Weather relents at Oulton Broad

So far the winter sailing series on Oulton Broad has alternated between good sailing weather and decidedly unfriendly stuff – with last weekend one of the good ones.

There was a good westerly breeze and bright sunshine, although ice on the decks made conditions dangerous.

In the first Fast Handicap race Ben Falat in his Phantom got well away early on and stayed out in front until the last few yards, when Duncan Madin got past. But his narrow seven second lead was nothing like enough to save his place on handicap, which went to Ben with David Frary in his Finn picking up places to finish third just four seconds adrift.

There was another good fleet of 11 Squibs and club commodore David Gooch, crewed by Richard Smith – having a change from sailing his RS500 – quickly took a lead which they extended and then almost lost as the race went on. In second place was Owen Delany while Bryan Riley could make no impression on the leaders and finished third.

Joe Drake, sailing a Topper, and Bethany Hood, in a Tera, had two good races in the Slow Handicap, winning one each.

In the first, won by Drake, they were separated by just four seconds on handicap, but in the second Bethany was much closer on the water and had a nearly a minute tp spare on handicap.

The second Fast Handicap race was remarkably similar to the first only this time Ben Falat stayed in front of Duncan Madin which meant that on handicap he dropped to third behind David Frary.

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The Squibs had another good race but with a complete change in fortune. Bryan and Jenny Riley got the best start and lead throughout leaving Gooch to play catch up with Jim Tubby in third to record his best place so far in the series.