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Mad March Pursuit at Hollowell Sailing Club

by Robin Buxton 13 Mar 2018 06:44 GMT 11 March 2018
Mad March Pursuit at Hollowell Sailing Club © Robin Buxton

Sunday marked the start of Hollowell Sailing Club's long-awaited race season, with the aptly named Mad March Pursuit kicking off the year.

This race had been postponed from the previous week due to bad weather. However, conditions on the day were markedly improved from the previous week. Sailors were met with an unusually full reservoir, a barmy 8 degrees Celsius, forgiving easterlies of around 8 knots and gusts of around 14. Although dark clouds threatened for most of the time, the rain held off until the race was over.

Under such conditions the safety crew weren't expecting to be kept that busy, although being the first race of the year, some sailors did experience a few technical difficulties with their boats. One individual in a purple hull RS300 (we'll refrain from mentioning his name) looked decidedly wobbly at the start!

Mike Playle, Duty Officer for the day was less forgiving and set a punishing course covering some 3 miles. He took advantage of the easterly winds and the full reservoir to include what may well turn out to be the longest run stretch of the season.

Lining up some 25 boats were criss-crossing the start line, before purposefully heading off on their appropriate hooter.

There were no particular incidents to report throughout the race. There were a few capsizes and all bar one managed to right themselves without assistance, which was just as well given the freezing temperature of the water.

The race was won by Stuart Bush in his Solo. In second place was long time veteran Laser sailor Ian Clark and young Gemma McDonnell put in a brilliant performance to take third place.

Commenting after the race, Bush remarked, "I can confirm that the water is still cold. However, it was an excellent race and a good course. I thoroughly enjoyed it."

Next week, sees the start of the Spring Sunday Series and race members will be keen to gain an early advantage at the start of the season, so barring a Force 10, we should see a good turnout.

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