Winds cause havoc for Broads sailors

First one thing, then another. Last Sunday featured steady Force 4-5 WSW gusting to Force 6 and upwards. Nevertheless, 19 craft took to the water – seven single-handers on Rollesby, six Norfolks at Frostbites, and six Yeomans at Horning.

Rollesby had white horses breaking across the broad from the start, leading to a rectangular course set by Bob Hawkins.

This was enlivened when Daniel Bull, having achieved an excellent start, capsized his reefed Topper in the first gust.

Richard Vaughan (Laser) and Ian Ayres (Solo) then took the lead, but both went horizontal on the short beat after the first mark to let a cautious Chris Toothill ahead, with Roger Wilson following in hot pursuit.

These two, by virtue of maintaining their balance, finished in that order, reversed on handicap, while Ayres pulled away from fellow capsize Vaughan, and also Matt Boreham (Laser) to take third.

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A change of course to a figure of eight, including two beats and two reaches, was set for the second race, but the wind continued to increase and before the first lap was finished only Ayres survived unscathed.

But he decided that it was too much, and although Wilson and Vaughan pressed on it was in vain as another gust took out four boats and racing was abandoned. Juniors Bull and James Denley contested the capsize awards, both going in to double figures.

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Next Sunday is the last of the winter series, and currently there are four different leaders in the five contests.

At Frostbites, ordering a reef on arrival was a 'no-brainer' for Race Officer Paul Tegerdine and Commodore Alan Mallett, but six sturdy crews set out, John Atkinson and Leona Levine taking in two reefs, although it didn't seem to lower their speed.

Kevin Edwards and Rory Kelsey led all the way, while David Mackley and Caroline Lord passed Geoff Coulthard and Robert Warnes on the second of the four rounds. There were no dramas, despite the wind gusting to 30 knots, but, prudence and concern for damage to the spars, and a further increase in the wind, stopped the programme.

The Arthur Mann Memorial trophy scheduled for the second race will now be sailed this Sunday.

Finally to Snowflakes, where only three of the six Yeomans finished the first race, led by Ian Hanson and Q Stewart, sailed up to the top of Swan reach and back down the Street.

Storm damage suffered included two torn jibs and a seriously bent mast after a broach sent one competitor into the bank.

Still, four started the second race, with a hard-fought battle between the two finishers, Julia Bennett and Carl Brady inching through on the last mark after trailing Mr Jewell and K Wright to win by two seconds.

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