Stephen Brown powers Mary Maitland along to master tough conditions in division two victory

Des Beeck Albany Advertiser
The victorious crew of Mary Maitland: Grant Tickell, Eddie Sullivan and skipper Stephen Brown.
Camera IconThe victorious crew of Mary Maitland: Grant Tickell, Eddie Sullivan and skipper Stephen Brown. Credit: Des Beeck

The howling easterly last Saturday decimated half of the division two fleet when the constant 22-knot wind with gusts to 25 knots forced three yachts to retire with severe breakages.

Ian Johnston didn’t make it to the start line when a broken mainsail halyard on Gambia forced him from the race.

Stephen Lee, fresh from his first and fastest the week before with Flasheart, suffered from a skipper’s worst nightmare when on a fast spinnaker run snapped his backstay and brought down his mainsail, jib and spinnaker onto the deck and he limped back to the club.

The next victim was Joker.

One of the three damaged yachts, Flasheart.
Camera IconOne of the three damaged yachts, Flasheart. Credit: Des Beeck

It was doing extremely well until horror upon horror the boom cracked, forcing Josh Hughes and crew to retire.

In the meantime three other yachts in the fleet battled the elements and all completed the gruelling course.

Stephen Brown in Mary Maitland was having a great tussle with both Flasheart and Joker but now found himself well out in the lead.

Neil Worrell had Zuri moving well but wasn’t taking any unnecessary chances with a spinnaker until the wind eased a little in the latter stages of the race.

Mark McRae was trailing the fleet with Sicarius and was hampered by lack of crew numbers, but kept going.

Brown threw caution to the wind using his spinnaker to good effect to maintain a healthy lead and went on to take the race and record the fastest time in a fine effort.

Worrell put Zuri over the line in second place well ahead of Sicarius in third.

The Flying Fifteen fleet decided that the weather was not conducive for their small yachts and didn’t venture out.

JAM mixed fleet winner Saxon skippered by Mark Paynter.
Camera IconJAM mixed fleet winner Saxon skippered by Mark Paynter. Credit: Des Beeck

Three yachts from JAM mixed fleet started in their handicap start harbour course event where Mark Paynter in Saxon was away first, and with an extremely generous handicap was well ahead and sailing rather quickly in the strong wind.

Neither Lloyd Pascoe in Arkessa and Jason Pomery in Marie Celeste could make any inroads on Saxon but had a tough battle of their own.

Paynter went on his merry way to score an easy win with Saxon knowing that the next race will see his handicap slashed.

Pascoe took Arkessa into second place with Pomery in Marie Celeste in third in what was described as a good race.

There is no sailing over the Christmas and new year break and racing will resume on Saturday, January 6.

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