Nail-biting Laser finish
WITH the day’s racing almost cancelled due to the wet and blustery conditions, a good-sized fleet of hardy sailors eventually turned out for the Clarence River Sailing Club’s pointscore event.
Competition was tight, mistakes costly and boat positions changed regularly.
After battling rain, mud and a gusty onshore wind that tested crews’ boat-launching skills, the race got under way with the promise of a fresh and constant breeze and plenty of fast sailing.
Initially swinging wildly between the south and east, the wind gradually faded as the race progressed.
“After two weeks of drifting around the course in stinking hot weather, today was looking really good for a fast race,” said Laser sailor Peter Zietsch.
“But the wind was all over the place and as the race progressed, it dropped right off.”
The Laser division resulted in a nail-biting finish between Steve Russell and Neal Carter.
Both sailed brilliantly and were rarely more than a few boat lengths apart.
After exchanging the lead a number of times, both boats rounded the final mark and it was a sprint towards the finish.
On the final leg, Russell managed to squeeze a fraction more speed out of his boat and after over 90 minutes of racing, crossed the finish line with a margin of just five seconds from Carter.
The NS14 fleet was also hotly contested with a great display of quality sailing on show.
Club veteran Stuart Hancock showed his wealth of experience by maintaining good speed no matter what the weather threw at him.
Not far astern, Dennis Boyd kept him looking over his shoulder and was always in contention.
However by the end of the race, Stuart had built up a comfortable margin of just over a minute giving him the line honours.
Sailing at the Clarence River Sailing Club commences around 1pm every Saturday next to the Grafton Bridge.
Club boats are available for those interested.
For more information, visit www.crsc.yachting.org.au.
After two weeks of drifting around the course in stinking hot weather, today was looking really good for a fast race.