Temperatures are cold - but Dell Quay sailors produce hot competition

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Despite the cold weather, enthusiasm was warm and competition was hot as Dell Quay SC’s dinghy racers began their 2013 series with a seven-race Easter handicap series.

Eighteen boats competed and the overall result was in doubt until the final races on Monday.

The leading boat after Saturday’s three races was the 2000 of Graham and Lucy Dalton, who stamped their authority on the largest fleet of the weekend, winning two races and finishing second in the other.

Behind, Bill Dawber (Solo) scored a first, second and third and the other second and third places were filled by Sue Manning (Topper) and Chris West (Laser).

The Daltons and several others couldn’t sail on Sunday and the much-reduced fleet was led home in each of the two races by Dawber, with Manning consolidating her position with two seconds, while her daughter Beckie took a third and a fourth in her new Laser 4.7. Another of the club’s promising junior racers, Phoebe Noble (Byte), also scored a third.

As the course was set for the final two races on Easter Monday, Dawber and the Daltons lined up for a duel for the largest Easter egg. Again, the wind was from the north east, with stronger and more unpredictable gusts which were to cause quite a few capsizes. But the fleet had grown again and there was plenty of close racing.

Despite having to recross the line because of a premature start in the day’s first race, Dawber was soon back in the leading bunch, and as the RS 400 of Peter King and James Cooper suffered the first of several duckings, the two top contenders sailed away in front.

With one of the long reaches too tight for the Daltons to fly their gennaker, Dawber edged his way through to win narrowly on the water and comfortably on handicap. Noble took third place.

At the final start, Dawber flew away form the line and, with the RS400s again finding the conditions tricky, it once more became a Solo/2000 contest, the Daltons this time crossing the finish line just ahead. But the margin was nowhere near enough when the handicap calculations were done, and Dawber won both the race and the series.

The Daltons had to be content with third in the race behind Beckie Manning, and runners-up slot in the series. Sue Manning’s results from the first two days gave her third place overall, even though she had decided not to brave the cold again for the final races.

Overall results (best four results): 1 Bill Dawber, Solo, 4pts; 2 Graham & Lucy Dalton, 2000, 6pts; 3 Sue Manning, Topper, 9pts; 4 Beckie Manning, Laser 4.7, 16pts; 5 Phoebe Noble, Byte, 19pts.