Welland Yacht Club stage their first match of the season for the Robert Creek Shield
Welland Yacht Club’s 2021 season got underway on Sunday with the Robert Creek Shield.
Contested over two races, seven boats took to the start of the first event.
With a reasonable breeze accompanied by strong gusts, Andy Prior (Laser) took the early lead in the short reach to the first mark followed by Tom Bell (Laser), Geri van Haren (Phantom), Gail Follington (Laser Radial), Katie Follington (Topper), Alan Cox (Laser Radial) and Alistair Mitchell (Laser Radial).
Once around the mark, Prior, Bell and van Haren had pulled out a lead from the rest of the fleet which was to be expected considering the class handicaps.
As the gusts kept coming and nearly catching some out with an early swim, Prior still held the lead from Bell and van Haren who were now neck and neck for second as the three began their second lap.
Cox had moved to fourth from Gail Follington in fifth, Mitchell sixth, with Katie Follington in the Topper opting to take a single lap time.
Prior maintained his lead on the water to the end with van Haren second and Bell third across the line.
Prior would keep first place once handicaps applied with Bell now second and Cox third.
Only four boats took to the start for the second race with Prior just edging away from van Haren, closely followed by Cox and then Mitchell.
However, van Haren took the lead as they rounded the first mark and headed off up river to the lea mark.
Once around the lea mark, Prior got caught by a gust and capsized while Cox also found himself in the water while trying to keep clear of his club colleague.
This allowed van Haren to pull away and possibly keep the handicap distance between him and the rest of the fleet as Cox retired from the race once back at the clubhouse.
Prior had started to reel in van Haren‘s lead as the remaining three started their second lap and eventually went ahead once more towards the end of the final lap.
Once the handicaps were applied Prior was first with Mitchell second and van Haren third.
Overall results: 1 Andy Prior, 2 Alistair Mitchell, 3 Alan Cox.
Anyone wanting to find out more about sailing should contact the club via email email@example.com