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Tight finish to sailors' last race series of summer

Sunday was the last full day’s racing for the season, with the Richard Glen Challenge Bowl regatta.

Competed under personal handicap, 10 boats took to the start of race one, although one had to drop out due to a rigging issue.

With the start getting underway without further issues, Martin Cook took the lead from junior Katie Follington, followed by Alan Cox, Paul Wilson, Gail Follington, Geri van Haren, juniors Samuel and Freya Willerton, with Brian Cobb completing the fleet.

As the boats worked their way up the course to the first bend, Cook still had the lead, with Cox, Wilson and Follington snr neck and neck for second.

Start of race one (5230049)
Start of race one (5230049)

van Haren had now caught the back of the leading boats, with Follington jnr still ahead of Cobb and the Willerton siblings at the back. As they rounded the top mark, van Haren briefly took the lead from Cox, Cook, Wilson and Follington snr.

Once on the run back down river, Cox managed to get ahead and open up a small lead. Meanwhile, at the back, Katie Follington managed to keep the leaders in sight and Freya and Samuel Willerton kept their own little race, going despite a capsize from Samuel.

By the time the fleet had rounded the top mark for the second time, van Haren had regained the lead from Cox, then Cook, which was the finishing order on the water. However, by keeping close to the lead boats, junior Katie Follington took the win under personal handicap from Alan Cox, with Gail Follington third and Martin Cook fourth.

With nine boats taking to the start for the second race, Geri van Haren got the best of the start, followed by Martin Cook, Alan Cox, Brian Cobb, Rosie Willerton, Katie Follington, Samuel Willerton, Paul Wilson and Gail Follington.

With van Haren opening up an increasing lead, the boats rounded the top mark, then Cobb managed to capsize and with his mast well and truly stuck in the mud, had to be assisted to right his boat, ending his race.

Cox had now moved into second from Cook followed by Follington snr this would be the finishing order at the end of the race. This time, Geri van Haren built up enough of a lead to keep the win, with Martin Cook close enough to take second, from Cox third.


With only three points covering five places, it was all to play for as they went into the third race, but van Haren elected to call it a day, Cobb retired with his boat needing a minor repair, which left eight boats taking to the start.

This time, Paul Wilson got the best of the start, from Martin Cook, Alan Cox, Katie Follington, Gail Follington, Rosie, Samuel and Freya Willerton.

As the fleet rounded the top mark, Cook would hit the mark, meaning he would have to take penalty turns dropping him a couple of places back. By now, the wind had subsided considerably, making some parts of the course slow going. However, Cook managed to gain the lead from Wilson in the final stages of the race, only to have it taken back off him under handicap. First place went to Paul Wilson, from Martin Cook second and Alan Cox third.

Overall, it couldn’t have been closer, with first and second tied on eight points and third and fourth tied on 10 points, it was down to the rule of count back, so overall victory went to Martin Cook, from Alan Cox in second, Paul Wilson third and junior Katie Follington fourth.

This Sunday will see the start of the frostbite series, with only one race per Sunday and the final on Boxing Day.

Anyone wanting to find out more about sailing should contact the club via email sectretary@wellandyachtclub.co.uk

Winner Martin Cook (5230046)
Winner Martin Cook (5230046)


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