With sunshine and the promise of a force-three wind, another big fleet gathered for the third pair of races in Dell Quay SC’s open Frostbite series.
But mirror-like water was their reward at the published starting time, and it was only after a 40-minute delay that the 23 competitors got under way.
Ghosting with their large gennaker in the still-light breeze, Peter King and Tom Dobbs (RS400) had established a comfortable lead when the race was shortened after a single slow lap. But their advantage was nowhere near enough to hold on handicap, and they dropped to sixth in the calculated results.
Malcolm Buchanan (Solo), third to finish, was the clear winner, with classmates Bill Dawber and Ken Baker second and fourth, split by visitor Edward Thorburn (Finn, Newhaven and Seaford SC).
Even in the light conditions there was still excitement as three boats just behind the leaders crossed the finishing line within seven seconds. One of them was the Buzz normally sailed by Roger Francis and Ranjit Verghese, this time with Verghese sailing single-handed as car trouble had held up Francis.
The wind came back for the second race to start and held up to allow the slightlyeduced fleet to complete two laps.
Again King and Dobbs sailed away from the rest, but again not far enough, allowing Buchanan a second victory.
This time, it was by only a few seconds from Ben Chrystall (Laser), who’d also been second on the water. Dawber and Thorburn had to be content with third and fourth, while King and Dobbs took fifth.
At the halfway point in the series, Thorburn and Dawber are contesting the overall lead but there are plenty more challengers close enough to topple them.
Visitors are warmly welcomed in the series and entry is free.
Next races are on January 7. See www.dellquaysc.co.uk for more.