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Round-up of Sunday's sailing action at Welland Yacht Club

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Welland Yacht Club’s opening two races of Sunday’s action were pursuit events.

This is where slower boats start earlier relative to their assigned handicap and faster boats start later - in theory evening out the fleet over the course of 50 minutes, with all boats sailed equally and in equal conditions, reaching the same end point.

This was a new concept for many of the sailors and, in race one, only four of 10 boats made it to the start line at their allotted time.

The start of race three at Welland Yacht Club on Sunday
The start of race three at Welland Yacht Club on Sunday

Heading up to buoy one before sailing down to three in light and variable winds, all eventually started the race.

Roughly 10 minutes before the end, Andy Prior (Laser) led with Gerri Van Heren (Phantom) and Martin Cook (Solo) not far behind.

Positions changed a little in the latter half of the fleet as the boats rounded buoy one again, and boats were fighting to overtake on the downwind stretch as the race came to a finish.

Results were: Andy Prior, Gerrit Van Heren, Martin Cook, Ben Parsons (Laser) Mark Holland (Laser) Neal Tack and Rebecca Slater (Graduate), Richard Holland (Laser), Nick Bonsor (Solo), Helen Boyd (Solo) and lastly Clive Herd and Natalia Safianowicz (Graduate), who suffered a grounding incident not far from the finish.

Race two began with all boats successfully reaching the start line ahead of their allotted time.

The final leg was the most exciting, with positions changing as boats found small gusts of wind or stalled and were overtaken.

Andy Prior in the opening race on Sunday
Andy Prior in the opening race on Sunday

In the lead was Prior, Herd and Safianowicz,Van Heren, Holland, Tack and Slater followed by Cook.

The final positions were hotly contested, with the last four ending in Bonsor, Parsons, Holland and Boyd.

Race three was a standard style race but, after the start, the first leg up to buoy one was chaotic - with a dropping wind and some interesting rules being applied for rounding the buoy.

Emerging from the chaos came Prior in front, Alan Cox (Laser), then Herd and Safianowicz.

Final results following handicap had Prior victorious, Cook in a valiant second place and Cox in third.

The club are holding their open day on Sunday from 10.30am-3.30pm for anyone wanting to try their hand at sailing.

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