Thrilling action for big Rollesby fleet

Notwithstanding a dour and accurate forecast, Rollesby enjoyed an excellent turnout of 26 helms on Sunday for an intense if soggy day's racing.

The 17-strong Single-Hander fleet provided the main interest. Predictably Laurence Milton led both morning races but was unable to build a lead sufficient to offset his handicap.

In his wake, Roger Wilson showed the Solo fleet how it was done, establishing a small lead over Peter Matthews and Bob Hawkins on the first round and steadily stretching it. A very biased beat made place changing minimal, although Ian Ayres did pull past Hawkins for third spot.

Wind vagaries dictated the outcome of the second race as a brief easing just before the start left Wilson and Ayres in solitary state at the favoured end of the line and for the ensuing 40 minutes they were never more than three boats' lengths apart.

Several times they swapped places, but the crucial time came on the final 40 yard beat when Ayres came through to win by one second.


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Matthews recovered well to take third while much attention was bestowed on Daniel Bull's Topper, but he just missed out on breaking the Solo stranglehold.

Peter Dearnley and Di Slatter monopolized the multi-sails, winning both morning races and then taking the afternoon combined race, a success largely due to their expert spinnaker work on the long runs on a day which proved good for the Wayfarers.

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Frostbites turned out 13 Norfolks for two races in a light northerly. Matthew Thwaites and Thomas Percival Cooke were early pace-setters in the first race, but soon succumbed to Kevin Edwards, David Mackley, and Paul Carrington.

Carrington and Davies had their reward when they chased the Mackleys all the way in the handicap race, when the 10 second gap between them proved more than enough to beat the Mackleys, who had crossed the line just one second ahead of Edwards in a thrilling finish.

John and Caroline Ellis pulled away from the rest of the fleet on the first run and well deserved their overall second spot, while Paul and Karen Armitage did well to get fifth.

The Ladies and Juniors Race followed, Wendy Bush winning comfortably, with the remaining three, two crewed by assorted Edwards, finishing in a bunch, and Ellie of that clan taking the Junior Trophy.

Bad news from Snowflakes, again firmly grounded in their pens due to the unusually low level of the Bure.

With a low tide predicted for this Sunday there is concern as to whether the planned down-river will take place.

• I am sad to report the death, last Friday, of Audrey Green.

She and her husband Basil originally sailed their Yeoman at Queen Mary SC and, on Basil's retirement they moved to Norfolk about 22 years ago and joined NBYC and Snowflakes.

Audrey was an enthusiastic crew and, with Basil, played a large part in the class management and was also active in the training field particularly NBYC's Easter School. I do not have details of the funeral at this time.

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