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Round-up of Sunday race action from Welland Yacht Club

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Clive Herd was triumphant in the Lowland Trophy competition held at Welland Yacht Club on Sunday.

In this event, the race format is varied to add interesting variations from the standard three-race regatta format.

For the start of race one, competitors only found out the direction that they were starting with on the course by answering cryptic clues post the starting gun.

Winner Clive Herd
Winner Clive Herd

Neal Tack and Rebecca Slater in a RS Vision hit the start line spot on the starting gun, having opted to answer the clues and reveal the course while making progress up the river - which gave them a big advantage over the competitors who chose to answer the clues first.

They hung on to this lead for the majority of the race but Herd - sailing a borrowed Solo - did manage to catch up and overtake them to secure the win by 13 seconds over Tack and Slator.

In third place was Alan Cox with grandson Buddy, who had made good progress in an RS Feva. Club Commodore Tom Bell was fourth, with newcomer Matt Breathwick – in an RS Vision – taking fifth.

Eric Murray and Reggie Saunston in a Mirror were sixth, with Ben Parsons in a Laser a further spot back.

Gerri van Haren brought up the rear in his Phantom, having lost a lot of time trying to establish the course while controlling the powerful boat.

For the second race, officer of the day Andy Prior chose the pursuit race format - where boats set off according to their handicap and the finishing gun goes after 50 minutes.

Eric Murray and Reggie Saunston
Eric Murray and Reggie Saunston

Murray and Saunston were off first in their smaller Mirror, but Cox was soon catching them up.

Next away was Herd, who was getting used to the borrowed boat and sailing well. This left the two RS Visions of Tack and Bell locked in a tight race across the full 50 minutes.

With less than 15 minutes to go, Herd had caught up with all the boats ahead and was in first place from Cox in second.

Both boats maintained this position until the finish, with neither of the Visions being able to catch them.

Right up until the last minutes it looked like Bell would take third and the ‘Vision’ honours, but Tack managed to snatch it from him late on by only half-a-boat length. Murray and Saunston came in fifth.

For the third race, an unusual downwind start was chosen which added a chicane to the course.

Boats passing through the chicane
Boats passing through the chicane

However, this didn’t stop Herd pulling out a good lead which he kept for almost all of the race.

The final rule change meant that, once a boat had crossed the normal finish line, it had to then reverse back over it to get the finishing hooter.

This proved harder for Herd in the borrowed boat, which allowed Tack and Slator to not only catch him up but take race honours by quickly backing over the line.

Cox and his grandson had sailed the small RS Feva well and were always in contention, and a swift shift to reverse allowed then to take second on corrected time.

Results were well spread, with Herd taking first from Tack/Slator second, Cox and grandson third, Bell/Breathwick fourth and fifth while best fancy dress went to Murray/Saunston.

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