann memorial trophy (a silver salver) and the KGFS pennant.

Such was the fabulous nature of the day that the entry sheets showed nine Yeoman and 13 dinghies.

It was decided by the race officer to split the start into Yeoman first, then dinghies, and adjust the results by the time difference of the starts. The start line was the scene of just how fickle the wind, the tide and the closeness of a narrow start can be to all – jostling for position in all four races saw winners and losers in all classes.

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy WildmanAction from Snowflake Sailing Club. Picture: Paddy Wildman

Race one for the Yeoman saw nip and tuck racing between Paul Barker helming Brandy Bottle, Sally Dugdale helming Lavinia and Ian Hanson helming Kittiwake. The exchange of places one, two and three was almost continuous but that the order they finished. Race Two, with fewer Yeoman, was a juggle of these three – Kittiwake first, Brandy Bottle second and Lavinia third.

With a much wider field and all dinghy sailors braving both races, despite some caught by sudden gusts, the results hinged on the handicap system as well as the winners on the water. Chris Haslam was the star on the water, winning both races, but after handicapping he was second in race two, retaining first in race one.

When all the results were merged and handicaps checked the Yeoman dominated, with the sole exception of Haslam who managed third in race two. So final honours for the spoon went to Barker in Brandy Bottle, then Dugdale in Lavinia and Hanson in Kittiwake. The Arthur Mann salver went to Hanson, with Dugdale second in Lavinia and Haslam scrambling a third in his Laser radial.

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