SAILING: Fancy that! Holland takes overall victory

Welland Yacht Club
Welland Yacht Club
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The fancy dress theme was pub signs for Welland Yacht Club’s Lowlands Trophy.

Winner of the fancy dress was Lucy Burton as the Red Lion, joint-second were Rebecca Slator and Neal Tack as The Lamb & Flag with Gail Follington taking a different approach as the gents sign.

Overall winner Mark Holland

Overall winner Mark Holland

With Paul Burton and Mark Holland both choosing the Rose & Crown, all others not in fancy dress were given a 30-second penalty for the first race.

A novel start meant they had to cross the start line backwards and there were also letters placed along the course to note which spelt a pub name, again time added for those who didn’t get the name.

Holland managed to make the most of the unorthodox start, taking the early lead from Paul Burton and Brian Cobb who then found the best of the breeze to go in front.

By the time they had rounded the top mark, Tom Bell and Geri van Haren had also worked their way to the top four on the water.

Third overall Lucy Burton

Third overall Lucy Burton

Another added feature was a chicane for the return leg and with the wind still absent, the race was reduced to one lap.

Cobb finished ahead of Emma Agar, Holland and Paul Burton once the personal handicaps had been applied and time penalties added.

For race two, the boats lined up in race one finishing order with the first boat furthest from the line and the last boat ahead of the line.

The competitors then ran to their boats on the start signal.

Second overall Brian Cobb

Second overall Brian Cobb

This time floats were placed on the river, each with a time ranging from five to 30 seconds which each competitor had to collect one on the way and the time would be deducted off their finish time.

The course had been shortened slightly with the chicane remaining on the return leg, as the breeze had picked up slightly it was hopeful that two laps would be able to be completed.

Tack and Slator followed by Lucy Burton, Follington and Holland were the initial front four.

Each boat managed to get a float on the up river leg then the wind died away and the more experienced Bell, Paul Burton and Cobb filtered through to the front.

The race was shortened to one lap and once handicaps applied, the results put Holland in front of Lucy Burton, Tack & Slator and Bell.

Going into race three, Holland was in the lead with Cobb and Lucy Burton tied in second.

Other than the chicane having to be negotiated on the out as well as the return leg, the final race would be conventional.

The breeze had picked up slightly and Bell made the best start.

Once the top mark had been rounded, it was Bell from Paul Burton then Cobb, Holland and Lucy Burton.

Not being too sure on how much the personal handicaps would alter the positions on the water and knowing that third place would be enough for outright victory, Holland could only hope his current fourth place would be enough as catching the three ahead was getting increasingly difficult with the light shifting breeze causing him to stall a few times.

The breeze maintained for the planned two-lap duration. 
Once handicaps applied Cobb took the win from Holland with Bell third and Lucy Burton fourth.

Overall result: 1 Holland, 2 Cobb, 3 L Burton, 4 Bell.

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