Longmore races are a breeze for sailors at Dell Quay
A gentle north-westerly breeze greeted competitors to the first race in Dell Quay Sailing Club’s Longmore series.
Race officer John Purdy set a challenging course, asking the fleet to first visit Fishbourne mark and then head down harbour to the Longmore mark, followed by a circuit of Chichester Lake before returning to Dell Quay. As a mark of respect for the Duke of Edinburgh’s passing, black ribbons were flown by the fleet and a minute’s silence was observed. In the closing minute before the start the wind suddenly disappeared with several competitors pushed to the wrong side of the line and struggled to return against the strong flood tide.
The wind started to build with some violent gusts from all points of the compass before gradually settling to a south westerly force two to three, 180 degrees from the original wind direction. Stephen Holcroft (Solo) made the best of the very variable conditions with a good lead at the first mark, followed by a gaggle of Solos including Mark Harper, Roger Puttock and a hard charging Bill Dawber, recovering well from a disastrous start. On the long beat up to Longmore, Dawber and Puttock overhauled Holcroft, making good use of the shallow water to avoid the tide, closely followed by the RS400 of Rob Corfield and Steve Foden. On the return, Corfield in the 400 passed the Solos but his lead wasn’t enough to win after the handicap calculations were applied, giving Dawber the race. Results: 1st Bill Dawber (Solo); 2nd Roger Puttock (Solo); 3rd Stephen Holcroft. (Solo).