World champion McNamara passes on his expertise to Snowflake students

PUBLISHED: 13:03 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 13:04 21 November 2018

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Ian Symonds

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Ian Symonds


Snowflake Laser sailors had a treat on Saturday as Michael McNamara, multiple world champion in a range of dinghies, coached 15 sailors for the day.

Action from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Ian SymondsAction from Snowflake Sailing Club Picture: Ian Symonds

Topics requested included effective tacking, jibing and strategies for starts as well as mastering safe close-hauled sailing and mark rounding.

Sunday was a keelboat and Laser open. Two Stars and six Yeoman set off up-river on a long haul to mark five. Nine Lasers competed for the open trophy and two Toppers joined in the same race for the competitive buzz. The wind was shifty, making selection of where to sail vital. Spectators watched in awe as the lead Laser on one leg was rapidly overtaken by two Lasers who chose the other bank and caught more than enough wind to make the overtake. Yeoman were seen struggling with spinnakers that refused to fill one minute but then billowed out beautifully the next. It seemed the better wind was ‘around the corner’ and up-river as the fleets slowed right down by the spectators.

In the one long keel boat race the Stars needed to finish 15 minutes ahead of the Yeoman fleet to grab first place. In the event they could not quite manage this and the Yeoman Topaz of Gary Ross and Steve Dixon finished first, Kittiwake (Q Stewart and Ian Hanson) second and Griffon (Derek Jones and Neil Davidson) third. The two Stars, despite winning comfortably on the water, could not get far enough ahead to unwind the handicap, coming fourth and fifth respectively.

The Laser open was much more competitive as a one class event. In their two races the first three places alternated: Race one order was Matthew Thwaites in Rio, Ian Timms in Jack and Toby Pearce in 201707 third; in race two the order shifted to Timms, Pearce then Thwaites.

Race three saw a reduced entry as on the day two of three counted. Cliff and Chris Haslam battled each other in the Lasers with son beating father as Chris took the win; and the two Stars with Kittiwake looking for an extra win in the keel boats. Kittiwake took the race on handicap but this did not threaten the eventual winner of the open.

In the final analysis the keelboat open was won by Ross in Yeoman Topaz. The Laser open was won by Timms, second was Thwaites and Haslam moved up to third.

If you value what this gives you, please consider supporting our work. Click the link in the yellow box below for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Eastern Daily Press