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Big turnout for Boxing Day sailing

PUBLISHED: 15:20 30 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:02 01 August 2010

Action at Beccles.

Action at Beccles.

Members of BecclesSailing Club took to the water on Boxing Day for festive racing.

After the recent spell of sub-zero conditions, the modest six degrees seemed quite temperate, even in the gusty south-westerly which encouraged the best turnout of crews for years.

Members of BecclesSailing Club took to the water on Boxing Day for festive racing.

After the recent spell of sub-zero conditions, the modest six degrees seemed quite temperate, even in the gusty south-westerly which encouraged the best turnout of crews for years. Some were showing off their new boats and gear received from Father Christmas. OOD Jo Edwards set a 45-minute pursuit race for the 12 boats which got rigged plus a three-round, two-mark course for the six Oppie helms.

The Toppers handicap saw them away first but most were soon overhauled by the Norfolks including Jonathan Blankley and Mike Thrower in Shanderlee who were always going to be difficult to catch. But with a beat ensured right up to the new bridge marker, it wasn't going to take too long for some of the Enterprises, a Topaz Zenon and the only Laser to start menacing the front boats.

Even after returning to the start line, Richard Deller and Shirley Roll in their Ent, Cuddles, managed to slip past the other Ents before the first mark and soon got stuck into the straggling Toppers and Norfolks.

Dave Gentry and Jackie Soards exploited a mistake by Glen Curtis and Georgie Roll when they hit the basin marker, resulting in turns, but a lift along the Suffolk bank put Polyarchy back in the frame as they went past and eyeballed the transom of Shanderlee.

Bob Ashcroft, who recently upgraded from his Topper, had also moved well up the fleet in his new Laser and as he passed the last Norfolk, started to threaten Polyarchy's second place.

With only a couple of minutes before the finish, the Commodore was far enough ahead to secure another Boxing Day first. And with Bob's Laser forcing Glen and Georgie's Ent behind after a starboard call, only the run back from the windward mark enabled Polyarchy to restore their second place by a boat length - and that's how they finished.

After a couple of retirements, the Oppie race had Rowan Curtis and Casper Baylis commanding their fleet and they finished first and second respectively. And with Morgan Rusted crossing the line third in his new boat Ginja Ninja, he will be one to watch for next season. As the mulled wine flowed in the clubhouse, the Commodore thanked all who helped out, especially the race officials, rescue boat crews and the galley team who made the day a success.

Results - Boxing Day Pursuit Race (12): 1 Cuddles (R Deller and S Roll), 2 Polyarchy (G Curtis and G Roll), 3 Laser (B Ashcroft).

Optimists (6): 1 Bittern (R Curtis), 2 Petite Rouge (C Baylis), 3 Ginja Ninja (M Rusted).

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