Storms threaten Pointscore fleet
LIGHT winds again challenged crews competing in the final heat of the Clarence River Sailing Club Pointscore Series on Saturday.
A series of storms constantly threatened the fleet with the race in doubt a number of times due to lightning.
Nevertheless, a hardy and very determined fleet of 12 boats faced the starter and managed to complete one lap before officials were forced to shorten the course.
Neal Carter and Steve Russell dominated the Laser fleet. Defying the absence of breeze and a strong outgoing tide both skippers managed to keep their boats moving while the rest struggled to even maintain steerage.
Earlier in the race they were kept in check by Karl Cooksley, however by the final leeward mark both had opened a significant lead and continued to push each other all the way to the finish.
Demonstrating some very skillful boat handling and a keen eye for the most subtle wind shifts, Carter finally gained the advantage, crossing the line 30 seconds in front of Russell with Cooksley taking out third position.
With the return of Aaron Hancock to the NS14 fleet this week, the bar was raised substantially.
Crews wanting a chance at taking out the honours were forced to pull out all stops to keep Hancock in sight.
Light-weather specialists Greg Brotherson and Morgen Parkin repeated their efforts of the past few weeks seizing every opportunity to keep their boat moving at maximum speed.
However, Hancock’s vast experience and knowledge of local river conditions gave him the edge he needed to sneak across the line in first place just seconds in front of Brotherson and Parkin.
Dennis Boyd and Stephanie Jones sailed smoothly and consistently taking out a well-deserved third place.
Sailing is now in recess for the winter and will resume on the fist Saturday in September.
For more information, visit www.crsc.yachting.org.au.