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Two are better than one at Welland Yacht Club personal handicap regatta

Welland Yacht Club’s Andy Prior and Tom Bell recovered from a disastrous start in the PBS Salva event to win the personal handicap regatta.

Prior and crew Bell did not hear the five-minute signal to start the first race, gifting Ros Nickols in her Europe and Richard Stedman in his Laser a head start.

Then a broken tiller extension forced Stedman to retire and although Prior and Bell persevered, they had no chance of catching Nickols who took the first win.

Tom Bell and Andy Prior.
Tom Bell and Andy Prior.

Come the afternoon, there were five boats in the fleet - Geri van Haren in his Phantom and Brian Cobb in a second Europe.

But this time Prior and Bell got away in the lead from Stedman, Nickols, van Haren and Cobb.

A snapped main sheet and makeshift repair dropped van Haren to the back of the fleet.

But as they rounded the windward mark at the top of the course, it was still Prior and Bell in front with Nickols second, Stedman third and van Haren had moved back to fourth, ahead of Cobb.

Although the positions would not change it would be down to the time gap and handicaps as Prior and Bell held on to the win from Nickols in second and Stedman third.

So going into the final race, Nickols and Prior and Bell were tied on points.

Cobb made the most of the start with Stedman second, Nickols third, van Haren fourth and Prior and Bell at the rear.

Rose Nickols and Richard Stedman.
Rose Nickols and Richard Stedman.

As they headed to the windward mark, van Haren had moved up to first, with Stedman second and Prior and Bell third, then Nickols, followed by Cobb.

With Prior and Bell calling for right of way at the mark, Stedman slipped to third before a misjudged tack ended up dropping him to last place.

As the first lap was completed, van Haren led from Prior and Bell who were ahead of Nickols.

It remained unchanged at the finish and, after handicap, van Haren kept his placing with Cobb second.

Crucially, though, Prior and Bell secured overall victory with a third place, with Nickols fourth and Stedman fifth.

To find out more about sailing or the club email secretary@wellandyachtclub.co.uk

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