Variable sailing conditions for Autumn Trophy

PUBLISHED: 14:41 21 October 2015 | UPDATED: 14:41 21 October 2015

Robin Goff.

Robin Goff.


Clevedon Sailing Club’s Autumn Trophy saw varied conditions in the channel.

After being rescheduled due to lack of wind, this year’s levedon Sailing Club’s Autumn Trophy took place last weekend.

Although the north-east breeze provided a reasonable wind offshore, conditions along the shore were variable and shifty. Race officer Stuart Butter set a large course with the beat back to the start line from a seaward mark off Wains Hill.

Twins James and Anthony Willcocks (Fireball) showed the fleet a clean pair of heels from the start, leading from start to finish ahead of parents Andy and Andrea (Fireball), Richard White (Phantom) and Robin Goff (D Zero).

Phil Isaac capsized at the first gybe and spent the race recovering. Conditions proved too trying for Stuart Turner and Trevor Baker (Scorpion) and Tony and Scarlet Cherry (Tasar) who both retired after race one. Goff took the race on handicap with the Willcocks second and Grace Cherry (Topper) third.

Race two started at high water leading to different tactics. The Willcocks twins led again from the start together with Paul Sheldon (Laser) with Goff steadily pulling back through the fleet from an indifferent start.

By the beginning of the second beat the inshore tide was ebbing and the leading boats headed shoreward to tack up the coast in slacker water. Whether by inspiration or luck, Martin Gibson (Laser) stayed out in the stronger, cleaner wind passing both Phantoms and finishing just behind Andy and Andrea’s Fireball.

Gibson took first place on handicap with Goff second and the Willcocks third.

By race three, the tide was ebbing strongly and staying out wasn’t an option. After their third good start of the day, James and Antony again led with Phil Isaac and Robin Goff in hot pursuit.

The slower handicap boats struggled against the tide in the fickle conditions, gradually falling further behind. Willcocks took first place on handicap, followed by Goff and Isaac.

With three different race winners, the overall result was a close-run thing. Willcocks and Goff both tied with three points, both having a first and a second place, leaving the result to be decided by who did best in the last race.

Prizes were presented by vice-commodore Ian Hotchkiss, while competitors enjoyed a curry and liquid refreshment.

Results: Robin Goff (D Zero); James and Anthony Willcocks (Fireball); Martin Gibson (Laser).

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