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SAILING: Double delight as Prior takes honours

Regatta winner Andy Prior
Regatta winner Andy Prior

The Flag Officer’s Cup at Welland Yacht Club had to be sailed on Sunday with almost no wind which reduced the fleet to seven competitors.

Officer of the day Paul Wilson set a very short course for race one but even that had to be shortened due to the time it was taking to complete.

With small amounts of wind filling in from the back of the course, all competitors bunched up close and by the time they reached the bottom mark even the smaller Toppers were still in close contention.

Heading upwind soon split the fleet with the Lasers of Tom Bell, Andy Prior and Gail Follington able to pull out a small lead from the smaller boats.

Prior was able to capitalise to finish the long and slow race 20 seconds ahead of Bell who in turn came clear of Follington.

Brian Cobb came in next but dropped to sixth once boat handicaps were applied.

Neal Tack and Rebecca Slator came in fourth followed by junior Katie Follington in a Topper who moved up to third on handicap.

Junior Rosey Willerton kept in contention to finish seventh.

Slow progress around the course
Slow progress around the course

The second race started with slightly more wind so the officer set a longer course with boats having to do two laps instead of the one in the first race.

To start with the wind was consistent which allowed Prior to open up a short lead on the beat from Bell then Cobb on the first lap.

By lap two, the wind had dropped and changed direction - meaning another long race, so much so that many boats retired.

Prior was able to keep his lead for the rest of the race ahead of Bell with Cobb some distance behind. Katie Follington persevered to come in fourth and the last finisher.

Welland Yacht Club
Welland Yacht Club

The wind continued to drop so the third race was cancelled, leaving Prior to take the trophy with Bell second overall.

Katie Follington secured a well-deserved third overall and the trophy for first junior.

Cobb took fourth ahead of Gail Follington, Tack and Slator then Rosey Willerton.

To find out more about sailing, email secretary@wellandyachtclub.co.uk

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