Racing action from Welland Yacht Club
Three different race winners emerged victorious from Welland Yacht Club’s event on Sunday.
Andy Prior took top spot in the opening race, with Tom Bell then winning the next outing before Mark Scourfield’s success in the finale saw him take the overall Afternoon Points series accolade.
Eight boats had taken to the start for the first race of the day, which was the second event in the Sunday Points competition.
After assessing the level of weed in the river, it was decided that the course can still only run between buoys one and two. However, they were repositioned slightly to increase the distance between them. A three-lap course was then set with the start heading down river to buoy one.
Geri van Haren (Phantom) just sneaked the early lead from Andy Prior (Laser) and then Tom Bell (Laser) was followed by Richard Stedman (Laser), Mark Scourfield (Solo), Ben Parsons (Laser), Alan Cox (Laser Radial) and Richard Holland (Laser2).
As they headed to buoy one, Bell took the lead with Prior second and Van Haren third.
Bell made it first around the buoy; then Prior, Scourfield, van Haren, Stedman, Parsons, Holland and Cox followed.
Once on the run down to buoy two, competitors then started to clear weed off their rudders and Bell had to take penalty turns for a pre-start collision with Prior.
With Prior now in the lead, Bell had slipped back to fourth, Scourfield was second, Stedman third, Cox fifth, Parsons sixth, van Haren seventh and Holland eighth.
Holland would eventually retire having become caught in the reeds on the bank, while van Haren still found the weeds an issue even with the deepest centre board.
Having rounded buoy two, Bell had moved into third and would take second by the time they rounded buoy one for the second time.
With Prior ending the race three-and-a-half minutes ahead of Bell, Scourfield was the same time distance off second spot and, although it would be closed up by handicap, it didn’t affect the results after handicaps were applied.
Results: 1 Andy Prior, 2 Tom Bell, 3 Mark Scourfield, 4 Alan Cox, 5 Richard Stedman, 6 Geri van Haren, 7 Ben Parsons.
The second race of the day would be match three in the Afternoon Points series, with the fleet now down to six with van Haren calling it a day and Prior electing to crew for Holland to give him some pointers for sailing the Laser 2.
The wind had picked up slightly to make for a lively start procedure and, with two minutes to go, several boats were over the line and trying to drift back to the correct side before the minute to go sounded.
Once underway, Bell would take the early lead from Holland-Prior and then Cox, Stedman, Parsons and Scourfield who picked off two places on rounding buoy one.
Bell again had to take penalty turns for a minor coming together that allowed Scourfield to move up to second as they passed the clubhouse, with Holland-Prior narrowly holding onto the lead with Stedman third, Cox fourth, Bell fifth and Parsons sixth.
As they turned the corner to approach buoy two, Scourfield had pulled through to the lead with Cox second, Holland-Prior third, Bell fourth, Stedman fifth and Parson sixth.
Once buoy two was rounded, most competitors were over the stern of their boats clearing weed from their rudders.
With Scourfield still ahead, Bell had climbed to second from Cox third, Stedman fourth, Holland-Prior fifth and Parsons sixth.
On rounding buoy one, Bell had gained the lead from Scourfield in second and Cox third.
The final lap positions would remain unchanged except for Parsons gaining fifth place from Holland-Prior sixth.
Results: 1 Tom Bell, 2 Mark Scoufield, 3 Alan Cox, 4 Richard Stedman, 5 Ben Parsons, 6 Richard Holland and Andy Prior.
The final race of the day was the fourth and final outing in the Afternoon Points series, now with only four participants after Bell and Parsons withdrew.
First away this time were Holland-Prior and then Stedman, Cox and Scourfield.
On the run upriver to buoy two, Scourfield would take the lead from Cox in second, Stedman third and Holland-Prior fourth.
The order would remain throughout the three-lap race and would stand as the final result after handicaps applied.
Overall Afternoon Points series results: 1 Mark Scoufield, 2 Mark Holland, 3 Alan Cox, 4 Alistair Mitchell, 5 Ben Parsons, 6 Richard Holland plus various crew, 7 Richard Stedman.
Anyone wanting to try sailing for themselves, the club is holding their open day on Sunday from 11am-4pm.