SAILING: Bell rings up a victory

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With no racing the previous week as it was the club’s family camping weekend, Sunday saw the fourth regatta of the season – the Welland Paddle – with 14 competitors in 11 boats taking part.

The day started with a reasonable breeze and despite the number of boats taking part race one got underway without incident with the usual faster sailors taking the early lead.

There were a couple of people not in their usual boats, just to give that unknown factor to the day.

As always, until the handicaps are applied when the race is complete, no one is too sure if they’ve done enough get a good result.

However, Tom Bell took the win from Andy Prior, with Paul Burton third and Phil Robinson fourth.

The wind had died away for race two and it transpired that it took longer to do one lap than it did two in race one!

With each boat trying to find what little breeze there was, Burton, Prior and Bell made the best progress, closely followed by Brian Cobb and Martin Cook, who managed to stay within handicap distance. This time, Prior took the win from Bell, with Cook third and Cobb fourth.

By race three, the breeze had returned a little. With Prior and Bell having a win and a second apiece, it was all down to who finished above who for overall honours.

As the race started, Bell got caught up in the midfield and it looked like the event would be Prior’s.

As the race progressed, Bell made gains on Prior to pass him. Then the return leg seemed to favour Prior.

Both were in identical boats, so it was a simple case of who finished ahead.

The jostling for position allowed Burton the chance to pull his lead out further. Burton stayed in front, with Bell’s second place giving him overall victory.

Prior was third and newcomer to the club, Alan Cox, was fourth.

Final overall result: 1st Tom Bell, 2nd Andy Prior, 3rd Paul Burton and 4th Brian Cobb.

Anyone interested in finding out more about sailing should contact the club via email

This Sunday, a team from Welland Yacht Club is competing in the 24-hour race at Ferry Meadows in aid of the RNLI.