Sailors blown off course

Reporter:

Peter Danby

THERE was too much of a good thing at Shropshire Sailing Club last Sunday, as the wind blasted across Whitemere causing capsizes and race abandonments.


The first long distance race of the year was stopped after 25 of the 50 scheduled minutes, following multiple capsizes in the gusts. The final straw for Officer of the Day, John James, was when three of the five boats were upside down at the same time, keeping the safety officer busy.


After lunch, with the 18mph north-west wind gusting to 32mph, seven boats lined up for the first race, a pursuit. Both in Toppers because of the wind, Tom Dutton beat his father, Paul, to the first mark, but his glee was short-lived as a vicious gust knocked him over on the second, downwind leg of the lap.

Dutton senior's smile was then wiped from his face as he suffered rudder problems at the leeward mark on the second lap and watched the entire fleet sail past while he sorted it out.


That battle summed up proceedings, as it quickly became apparent the winner would be the person who suffered the fewest capsizes.


After 30 exhausting minutes, Tom Endacott held off Ben Lawrence and Brian Rapson to produce a Laser one-two-three.


The carnage continued before the second race, with Tom Dutton losing a rudder in another capsize, Paul Dutton hopelessly missing the start as he beat back to the committee boat and Elis Hughes and Lawrence deciding discretion was the better part of valour.


That left Endacott to hold off Rapson and a determined David Cope in his Topaz to claim his second win of the day.


With sailors tiring and the wind showing no signs of abating, the final race of the day was cancelled. Thanks to John Clifford and, latterly, Dave Wright for providing safety cover.


Race results
11.15am Long distance A Race 1 (handicap): Abandoned.
1.30pm Shropshire Shiverer Race 1 (pursuit): 1, Tom Endacott; 2, Ben Lawrence, Brian Rapson; 4, Tom Dutton; 5, Paul Dutton. Top junior, Tom Endacott.
2.15pm Shropshire Shiverer Race 2 (handicap): 1, Tom Endacott; 2, Brian Rapson; 3, David Cope. Top junior, Tom Endacott.
3.30pm Shropshire Shiverer Race 3 (pursuit): Cancelled.

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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