Strong winds cause havoc at Hollowell

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Sudden and swirling gusts of up to 40 mph played havoc in the final days of the Autumn Series at Hollowell Sailing Club last weekend.

The winds caused a number of dramatic capsizes and forced a few sailors to retire. Mark Hope broke his mast in Saturday’s race. Then on Sunday the McMillans, sailing their Merlin Rocket, also broke a mast.

Despite the winds, a few sailors battled through and Rob Dunkley and Ian Clarke gained some valuable points, with a first and second position each in the penultimate day of the Saturday Autumn Series.

Dunkley now has a slim lead in this Series overall, just ahead of Gerry Burnham and Simon Bickers.

On the final day of the Sunday Autumn Series, Ian Clark, Keith Lancaster, Simon Cray, Mike Harding and the Playle Duo battled it out for the top spots.

Only nine boats completed the last race, with the rest being forced to retire.

Clark succeeded in gaining two first places against his rival Lancaster, however Lancaster’s lead in the series overall was so great, he won the it for this year..

Lancaster said: “I’m really pleased to have won this series, especially given the challenging conditions out there.”

This weekend sees the final day of the Saturday Autumn Series, followed by the coveted Ice Tankard Handicap Open Meeting on Sunday.