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Welland Yacht Club resume sailing action

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Sailing resumed at Welland Yacht Club on Sunday following several weeks of inactivity due to an ongoing issue with the amount of weed in the river.

The club held two new series, and the opening race was the first outing of the Sunday points event.

There is still a lot of weed upriver so a short course was set between buoys one and two and, as the wind was light, it was only two laps in length.

The third race battle between Alan Cox (foreground), Mark Holland (middle) and Alistair Mitchell (furthest).
The third race battle between Alan Cox (foreground), Mark Holland (middle) and Alistair Mitchell (furthest).

Six boats took to the start; four lasers, one laser radial and one laser two.

With a reaching start, the course was set to go upriver from the beginning with Alan Cox taking the early lead from new member Ben Parsons followed by Mark Holland, newcomer Richard Holland (laser two), Richard Stedman (radial) and Alistair Mitchell.

The wind picked up slightly but in doing so kept shifting direction.

With the weed still present around buoy two making for a challenging rounding, Cox was first followed by Mark Holland, Mitchell, Parsons and Richard Holland.

With all boats having to clear the rudder and centreboard several times on the way back to the clubhouse, Mitchell managed to gain first place for the start of the second lap from Cox and Mark Holland while Parsons capsized to allow Stedman into fourth. Richard Holland would retire from the race.

Throughout the second lap, Mitchell and Cox traded first and second place a few times until Cox finally crossed the line three seconds ahead of his rival.

Final results: 1 Alan Cox, 2 Alistair Mitchell, 3 Mark Holland, 4 Richard Stedman, 5 Ben Parsons.

The start of the first race.
The start of the first race.

Having had a look after the first race to see if the course could be lengthened at all, it was decided to keep it the same but have three laps.

The next race would be the first of the afternoon points series.

For the next two races Stedman would crew for Richard Holland in the laser two.

Cox again got the early lead, this time from Holland closely followed by Mitchell then Parsons and Holland-Stedman.

Cox again rounded buoy two first, followed by Mitchell then Holland before quite a gap had built up over Parsons in fourth and Holland-Stedman.

Cox then took a capsize, allowing Mitchell to move into the lead into the second lap.

Mark Holland who won the third race of the day.
Mark Holland who won the third race of the day.

Cox went over again during the run back to buoy two, allowing Holland into second place and the order would remain the same throughout the third lap.

Final results: 1 Alistair Mitchell, 2 Mark Holland, 3 Alan Cox, 4 Ben Parsons, 5 Richard Holland and crew Richard Stedman.

The final race of the day was the second event of the series which was again set for three laps but, as the wind had shifted, there was as downriver start with the short tack to buoy one.

This time Mitchell and Cox led, closely followed by Holland then Parsons and Holland-Stedman.

Holland was able to call for water at the mark, giving him right of way around buoy one, then Holland, Cox and Mitchell were neck and neck on the run upriver to buoy two.

Holland gradually broke ahead from Cox and then Mitchell, Parsons, Holland-Stedman.

Second race winner Alistair Mitchell.
Second race winner Alistair Mitchell.

While rounding buoy two ahead, Holland was forced wide by Mitchell who momentarily forgot which way the buoy was to be rounded, and this allowed Cox to take the lead from Holland in second and Mitchell third.

On the second lap, Cox would make an error and end up caught in the weed, allowing Holland to retake the lead with Mitchell second.

Tacking their way to the finish line, Mitchell was starting to make gains towards first place but Holland managed to keep ahead and took the win from Mitchell and then Cox.

Final results: 1 Mark Holland, 2 Alistair Mitchell, 3 Alan Cox, 4 Ben Parsons, 5 Richard Holland and crew Richard Stedman

After two races Holland and Mitchell are tied in the lead on three points.

Anyone wanting to experience sailing for themselves are welcome to come to the club’s open day on Sunday, September 5, from 11am-4pm. For further information contact the club via email at secretary@wellandyachtclub.co.uk

Alan Cox, winner of the first race of the day.
Alan Cox, winner of the first race of the day.

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