Gibson and Finn prevail in topsy turvy race on Rollesby Broad

06:30 11 December 2014

Ian Ayres, single-handed winner at Rollesby Broad's Winter Regatta.

Ian Ayres, single-handed winner at Rollesby Broad's Winter Regatta.


The cold may have deterred some, but those who braved it on Rollesby Broad enjoyed some close races in their Winter Regatta.

The small but well-matched multi-sail fleet saw three of the four entrants lead at different points of the three races, but it was the all-female team of Auriel Gibson and Lindsey Finn who won. Their victory was thanks to some excellent spinnaker work and, perhaps, a spot of luck when Carl Buck, leading the first race, was forced to retire with gear failure. Meanwhile the larger single-handed fleet saw even closer competition, with five boats dead-heating on six points for second to sixth.

Ahead was Ian Ayres, counting a first and second, the win thanks to his breaking clear in the first race and just keeping within range of David Houghton’s RS300, while Nick Eastwood (Finn) just got the better of Chris Toothill (Phantom).

They were joined by another Phantom (Darren Pike) for the second race, and he evaded a general pile-up at the first mark to take an ever increasing lead and victory while Ayres, after some place changing with fellow Soloist Bob Hawkins, eventually got through to take second spot. The third race was mainly notable for Toothill speeding away to a massive lead before blowing it in a capsize. Barry Bradford narrowly won as the wind increased, edging out Hawkins.

Snowflakes set a long course upstream halfway between the Broad entrance and the Mill for the Yeomans Kookaburra Trophy meeting.

Ian Hanson and Q Stewart set a cracking pace for the first race in winds ranging from F2 to F5 in gusts, especially in the second race, which saw Patrick and Julie Richardson do likewise, but unfortunately they found the putty, letting Roger and Paul Claxton through to win.

Hanson also passed them, doing enough to take the Trophy while Claxton and Richardson finished second and third.

The eight Dinghies coped well with the sometimes blustery conditions, not least Ellie Edwards who, despite her slight build, achieved a first and second in her Topper against some experienced operators.

At Whitlingham, Frostbites enjoyed a brisk south westerly with a couple of gusts in the region of Force 5, prompting some very entertaining manoeuvres on the parts of Pat Woodcock and Jan Hubbard, and also Ray Johnson and Sue Grief.

Sam Woodcock and Jane Aldiss again won the first race, over the water and on handicap, but the main interest, other than the foiled capsizers, was a late and impressive charge for the line by John and Caroline Ellis, who thereby achieved an unexpected joint third place with John Atkinson and Leona Levine, both holding that position on handicap. The second race saw victory for Johnson and Grief.


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