Sailing: Series is Dell Quay’s best ever - and a thriller to boot

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THE MOST successful winter series ever run by Dell Quay SC finished in highly-competitive style, with only six points separating the top three boats after all 12 races were completed.

A total of 49 dinghies raced in the Frostbite series, from Toppers and Enterprises to Fireballs and RS400s, and there were six different race winners.

Home club member Bill Dawber (Solo) was the trophy winner after slowly improving his position against leading visitor and early series leader, Finn sailor Edward Thorburn, from Newhaven & Seaford SC. And with a flying last-day performance, Ben Chrystall (Laser, DQSC) overtook Thorburn by a single point to take second overall.

Twenty boats entered the final two races, sailed in a biting northerly wind on a triangular course which gave a good beat, a tricky run and a tight reach. Chrystall made certain of first-race victory by finishing second on the water, with only the RS400 of Peter King and Colin Pullenger ahead of him and a whole clutch of supposedly-faster dinghies well behind.

Thorburn, who had needed to win both final races to have a chance of beating Dawber overall, failed in his challenge with a course error forcing his retirement. Dawber took second place on handicap, with two boats from Dell Quay’s large Laser 2000 fleet next, sailed by Graham and Lucy Dalton and Warwick and Ben Hoddy. King and Pullenger took fifth, with Chris Turner and Jono Loe (Fireball) hard on their transom.

Race 12, the last in the series, saw the fleet close to the line at the start, with Chrystall crossing at full speed. But he lost his excellent early position when a number of the single-sailed boats ran out of wind at the leeward mark, and King and Pullenger pulled well clear, to head rival RS400 sailed by Bob Marshall and Mike Savage by more than three minutes at the finishing line.

Thorburn sailed home next to take second place on handicap, while Chrystall recovered to follow him into the third slot. Dawber, though finishing midway through the fleet, had plenty of time in hand once the calculations were done and he won the race with a two-minute margin, confirming his series victory.

It was a very consistent performance – he sailed all 12 races and had no finishing position lower than third. King and Pullenger narrowly took fourth place in the final race, with the Daltons fifth.

DQSC Frostbite Trophy overall results: 1 Bill Dawber, Solo, DQSC, 11pts; 2 Ben Chrystall, Laser, DQSC, 16; 3 Edward Thorburn, Finn, Newhaven & Seaford SC, 17; 4 Malcolm Buchanan, Solo, DQSC, 27; 5 Graham & Lucy Dalton, Laser 2000, DQSC, 31.4; 6 Andy Gray, Solo, DQSC, 37pts.