Tims makes a mark on seasonal debut

Clubs delayed the start of their programmes on Sunday to mark the two-minute silence as usual.

Once started, sailors enjoyed a pleasantly warm and sunny day made better by a Force 2-3 easterly.

Frostbites welcomed Ian Tims and Martin Devlin, and Mike Collins and John Robinson, for their first visits of the season.

Tims lost no time in asserting himself in the Norfolk race, breaking clear of the other 10 starters and maintaining his lead, despite close challenges from David and Kate Mackley, who were always there ready to pounce on any slip-up.

In their wake, Ray Johnson and Pat Woodcock eventually hauled themselves up to third after a long battle with John and Neelia Clabburn.

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The handicap race again saw Tims well ahead, but it was not enough to see off John and Caroline Ellis.

They, like Tims, broke clear in the early stages and, despite this best efforts, Collins never quite managed to make up the distance to deprive Ellis of a well-deserved second gun, and handicap win over Tims by 20 seconds.

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Snowflakes are having something of a boom time this year, with 13 Yeomans and four dinghies coming to the line for two races each before lunch, after which the wind faded completely.

James Dugdale again won both dinghy races, while the Yeomans encountered fraught starts on a crowded line, not helped by a couple of motor cruisers at the wrong time.

In the first race Ian Hanson and Q Stewart and Gary Ross and Stephen Dixon both broke clear of the starting melee to get well away down the street to the turning mark, and then up to the top of Swan Reach, where the wind was very 'iffy', finishing with four minutes to spare over the third boat.

In the second race Roger and Paul Claxton were pace-setters all the way until it really mattered, as, coming up to the final leg, the persistent Ross, who had been chasing them all the way, finally found a gap and slipped through them to take the first gun.

Rollesby experienced the culmination of the Eels Foot series, in which the constrictions of the cut between Rollesby and Eels Foot Broad necessitate some relaxation of the rules – pumping, paddling, or at least once wading the boat through.

With four boats in the running, it was close, Ian Ayres taking the lead after Bob Sparrow and Tony Gibbs missed out on a crucial windshift, but the main battle involved John Saddington's Solo and Dave Salmon's Laser, who were neck and neck throughout the hour-long race.

Saddington took third place over the water by four seconds, just enough to give him the series victory over Derek Page and Gill Stevenson's Stratos, second on the day and overall.

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