Winter series has lift-off at Oulton Broad

After a couple of weeks of indifferent weather there was a considerable improvement on Oulton Broad last Sunday and the winter series showed signs of taking off.

Although it was cold, the sun was shining and there was a gentle westerly wind which had almost died away as the racing ended.

First away was the Fast Handicap race with 15 starters. Duncan Madin sailing his RS100 was quickly into a good lead which he held to the finish but in the later stages Ben Falat sailing a Phantom had caught up a bit and was just under a minute behind which was good enough to move him up to first on handicap with a 28-second advantage. David Frary in his Finn was back in sixth place on the water but moved up to third on handicap.

There was another good turnout in the Squibs although one or two of the faster boats have still not put in an appearance. Not that they would have probably changed the results as three of the fastest boats from last year took the first three places. Bryan and Jenny Riley took up from where they had left off and won comfortably from David Gooch who had given up the helm to crew Flip Foulds who was standing in for her injured mother. Owen Delany took third place.

Bethany Hood won both the Slow Handicap races in her Tera. George Catchpole in another Tera had a battle for second place with Joe Drake's Topper and they finished in that order in the first race and swapped round in the second.

In the second Fast Handicap race Nick Barratt in his RS400 lead throughout but he was not far enough in front of Duncan Madin to save his time and both were beaten in the end by Ben Falat who completed the double.

Richard Smith had a change from his RS to sail a Laser and after plenty of place changing he won from Alan Cone with Simon Marfleet third.

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The second Squib race very much followed the pattern of the first, the only change being that John Lockwood replaced Owen Delany in third place and these three were well in front of the rest as the wind died and all races were shortened.