IDEAL weather conditions attracted a strong turnout for the concluding race of the spring handicap series, with eight teams assembling at the start line.

Despite initial promise, Peter Colclough and Robin Hodges in the 505 faced setbacks due to gear failure, impacting their chances of victory. Nonetheless, they persevered to cross the finish line and receive acknowledgment in the form of the finishing bell. 

Andrew and Tris Squire sailed a great race in the Merlin Rocket, fending off competition from the formidable duo of Tim Fells and Fran Gifford aboard the Lark. While the Merlin claimed line honours, they were eventually bumped to third on corrected time.

Tim and Fran once again demonstrated their dominance, securing yet another first-place finish with a significant five-minute lead over the runner-up.

The overall series victory was clinched by John Burn and Fran Gifford in a Merlin Rocket, with special recognition to Fran for her exceptional performance, winning every race she sailed splitting her time between John and Tim.

FORTY minutes to the start, writes David Greening, let’s have a look at the cross from Fishermans to Snapes. It looks like you can steam into the ebb tide, so cross late.

Will rounds first and the fleet heads into Biddle Head. I pick up a handy puff which allows me a direct route to the point, and suddenly I am on the back of the leading pack.

Arrival at the ferry landing is not ideal with two boats inside but I want to cross late, so gybe onto starboard along Fishermans, then notice that Roger has crossed early and is steaming through the Town moorings, so gybe back and get over to the town side, leaving behind the bunch.

Will and Chubby cross at Ox and it is not too late to go with them. Yotter rounds Saltstone first, and Gavin planes in over me and, despite a feeble luff on my part, he gets room at the mark.

On entering the harbour it is Yotter, me and Will. Will gets past as I sail to high into the harbour but a couple of shifts gets me back to crossing their transoms and I hold on for the tack to the lay line to get back past Will, then Yotter and I get a handy gust to pull away.

Fortunately, the tide is underneath me, and I can now pick and choose when to tack on the shifts. A couple of these tacks are quite handily in front of Yotter.

Go round Blackstone first I now know that the new ship is fast downwind, so feel comfortable on the run, only to glance behind me at Fishermans to see Yotter and Will planing down the harbour on a massive gust, oh dear I think, fortunately I pick up the same gust, rounding Crossways ahead of Yotter, bang in a loose cover, to take the win, a wave to the RO Phil King and watch Yotter and Will finish ahead of the pack led in by Roger.