Blowing the cobwebs away

THE Boxing Day race for the Jonathan House Memorial Salver on Oulton Broad provided a perfect way for 30 crews to overcome the excesses of the previous day.

THE Boxing Day race for the Jonathan House Memorial Salver on Oulton Broad provided a perfect way for 30 crews to overcome the excesses of the previous day.

The sun was shining and there was a good easterly breeze. There was a good mixture of boats and this is one of the few races during the year in which dinghies and keel boats race together.

There were two RS400s and an RS500 and not surprisingly they were in the first three places on the water but with an easterly wind they had to zigzag the length of the Broad and sail a lot further than the conventional classes, with the Lasers sailed by James Large and Lloyd Crisp laying fourth and fifth just six seconds apart but close enough to easily move up to first and second on handicap while the leading Squib, sailed by Sam Cole and Richard Sullivan, took third.

Sunday was the last sailing day of 2008 and apart from a bitterly cold easterly it was one of the best. Richard Fryer and Carol Smalls lost no time in getting out in front and steadily increased their lead to finish almost five minutes in front of David Frary's Finn, who won on handicap from the leading Laser sailed by Alan Cone as Fryer dropped to third.


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The three leading Squibs had a tremendous race with never more than 50 yards separating them as David Gooch and Gilly Foulds swapped places with Bryan and Jenny Riley with Jim Tubby and David Gale waiting to pounce. And pounce they did on the final beat.

David Gooch rounded the last mark with a small lead over Bryan Riley but it was a long beat back down the Broad to the finish and they split tacks trying to find the best shifts. And it was Tubby who found them as he moved up to a narrow win as Gooch dropped to third.

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The second Fast Handicap was similar to the first, with Richard Fryer way out in front but David Frary again moved up to win on handicap with 30 seconds to spare.

James Large dominated the small Laser fleet and never looked like being caught and Alan Cone and Lloyd Crisp swapped places several times with Crisp just taking second place.

The second Squib race was another close affair and again it was Bryan Riley and Jim Tubby who closely contested first place.

There was nothing to choose between them as they approached the finishing line and Riley took the bell with a narrow two foot advantage. Richard Dell and David Gooch had a close race for third which Dell took comfortably in the end.

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