Plain sailing for super Sandford

Seventeen boats contested the latest meeting at Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club last weekend
Seventeen boats contested the latest meeting at Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club last weekend

Seventeen boats were on the water for races 7-9 of the Early Summer Series at Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club.

The 10 Lasers, two Toppers, two Dart 16s, one Laser 3000, one Miracle and a Taser were greeted by a wind was coming from the north-west at 5-10mph and occasionally from the west. After lunch it moved round from the south-west and started blowing at 15mph.

The Dart 16s led the way in first race of the mixed handicap race. Tayla Playford crewed by Rob Hamilton led at the end of the first lap from Simon Terry crewed by Lucas Terry.

On the second lap, however, the Terrys hit the front from Playford and Hamilton. They went well clear on the next lap and by the end had completed one more circuit than the rest. Playford and Hamilton were second followed by Phil Blurton crewed by Margaret Blurton in the Taser.

Roy Sandford took an early lead in the first Laser race and went on to win by just under five minutes from Steve Phillips in second with Steve Clark third, Melanie Clark fourth and Martin Watson (Laser Radial) fifth.

For the second race in the handicap, the boats went off in very light winds with Playford and Hamilton leading the way from the Blurtons and Auld. Half way through the race, the wind picked up and the order stayed the same to the end of the second and last lap. Although Playford and Hamilton were first over the line, the Blurtons won on handicap.

The second race in the Lasers was delayed as half the fleet were over the line near to the start due to the lack of wind and a strong tide. The race was started eight minutes later when some wind returned.

As the race went on, the breeze got a lot stronger. Melanie Clark took the lead at the end of the first lap, but Sandford hit the front on the second and final lap to finish first from Melanie Clark, Steve Clark, Hugh Ashford and Phillips.

The third race, with fewer competitors, started after lunch in stronger winds from the south-west. Ashford was over the line at the start and had to go back and re-start.

Steve Clark led the way throughout the six-lap race, while the Blurtons recovered from a bent spinnaker pole to finish second, Ashford was third and Melanie Clark fourth. During the fifth lap there were a couple of capsizes and one retirement.