Skipper Lee off to flyer in Flasheart
Sailors at Prince Royal Sailing Club competed in handicap starts in all fleets over harbour courses last Saturday.
Usually yachts which have been recording slower times are away first in staggered starts, with the quicker boats the last to get going.
This is quite a challenge for the scratch boats because they seem too far behind at their start to make any impression.
Stephen Lee in division 2 decided to change all that when he began making inroads on the leaders with Flasheart.
Gary Eaton in Farr Star was the early leader and was doing well for half the journey, but was passed eventually by the rest of the fleet because he had opted not to use a spinnaker.
Bob Giles, who had won the previous week with Footloose, was moving extremely well, as was Stephen Brown skippering Mary Maitland.
Josh Hughes was struggling a little with Joker and not making much progress, but in the meantime Lee had not only closed the gap but forged to the lead in spectacular style to steal the race.
Giles maintained his speed over the rest to take second place in a great effort, while Brown, with a novice crew, sailed well to his handicap to snare third place.
In division 1, Harold Keay was away first with Shagabull, and what a race the veteran sailed.
In the early stages, he was increasing his lead on every leg and was so far ahead he was lonely.
He was never seriously challenged and went on to record an emphatic victory by more than three minutes. The scratch boat, Sitting Bull, skippered by Murray Howson, performed well again and although he caught and passed two others in the fleet, he could not get close to Shagabull to finish second.
Murray Deere was lying well in second place when disaster struck.
As he tried to round club stake, Wild One hit the mud and stopped dead.
However, Sitting Bull and Brett Hawker’s Jessie James managed to get through.
Deere managed to extricate himself from the mud and continued, but was too far behind and Hawker luckily snared third place.
In Flying Fifteens, Aileen Lucas in Crazy was given a two-minute start over Simon Lucas in FForever Young.
Racing was in the kind of windy conditions that favoured FForever Young, with a steady south-westerly wind blowing at around 14 knots.
However, it took almost the entire race for Simon Lucas to finally get past Crazy, with the skipper proving that she could handle the tricky winds.
FForever Young was first and fastest after a great duel with Crazy and it was sweet revenge for Simon Lucas, who had not enjoyed too many victories of late.
Stephen Lee, right, enjoys the moment with his hardworking crew on Flasheart.