SAILING: Hat-trick of wins for Paul

Wet and windy start to race one
Wet and windy start to race one
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With numbers swelled by visitors from Boston’s Witham Sailing Club, a total of 10 boats competed for the A1 Transport Trophy at Welland Yacht Club on Sunday.

The day started with heavy rain and blustery winds with all boats starting on a beam reach up to the first mark.

First to arrive were Andy Prior and Tom Bell who had teamed up to sail a newly -refurbished Scorpion with Paul Burton in his Phantom following closely behind just ahead of the main pack.

On the following reach Burton got past the Scorpion and gradually pulled out a good lead while an RS200 from Witham tried its best to pass Prior and Bell, aided in part by Prior falling out the back of the boat.

Further down the fleet the lower handicap boats, including Martin Cook in a Solo, Neil Tack in a Graduate and Lucy Burton in a Byte, were competing in some close racing which at times kept the rescue boat busy.

Burton crossed the line first sufficiently ahead to take first place on handicap.

Overall winner Paul Burton (nearest to camera) and daughter Lucy who was best junior and fourth overall.

Overall winner Paul Burton (nearest to camera) and daughter Lucy who was best junior and fourth overall.

Although Prior and Bell crossed in second, they lost out on the visiting RS200 by seconds on handicap.

Tack and Rebecca Slator took fourth place with Cook finishing fifth. Witham boats took sixth and seventh with Welland junior Lucy Burton eighth.

Although the rain had stopped and the sun was shining, race two saw a depleted fleet with Bell and Prior retiring on the start line having suffered a split centreboard.

Both the Witham RS200 and Phil Robinson in his Laser showed no starts due to work commitments and a nasty bang on the head following a capsize in race one, respectively.

Among this smaller fleet, Cook managed to get a flying start and had a lead of 100 metres by the first buoy but with Burton catching up rapidly.

In the strong winds Cook succumbed to the inevitable and Burton in the faster Phantom then pulled out to take the race honours, with Tack finishing third and Lucy Burton taking a well-deserved fourth. Witham boats took fifth with Gerri Van Hensen sixth.

With two wins out of two, Burton took no chances on race three and led from start to finish for the overall trophy win.

Cook took second with Tack and Slator finishing third, one place ahead of Lucy Burton.

Consistency paid off for Cook who took second overall from Tack and Slator in third. Lucy Burton was fourth and in addition received the best juniors prize.

This Sunday sees races two, three and four of the personal handicap series.

The club’s end-of-season social night is on Saturday, November 12, from 7pm.