Welland Yacht Club stages three races
Andy Prior collected a victory double as Welland Yacht Club staged three races on Sunday.
With the weed situation having improved somewhat over the last few weeks, a course was set from the start line to buoy one and then to buoy three and back for three laps.
A gentle breeze and sunshine greeted the 12 boats who lined up for the first race, which was the fourth in the Sunday Points series.
First away at the start, Prior (Laser) was followed by Mark Scourfield (Solo), Richard Stedman, Tom Bell, Alan Cox (all three Laser), Alistair Mitchell and Monica Nowak (RS Vision), Ben Parsons, Richard Holland (both Laser), Gerri van Haren (Phantom), Mark Holland (Laser), Eric Murray (Mirror) and Helen Boyd (Solo).
Few positions within the mid-fleet changed as they rounded the windward mark (buoy one) and began the run up river to the top mark (buoy three).
Although the breeze had picked up slightly during the first lap, it would die down over the next two laps - with Prior managing to pull out quite a lead over the rest of the fleet, with van Haren in second spot and Scourfield third.
Again positions kept on switching further down the fleet but after three laps Prior crossed the line ahead of van Haren and then Cox, Scourfield and Bell.
After handicaps were applied, Prior maintained the win from Scourfield second and Cox third, with van Haren getting pushed back to seventh.
The second race of the day was the third in the Autumn Points series.
During the short break, the wind appeared to pick up again so the course was stretched out to buoy four (but for only two laps) to try and take maximum advantage of the wind direction.
With the fleet now at 13 after Neal Tack and Rebecca Slator (Graduate) joined, Prior again got the early lead.
As they began the run up river, positions behind Prior changed a few times with boats tactically positioning themselves to block the wind allowing them to pass until the passed boat could return the favour and in turn pass them.
Once on the mile straight (between buoy three and four) the wind direction kept changing as it swirled through the trees and it then became apparent that the wind was starting to die away again.
Once the lead three boats had started their second lap, the remainder of the fleet was given the choice to take a single lap time or carry on.
Some carried on as others elected to take the lap time, and again first across the line was Prior followed by Bell then Cox and Scourfield.
Once handicaps were applied both Prior and Bell held their first and second places, but Cox slipped to fourth with Scourfield third.
The final race of the day was the fourth in the Autumn Points series.
With van Haren having called it a day, the fleet dropped to 12 with Andy Agar (OK) joining and Prior taking the helm of the RS Vision with Nowak remaining as crew.
The course had reverted back to buoy three but only for two laps, and first away this time was Cox followed by Bell, Scourfield, M. Holland, R. Holland, Boyd, Parsons, Tack-Slator, Prior-Nowak, Agar and Stedman.
Once around buoy one with the wind having shifted direction yet again and slightly freshening, Prior-Nowak started to gain a few places.
Stedman had to retire with a broken boom end block, but Cox was still out in front as they started the second lap followed by Bell then Scourfield and R. Holland - with places further down still switching.
Once the handicaps were applied Cox would maintain his win, with Scourfield moving up to second from Bell in third.
The club are holding their open race meet on Sunday, where members of any other sailing club can come and take part. The first race is at 10.30am.
For the last two years this race has been renamed the Richard Thacker Trophy in memory of the club’s former commodore/treasurer.
For further details please contact the club via email at firstname.lastname@example.org