SAILING: THE sailors of Chester Sailing and Canoeing Club started Sunday's race in windless conditions and the boats drifted to the first buoy down-river.
Then a light breeze picked up which separated the sailors. By halfway through the first lap, the accomplished Laser sailors Andy Todd and Peter Hadfield had crept ahead of the rest of the fleet with Tim Finch, in an Enterprise, not far behind.
The top buoy close to the protected river bank posed a problem as the conditions and a slight stream on the river offered a challenge to the sailors. Any mistake would be difficult to rectify.
However, the leaders coped with this easily but were in contest as they approached the next buoy almost in line. Todd maintained his position, refusing to give water to Finch who had to miss the buoy and retry the manoeuvre.
This lost distance was never made up and Hadfield went on to win with Todd second and Finch third.
In the second race, the wind had slackened further. Ben Postlethwaite, in a Topper, made an excellent start, rounded the bottom buoy and left most of the boats stranded there.
Hadfield managed to find some wind but was never able to catch Postlethwaite on a shortened course and came in second with Finch again third.
The five-week Summer Handicap Series started on Sunday at Gresford Flash, with a light wind coming from the west as the 10 boats lined up for the start of race number one.
Mary and Harry Bainbridge, in their Enterprise, made a perfect start and were well ahead of the pack at the first marker buoy, with Merle Cook and David Gray and Kevin Forbes and Trevor Ward, in GPs, fighting for second place.
By the end of the second lap, Forbes had consolidated his second spot and Ian Ware, Solo, had moved to third.
By the end of the third and final lap, the Enterprise of David and Zara Turtle had come up the fleet to take third place away from Ware. The race finished with the Bainbridges in first place, Kevin Forbes second and the Turtle duo third.
The wind picked up for the second race of the afternoon as the Turtles made a perfect start and were first boat at the windward mark, followed by the Bainbridge boat and Forbes.
Eventually, the Bainbridges managed to overtake the Turtles to finish in first place with Kevin Forbes in third place. The Mirror of Richard Bolton did well to keep in touch with the rest of the fleet, coming home in fourth spot when the handicap was applied.
Race three saw theTurtles take command, quickly pulling out a large lead. Forbes led the chasing pack and Mary Bainbridge was going well until a rule infringement at the number nine marker buoy led to her doing penalty turns from which she never really recovered.
Meanwhile, Tomos Price was quietly making progress up the fleet. The race ended with the Turtles in first place, Forbes second and Price third after the handicap was applied.
The Single Handed Series was a little quiet with David Turtle, in his Solo, winning both the races. Ward, in a GP14, was second in both races and these two boats were the only ones to finish in both races.
There was a very good turnout for the Individual Handicap Series on Wednesday last week and Harry and Mary Bainbridge, carrying the biggest handicap of the night, starting some 14 minutes after the scratch boat, went on to win from Tomos Price, in a Solo. Dad Steve Price finished third.