SAILING: Tom takes the Tulip Trophy

Welland Yacht Club
Welland Yacht Club
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Tom Bell collected the Tulip Trophy in Welland Yacht Club’s second regatta of the season.

This year’s event was run on personal handicaps and over three races.

With a moderate breeze and 13 boats, starting position was crucial.

With a run down to the first mark and a gybe turn around it, space was limited as the fleet bunched up – making for a few calls of right of way.

The lead pack started to spread out but with similar boats on different handicaps, no one was too sure how much they would need to beat the other boat by to keep the lead.

Then within reach of the finish line Will Cook capsized which no doubt cost him dear.

Race one ended with Phil Robinson taking the win,ahead of Cook, Paul Burton and Bell.

Race two saw much of the same with the start being crucial to the end result with the occasional gust to test some of the less experienced sailors.

This time, Cook took the win from Robinson in second, Shelly Woolridge third and Bell fourth.

With three points apiece, it looked like a battle for overall honours between Robinson and Cook.

But Robinson announced he wasn’t going to compete in the last race, leaving it to be Cook’s to lose.

With it being even more evident starting position was key, the run to the first mark was congested and after a bump between two boats resulting in a penalty for one of them.

As the fleet started, Cook couldn’t open up a big enough lead over the slower boats to maintain a high position once handicaps applied dropping him towards the back.

Bell took victory from Paul Burton, Lucy Burton and Paul Wilson.

Bell’s win in race three, together with his fourths in the previous two, was enough for him to steal overall victory from Cook in second with Paul Burton third and Robinson held onto fourth despite only competing in two races.