Thrills and spills as Sharkie takes honours at Beccles

A fresh north-westerly blew through Beccles on Saturday, resulting in some thrills and spills for sailors and spectators alike as planeing conditions prevailed for some boats and high speed capsizes for others.

With the busy summer racing schedule all finished, the start of the Series D commenced with a reasonable show of boats especially in the handicap races for Dinghys.

A great start by Glen Curtis and Jake Shipley in Enterprise Polyarchy in race one had them accelerate away from the mixed fleet of Ents, Lasers and a Norfolk to be first down to the leeward basin mark, closely followed by Rory Kelsey and Stuart Halliday in Evil Edna.

Both were making great headway on the broad reach back when a building wind from behind tore into them as they were flying past the clubhouse, resulting in a spectacular synchronized death-roll leaving the four occupants needing safety boat assistance.

The calamity amused the passing fleet with Kevin Edwards and Mark Langston in Sharkie eventually taking the honours on corrected time over Matt Deller's Laser.

No more spare clothes resulted in a slightly diminished fleet size for race two and this time Matt Deller and Bob Ashcroft soon put some distance between them and the rest of the fleet to enjoy probably the fastest sailing at BASC this year in their Lasers, taking first and second respectively. Hugh Braidwood, with a radial rig, just kept Sharkie at bay for third.

Only two Toppers got on the water for the Tann Trophy races.

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Both were dominated by Charlie Folkard and the Optimist campaign had all helms forced to abandon, such was the strength of wind in the first race.

Only Elena Edwards and Poppy Roll saw out the second race as retirements prevailed, Elena again this week taking top spot in the Cinnabar Cup.