Sailors won’t get frostbite at Frostbite races

Bill Dawber in his Solo in Dell Quay's Frostbite racing / Picture by Liz Sagues
Bill Dawber in his Solo in Dell Quay's Frostbite racing / Picture by Liz Sagues

Frostbite is the wrong title for Dell Quay SC’s open winter racing series this year, as temperatures remain well into double figures. But the challenge for competitors in races three and four was the wind, with gale force gusts predicted.

Again though, as for the first two races a fortnight earlier, there was a fortunate window of racing opportunity.

Only as the day’s second race drew to its close did conditions start to trouble competitors, with one spectacular capsize. But most entrants remained upright despite the steadily rising wind, and the RS400s in particular enjoyed fantastic planing on the final reach.

Dell Quay’s somewhat constricted waters aren’t kind to fast gennaker-powered dinghies, however. So although the RS400s led the fleet home each time, the Solo of Bill Dawber was close enough behind to win both races comfortably on handicap while the RS400s dropped to the back half of the results order.

That didn’t matter too much to the speed merchants, as they had close and competitive racing. Peter King and Jamie Prescott took line honours in the day’s first race, but Rob Corfield and Jon Line – who was crewing in an RS400 for only the second time, and using the gennaker for the first time – finished with a good lead in the second race.

Behind, Dawber crossed the line third both times, with stalwart sailing coming too from Andy Morley in a Pico, on paper the slowest boat in the fleet, Fred Hilgers (Solo) and Ken Baker and Terry Baker (Dayboat).

The (unrelated) Bakers took second place in the first race, though more than two minutes behind Dawber on corrected time, while Morley filled second slot in race two. Hilgers scored a third and a fourth.

Dawber’s perfect score so far in the series puts him clearly in the lead, followed by Morley and Baker, though there are plenty of opportunities still for others, with eight races to come.

The series continues on January 9, first start at 10am. Visitors are welcome, entry is free – as are hot drinks for competitors. For more information see


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