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SAILING: Tom takes Tulip Regatta title




A cold, cloudy bank holiday Sunday with little wind set the scene for the Tulip Regatta with 10 boats taking to the start of race one.

All got away without any issues with Brian Cobb taking the early lead from Ros Nickols, Clive Herd, Tom Bell, Samuel Willerton, Alan Cox, Freya Willerton, Paul Burton, Geri van Haren and Gail & Katie Follington.

Start of race one
Start of race one

As they made their way up to the first mark, Bell managed to lead around the mark closely followed by Van Haren and Cox.

Van Haren took the lead on the way back down the course and as they started the second lap, the Willertons each elected to take a lap time.

The order remained the same throughout the final lap with van Haren managing to retain the win once handicaps were applied from Bell in second and Cox third.

Geri van Haren
Geri van Haren

Race two saw Herd getting the better start from Cobb, Bell, Burton, Cox, Freya Willerton, Van Haren and the Follingtons.

As the race progressed, van Haren soon made his way to lead around the top mark and the wind dropped away.

Despite leading for the entire race, van Haren could not pull out a bigger enough lead - falling right back to sixth under handicap.

The win went to Herd from Bell in second and Cox third.

Clive Herd
Clive Herd

The final race of the day saw only five boats taking to the start.

It was close between Bell, Cox and Herd with Bell just making it first around the top mark.

He opened up his lead on the way back down towards the clubhouse finish by which time the wind had almost died completely.

Cox took the win under handicap from Bell in second and Cobb third.

Alan Cox
Alan Cox

With consistency paying off, Bell’s three second places earned him overall victory from Cox in second and Herd third.

Tom Bell
Tom Bell

Anyone wanting to try sailing for themselves should come down to the club on Sunday for the open day from noon to 4pm.

Five boats started race four in the morning points series.

Alan Cox got away ahead of Mark Holland - both in Laser Radials - followed by Alistair Mitchell (Laser full rig) then juniors Samuel Willerton and Olivia Hall both in Toppers.

As they made their way up the course, the larger sailed Laser of Mitchell started to gain on the lead two Radials.

Mitchell hit a problem when his tiller came detached from his rudder, losing time against the leaders while trying to reconnect it with Willerton and Hall having their own race further back between themselves.

On the way back down the course, it was still Cox from Holland then Mitchell.

As they rounded the lower mark, Cox turned in early and became head to wind while trying to clear the buoy - allowing Holland to take the lead as they started the second lap.

With Mitchell starting to make back the previous lost ground, Willerton and Hall elected to take a lap time.

As Mitchell became ever closer to Cox, the tiller issue struck again - dropping him further back.

As they headed to lower mark for the final time, it was still Holland from Cox, this time Holland went for a wider approach - allowing Cox to cut on the inside to take the lead as they crossed the line.

Once handicaps were applied, Cox took the win from Holland second, Mitchell third, Willerton fourth and Hall fifth.

The afternoon saw the first two races of the personal handicap pursuit series.

Pursuit racing is where the handicap is applied at the start to give staggered start times. Then simply the winner is whoever is in the lead at the end of the 60-minute race duration.

With nine boats, the starting sequences were set.

Juniors Olivia Hall and Samuel Willerton set off, then it was Katie Follington’s turn to start - although a jammed traveller delayed her start.

The rest of the fleet then each took their starts.

On the top straight before the mark, Willerton capsized. With his mast firmly stuck in the mud, he needed assistance from the safety boat and retired.

Hall also elected to retire at the end of the first lap.

Andy Agar, whose main block had been jammed from the start, slipped to the back.

The remainder of the fleet started to close during the second lap with Holland having passed Follington jnr soon followed by Cox and Follington snr.

Cox gained while the clock counted down the final minutes.

As the 60 minutes ended, it was Holland first, Cox second, Follington snr third, Follington jnr fourth, Mitchell fifth, Cobb sixth and Agar seventh.

Race two saw only seven boats and the starts were adjusted to suit.

Katie Follington got a flying start followed by Holland then Cox & Cobb who shared a start time then Follington snr followed by Agar and finally Mitchell.

On the run up to the first mark, Cox and Follington snr soon caught Holland and passed with Mitchell gaining on the entire fleet from behind.

During the second lap, Cobb ended running onto the stone bank - luckily without causing too much damage.

In the end Katie Follington proved impossible to catch - taking the win from Mitchell in second, Follington snr third, Holland fourth, Cox fifth, Agar sixth and Cobb seventh.



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