October 1st, 2016

Handicap Series throws up thrills and spills

A WARM and sunny day with a gentle breeze from the east greeted the handful of boats which competed in the fourth race in the Handicap Series at Arden Sailing Club on Sunday.

The Enterprises of Niall Campbell and Stuart Stephen (both sailing single-handed) finished in first and second place in the first race, followed by Tricia Wood and Keith Stevens, both in Comets.

Relative novice Ken Pinfield (Mirror) is improving in every outing and he brought up the rear.

With the wind appearing to shift to the south east and drop a little, the Officer of the Day shortened the course somewhat and the second race actually had two distinct classes but, as so few boats were on the water, all set off at the same time.

Stevens had a dream start and rounded the first mark well before the other boats.

However, by the time they reached the distant mark, Stevens’ Comet had been caught by the others and all four were jostling for position.

Stephen had incorrectly thought this was starboard mark and, as the other boats prepared to take it to port, he had to rapidly manoeuvre and in doing so performed a spectacular capsize.

Whilst he was able to right himself and continue in the race, the time spent bailing out left him out of touch with Campbell.

Meanwhile, the two Comets continued to battle it out but Stevens hung on to his lead and finished 22 seconds ahead of Wood.

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