SAILING: Cobb out on his own to claim victory

All five boats tacking up the course
All five boats tacking up the course
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Windy conditions greeted the penultimate round of Welland Yacht Club’s morning points series on Sunday.

After a few discussions between would-be racers, three of the club’s double-handers were rigged with the pairings of Paul & Lucy Burton, Tom Bell & Mark 
Holland and Geri van Heran & Phil Robinson – leaving Brian Cobb to stick with his own boat.

The race got under way without any incident with the ever increasing gusts giving the boats good speed.

Cobb made the better start, taking the early lead from the Burtons followed by Bell & Holland with van Heran & Robinson in close pursuit.

The slightly faster boat of Bell & Holland took second on the water, knowing they would need to extend the lead to maintain it after handicap.

Positions remained the same until the final run back to the club when completing a gybe, Bell & Holland capsized.

Winner of both races Brian Cobb in foreground

Winner of both races Brian Cobb in foreground

Cobb took the win from the Burtons with Bell & Holland third ahead of van Haren & Robinson.

The afternoon started with the first race of the commodores points series with the morning’s line-up joined by Ros Nickols.

With the wind still gusting strongly, Bell & Holland got the better start from Cobb then Nickols, the Burtons and van Haren & Robinson.

Cobb, in a faster boat, took the lead before rounding the top mark with Bell & Holland trying to keep within handicap distance to him on the run back down the course.

The Burtons had caught Nickols and were making gains for second place.

As van Haren & Robinson rounded the top mark, one of their mast support shrouds snapped under the pressure – forcing them to drop the mainsail and limp back under jib.

Despite closing on Cobb on the run back, Bell & Holland could not pass him.

Cobb extended his lead again on the tacks back up the course on the second leg – leaving Bell & Holland to try to keep their time lead over the Burtons large enough for the handicap adjustment.

On the final run back down to the finish, Nickols suffered a series of capsizes which took their toll and she had to be recovered back to shore.

Cobb took the win and after handicaps Paul & Lucy Burton sealed second from Bell & Holland.

In light of the conditions the day’s final race was called off.

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