Fang edges out Chinese Moccasin in thrilling finish to Vipers heat

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Steve Dines with four aboard on Fang, left, won in the Vipers last Saturday and Murray Howson in Chinese Moccasin finished second.
Camera IconSteve Dines with four aboard on Fang, left, won in the Vipers last Saturday and Murray Howson in Chinese Moccasin finished second. Credit: Des Beeck

Three Viper skippers and crews put on a spectacular display of high speeds under spinnaker and sudden stops last Saturday.

The harbour course was sailed in a strong easterly that was piping in at a steady 22 knots with the odd 24-knot gust now and then.

This caused havoc to the quick yachts during their three races with many capsizes and quick times around the marks.

In the heat that counted, Steve Dines in Fang was moving well and just seconds in front of Murray Howson in Chinese Moccasin and Duncan Ray skippering Bruce Mattinson's Alice.

Approaching club stake and the last leg to the finish line Howson, in a desperate endeavour to pass Dines, unfortunately ditched allowing Fang to go on to win handsomely.

Alice had a great deal of trouble with its spinnaker not completing the whole course but Howson recovered and sailed on to take second place, although a bit sodden.

One of his crew after stated that they did a lot of treading water during the afternoon.

Not to be put off by the conditions the Viper boys sailed in two practice races with more thrills and spills galore.

Division 1 were supposed to have competed in a King George Sound event but a very low tide and strong winds put paid to their plans.

Division 2 were scheduled for a KGS event and Stephen Brown in Mary Maitland and Karen Timmins in Grey Moose were out ready to go when a rigging problem on Grey Moose forced it back to the pens. Brown sailed around the harbour giving his crew spinnaker practice.

Flying Fifteens had a fleet of three competing in a harbour course and Simon Lucas in FForever Young and Aileen Lucas in Crazy scooted away from Wayne North in Frequent Flyer.

The new kid on the block gets better with each outing and completing the race in the wild weather was a feather in his cap.

FForever Young was tailed by Crazy throughout with just seconds separating the pair.

It wasn’t until the latter stages of the race that FForever Young managed to pull away to finish under the two minutes needed to win.

Crazy was second in a great effort with Frequent Flyer taking third place.

The flying Fifteens proved great little yachts in the strong wind and all three completed their course without mishaps.

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