Mary Maitland does well on handicap to edge out Flasheart on correct time

Des BeeckAlbany Advertiser
Stephen Brown wins the start and the heat with Mary Maitland on Saturday.
Camera IconStephen Brown wins the start and the heat with Mary Maitland on Saturday. Credit: Des Beeck

A bad-weather forecast last Saturday forced most skippers to abandon racing as the skies looked menacing well before starting times.

However, two skippers and crews were determined to give it a go.

Stephen Lee, with a full crew on Flasheart, and Stephen Brown, with not his regular crew on Mary Maitland, faced the starter for a harbour course event and although it was wet and cold, the strong gusty winds that were predicted did not get over 14 knots, which meant for quick times around the course.

Both yachts were from division 2, with Brown getting away smartly in Mary Maitland, leaving Lee in Flasheart to do the chasing.

Brown hoisted a spinnaker and edged ahead of Lee, who seemed reluctant to use one until well into the downward leg.

It was cat-and-mouse stuff as Lee eventually caught Brown but couldn’t get far enough in front as Mary Maitland was able to stay within striking distance.

Stephen Lee and a damp crew gets back to its pen after a second and fastest with Flasheart.
Camera IconStephen Lee and a damp crew gets back to its pen after a second and fastest with Flasheart. Credit: Des Beeck

At times, they were racing neck and neck as they neared the finish line, with Flasheart looking a likely winner being more than three minutes ahead of Mary Maitland. However, the wily Brown had sailed well enough to handicap to pip Lee by 38 seconds on corrected time.

Brown is on a hat-trick of wins if he can repeat his success this Saturday, when heat four of the winter series resumes with a 1pm start.

Well done to both skippers and crews for getting out for a sail and proving that the weathermen can get it wrong sometimes.

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