SAILING: THE sailors from Chester Sailing and Canoeing Club took to the water under brilliant sunshine and a steady wind on Sunday.
Dave Harrison, sailing a GP on his own, made an excellent start and was well away from the rest of the fleet on the beat up river.
The course demanded a number of jibe points which he coped with easily. The chasing boat was Mark Roberts in a Laser, then following closely were Mike Kneale and Hamish Collin in Lasers and a group of Toppers led by the Oldfield brothers Ian and Josh.
Halfway through the race, Roberts passed Harrison and pulled well away from the rest of the fleet. Sailing was difficult in the protected centre part of the course where the wind disappeared brief ly, but patience paid off and the boats started moving again.
The other two Lasers and the GP were tightly bunched under these conditions and the lead was exchanged a number of times. Kneale pulled ahead towards the end of the race and, in the final beat to the finish, Collin edged past the GP.
Josh Oldfield was the leader in the pack of Toppers.
In the second race, Roberts made a good start and was chased by Kneale and Collin. Despite close attention from the other Lasers, Roberts stayed ahead with Kneale in second place and Collin in third. Ian Oldfield led in the Toppers.
* The wind direction was all over the place at Gresford Flash on Sunday, which gave race officer David Hopkins a problem when setting the course.
In the first race, Mary Bainbridge (Enterprise) was first on the water for all four laps, closely followed by the Solo of Ian Ware who was first when the handicap was applied with Mary second.
Alan Rogerson, with crew Charlie Jones (GP14), was the last boat to cross the start line, but after a few lucky wind shifts and good concentration, he worked his way up the fleet to finish third. Mike Harvey, sailing a Mirror-class boat, suffered a rig failure on the second lap and had to retire.
The difficult wind conditions were again a major problem in the second race, but Rogerson had a much better start to pull out a substantial lead by the time the finish gun was sounded.
This race seemed to be in the big boats' favour with second spot going to the Enterprise of Mary Bainbridge and the GP of Rodney Evans with his crew Arthur Daly coming home third.
Race three saw the fleet decrease in size as frustration set in with the fluky wind. Mary Bainbridge was a mile ahead of all the other boats this time and took top podium. Rogerson was 90 seconds behind this time to take second place. Keith Baskerville (Solo) had a better race and came home third.