SAILING: Perfect day as Tom wins points series

Welland Yacht Club
Welland Yacht Club
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Tom Bell has won Welland Yacht Club’s morning points series.

In contrast to the previous weekend, perfect conditions greeted the competitors on Sunday with warm weather and a strong westerly breeze, allowing the officer of the day to set a long course all the way to the bypass bridge.

The first race of the day was the sixth and final race in the morning points series and saw some close racing, with the Lasers of Bell and Andy Prior swapping positions many times.

Despite a capsize Prior fought back to take first place from Bell by only two seconds with Shelly Woolridge taking third spot in her Laser Radial ahead of junior Harry Whitelam in a Topper sailing his first competitive race.

Overall this meant the series was won by Bell with Prior second and Paul Burton in third.

The afternoon’s races were round three and four of the commodore points series with the first of these being won by Prior with Bell in second after falling out of the back of the boat as he rounded buoy six.

Third place was taken by an ever-improving Gail Follington with Woolridge, also in a Laser Radial, in fourth with Neal Tack in fifth.

Whitelam, showing great potential, came in sixth with another junior, Katie Follington, seventh.

The final race of the day saw a depleted fleet as both Bell and Prior were unavailable but that didn’t stop some competitive racing.

Gail Follington took first place from Tack in second and Woolridge in third with Katie Follington in fourth.

The day saw two more juniors make the step up in competing in the racing schedule with very good results.

Follington and Whitelam make it five junior members who are actively competing among the adults.

Gail Follington now leads the series by one point with two races to go.

Appalling conditions greeted the competitors the previous week with persistent rain and strong winds ruling the day.

The first race was the penultimate and fifth round of the morning points series.

Bell claimed victory ahead of Paul Burton and Phil Robinson.

The second and third races of the day were the first two rounds of the commodore points series.

With no sign of the winds easing there were plenty of capsizes throughout the afternoon, although Gail Follington made the most of the conditions to take first place.

She also won race two ahead of Bell, Tack, Robinson and Burton.

With conditions getting even worse, race three saw only three boats start, with two finishing – Tack taking the win from Burton.