THe first race in the Witham Sailing Club’s summer evening pursuit series was held last Wednesday.
Half an hour before the start the weather was anything but summery and the race was delayed while a heavy rain shower passed over, giving way to bright sunshine and a light but steady breeze from the north west blowing almost straight down the river.
Ian Thompson, sailing single-handed in his Enterprise dinghy, was first boat away.
To begin with he seemed to be maintaining his lead over the rest of the fleet headed by Dave Sauntson in his Laser.
Last to start was Alan Cox, crewed by Nicola Cox in an RS200, and they were going so well that it took them little more than one lap to work their way to the front of the chasing pack and start to eat away at Thompson’s lead.
While tacking upwind with about five minutes of race time left the Coxes, on starboard, crossed tacks with Thompson and forced him to pass astern of them.
Thompson quickly tacked on to starboard tack to try to return the compliment but the Coxes passed clear ahead of him and Thompson had to be satisfied with second place ahead of Frank Royle in third.
Patrick Corke was the night’s unlucky sailor in his Gem Micro 18 keelboat.
He had looked promising for the first lap but was brought to a standstill by a patch of weed entangled round his keel and he had to resort to sailing backwards to try to clear it.
Witham Sailing Club holds races every Wednesday evening and often on Sundays, also running training for all ages on Saturday afternoons.
For information search for their Facebook page.