Hardy Harper takes Frostbite sailing honours

Frostbite racing at Dell Quay
Frostbite racing at Dell Quay

There was much pre-race speculation for the final two races of the Dell Quay Sailing Club winter Frostbite series – especially from certain members of the Solo fleet on the wind conditions for the weekend.

Competitors arrived to be greeted with a fine drizzle, overcast grey skies and two to three knots of wind from an easterly direction. Race officer Bruce Dupee rolled the dice and set a simple triangular course using inflatable race marks. 

In the first race the single handers – namely the Solo and Streaker classes – started well, with the faster RS400 fleet struggling to master the drifting conditions.

Meanwhile, the Solos of Mark Harper and Simon Verrall engaged in some pre-start circling manoeuvres. Stephen Holcroft (Streaker) had a good start along with Lou Dicker (Byte CII). 

Harper kept on the heels of the leading RS400, sailed by Peter King and Jamie Prescott, and this proved decisive, with Harper taking the race on handicap by over a minute from John Purdy (Solo) to seal the win overall for the 2017-18 winter series event.

Third place went to Mike Shaw (Solo), who sailed well throughout the race.

With the series winner decisively established, the second race focused on the remaining places with the RS400 of King and Prescott leading the fleet away in the now-failing breeze.

Further back the Solo classes had some close racing, with some interesting racing tactics between Purdy and Shaw. This resulted in a nailbiting finish with Purdy taking the fourth place from Shaw by just three boat lengths. 

King and Prescott took first place on handicap with Simon Verral (Solo) second and Harper third.

The final series results saw Mark Harper (Solo) first, Bill Dawber and Claire Power (RS400) second and Simon Verral (Solo) third.

ANDREW HORNE