Sailing returns in friendly conditions
For the first time in four weeks, sailors at Princess Royal Sailing Club were greeted with sunshine and moderate winds, and the largest number of yachts in four fleets to compete in harbour-course handicap-start events.
On Saturday morning, junior sailors were out in force with a dozen boats in a mixed fleet putting their skills to work and crewing on boats in the afternoon to gain more experience.
There was one casualty in the afternoon’s racing when a division one yacht, Wild One, called for assistance after losing its rudder near the town marina.
It was a long and slow tow back to the pens in the sloppy conditions.
Vipers were back in action after three skippers and crews returned to Albany after the world titles in Florida. Michael Cameron in Bite Me had the better of Murray Howson in Chinese Moccasin and Steve Dines in Fang.
Cameron and Howson had the closest encounter and any slight slip-up gave the other the advantage but eventually Bite Me was first and fastest, Chinese Moccasin was second and an improving Fang took third place.
The Viper boys then conducted two more short-course heats with mixed results.
Division one began with three starters but as mentioned earlier Wild One was forced to retire which left Harold Keay in Shagabull and Brett Hawker in Jessie James to battle it out.
Keay, who was away first, was eventually caught and passed by Jessie James, which was only back in the water earlier in the day and Hawker recorded a first and fastest with Keay in second place.
Division two began with five in the fleet and Stephen Lee in the scratch boat Flasheart was just too good as he quickly gobbled up the leaders and went on to win handsomely.
Bob Giles having his first outing with Footloose was looking good in the early stages until Flasheart flashed by but he held on to take second while Stephen Brown, who was short of crew impressed with his third placing with Mary Maitland.
Flying Fifteens hardly miss a race and the pressure was on again in this deadly match racing.
In a handicap start, Aileen Lucas was first away in Crazy and it was Simon Lucas in FForever Young that had to give chase and although he chopped of three minutes and closing in rapidly, it was Crazy which prevailed to take the honours in another close encounter.
Aileen Lucas storms home with Crazy in the Flying Fifteens.