SAILING: THE racing started a little later on Remembrance Sunday as the Dee Sailing Club remembered all those who lost their lives in conflicts both past and present.
The cold wind was moderate in strength and coming from the south east, but this did not deter members from turning up to do battle in the second Sunday of the Frostbite Series, which continues until December 14.
The course set by race officer Rodney Evans was challenging with plenty of scope for the helmsmen to show initiative in the way they tackled it.
Race number one saw the GP14 of Kevin Forbes with crew Trevor Ward take an early lead. The two Solos of Bob Shires and Steve Price closed in on the GP a few times during the race, but Forbes managed to keep his cool to eventually win by some 14 seconds when the handicap was applied.
Price was second after Shires made a tactical error on the run up to the finish line. Shires finished third with the Miracle of Andrew and James Bell fourth.
Young Tomos Price capsized in this race in his Laser Radial, Harry Bainbridge and Andrew Bell both missed out a mark of the course and had to do a correction.
Race number two saw the fleet increase in size and the boats were a lot closer together on the water as the wind strength dropped a little. Harry Bainbridge's Enterprise secured victory, having led from start to finish, but this is handicap racing and Nigel Bloor was working his way up the fleet to eventually finish second on the water by the time the finish gun was sounded.
These positions were reversed, however, when the handicap was applied, so Bloor in his Solo was awarded first podium and Bainbridge second.
The GP of Trevor Ward with crewman Forbes had a steady race to take third podium. The two Solos of Shires and Price were just half a minute behind.
It was a day to forget for Nick Blore as his crew in the first race had to leave early for work, so he retired from the race. He then had to retire for a second time as his crew in the second race could no longer stand the cold, causing Blore to take an early bath. Dee Sailing Club members were out in force for Sunday racing on the Estuary, but some crews stayed ashore with the stiff, cold south easterly wind hardly inviting.
There were some capsizes but also some sound performances. Steve Roberts in the Dart Sixteens and Jamie Bentham in a Laser in the Handicap Dinghies each won three times.
Pete Spedding twice took the winning gun in the Dart Eighteens with the third race taken by James Douglas.
In the Handicap Cats, Alisdair Davidson and Derek Beddows each claimed one success apiece. In a light but constant wind and a cheerful sun, the sailors of the Chester Sailing and Canoeing Club started very competitively.
Mike Crofton and crew Andy Todd in the Lazy E moved into the lead immediately. John Edwards was hard on his heels and pulled away into a convincing lead. But it was shortlived. By the end of the first lap, Crofton, Edwards and McNae were closely grouped with Crofton still holding a slight lead. This lead was increased despite excellent strategic efforts by Edwards to outsail the Lazy E. There was a moment of uncertainty in the Lazy when jibing round the number three buoy the boat nearly capsized and lost the race. It was only Todd's athletic performance that saved the boat from rolling over.
After a brief period in the lead at the end of the third lap, Edwards lost position and was challenged by Dave Harrison, sailing the GP on his own. By the end of the last lap, Harrison and Edwards were sailing neck-and-neck, and in the final upriver dash, Harrison just managed to beat Edwards. The positions were Crofton first, Harrison second and Edwards third.