WEST Riding Sailing Club’s Autumn Series is just over halfway through its twenty-race schedule and competitors have already experienced a wide range of sailing conditions with the series nicely poised in all three classes.
Sailors have experienced frustrating days, when there has hardly been enough wind to coax boats around Wintersett reservoir, while strong winds have helped to make some exciting sailing, when the priority has been to survive without capsizing.
In the Laser single-handed class, there have been wins for Guy Cokill, Dave Hunter and Tim Keighley, but Hamish Gledhill’s eight wins have given him an unassailable lead and he heads the table with 7 points from Guy Cokill and Matt Cook, who are tied on 16 points.
Neil Whittaker’s persistence in being one of the few sailors to start every race has been rewarded by 4th place, and Tim Keighley still has enough races left to pull get into the top three.
The Solo class is more closely contested. Mark Weston, rejoining the fleet after returning to the club this year, has enjoyed five race wins and leads John Gledhill, with three wins, by just 2 points. There have also been wins for Howard Frear, currently in third, and Jonathan Gledhill back in 8th. There are still enough races left for Jonathan to win overall, but he needs to win all remaining races to pull it off.
The Mixed Dinghy fleet has suffered from low turnouts and Dave Baxter in his Vago has been the only competitor to sail enough races to qualify so far. The two Swordfish of John Dyson crewed by Liz Radcliffe, and Mike Wallace crewed by Lesley, lie second and third separated by one point and on paper can still beat Dave. Nick Turley in his Finn has had one win and three second places and is another who can hit the front if he sails the remaining races.
The series comes to a conclusion at the end of the month when the Top Dog Trophy is held before the start of the Frostbite Series, which runs through to Christmas.
See this Thursday’s Hemsworth and South Elmsall Express for all the latest sports news from around the area.