Shagabull wins close division 1 contest on corrected time
Divisions 1, 2 and 3 all ended up in match racing over harbour courses in glorious autumn weather last Saturday with a south-easterly around 12 knots throughout and which all sailors enjoyed for a change.
Division 1 had the closest and most exciting match racing, only after the third yacht retired with rigging problems.
Murray Deere skippering Wild One was out to show Harold Keay in Shagabull and Geoff Oliver in Excitabull that he was back in business after last weekend’s failure to finish.
Keay showed the way early on the first spinnaker run with Oliver doing well with Deere at the rear.
Wild One upped the ante with a terrific burst of speed under spinnaker to take the lead.
At this point Excitabull struck trouble with halyard problems and was forced to retire leaving Keay and Deere to match race with the lead changing several times.
Only seconds separated the pair as they headed for the finish line with Wild One crossing 13 seconds in front of Shagabull which won on corrected time by a minute. Wild One was second and fastest in a memorable performance from both skippers and their hardworking crews.
In Division 2, Neil Worrell in Zuri was pitted against the veteran Stephen Brown in Mary Maitland.
These yachts are identical and so it promised to be close.
However Brown was forced to restart giving Worrell a handy gap that steadily grew wider as Zuri, under spinnaker, went further in front.
Brown was reluctant to use a spinnaker on the first long leg and Zuri cruised to an easy victory and fastest time. When Brown gets his regular crew back things may be different.
In Division 3 Rob Cridge went on his merry way to once again stamp his authority on the harbour-course race against Mark Paynter in Serenita.
Paynter is improving and win, lose or draw, he enjoys his sailing ... and the gap is closing.
Vipers class had three contenders and Murray Howson in Chinese Moccasin lost all hope of a win when he missed the start by a minute, giving Michael Cameron in Bite Me and Duncan Ray in Alice the chance of a victory.
The chase was on and Chinese Moccasin caught and passed Alice and was closing the gap on Bite Me but all to no avail as a smiling Cameron crossed in first place.
Alice was second on corrected time, leaving Chinese Moccasin in third place after his hectic chase.
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