Only the strongest sailors prevail at Dell Quay

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A wild and windy end to Dell Quay SC’s Easter racing saw only the bravest compete – and only the fittest and most fortunate cross the finishing line.

By then the fight was for second and third places overall as a near-perfect performance earlier in the bank holiday series had ensured Bill Dawber (Solo) would take the trophy.

Monday’s fierce force-six south westerly was a contrast to the very light conditions of the two earlier days.

In the first race only the Laser 2000 of Ben and Warwick Hoddy gybed without problem and stayed upright round the two-lap course, winning comfortably from Stu and Sam Denyer (RS 200) and Malcolm Buchanan (Solo).

For the day’s second race, the course was closer to the club to avoid the worst of the gusts coming off Chichester Lake.

But the Hoddys, again in the lead, met a particularly nasty squall and their mast stuck in the mud in the subsequent capsize, leaving the Denyers to sail home to an uncontested victory. Behind, damage included a broken tiller and a cut head but there was a happy sense of achievement from all racers.

Sunday’s inconvenient wind direction meant a very short leg to the first mark, and a lot of shouting as the biggest fleet of the weekend, close to 20 boats, came into close contact. But Dawber emerged calmly to lead everyone home on the water and on handicap in two of the three races.

Even in the middle race, when a disastrous start left him at the back, by the finish he was hard on the transoms of the other two Solos and third on handicap behind Gordon Barclay and Buchanan. Buchanan and Barclay bagged seconds in the other two races, while thirds went to Graham and Lucy Dalton (Laser 2000) and the Denyers.

Good Friday’s results saw a clean sweep for Dawber, with the closest challenges in race one from the Denyers, in race two from the Daltons and in race three from Peter and Jane Matthews (Laser 2000).

Dell Quay SC Easter Egg Trophy overall (best five results from eight races): 1 Bill Dawber, Solo, 5pts; 2 Stu and Sam Denyer, RS 200, 13pts; 3 Graham and Lucy Dalton, Laser 2000, 16pts; 4 Ben and Warwick Hoddy, Laser 2000, 18pts; 5 Malcolm Buchanan, Solo, 18pts;

6 Roger Francis and Ranjit Verghese, Buzz, 35pts.

LIZ SAGUES