Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club host action-packed races over gripping weekend

Lasers rounding the windward mark. Photo courtesy of Rick Pryce.
Lasers rounding the windward mark. Photo courtesy of Rick Pryce.

Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club hosted the Saturday Afternoon Improvers Link (S.A.I.L) Series and the Late Summer Series this weekend, with fascinating sailing taking place across both days.

The racing started on Saturday with the S.A.I.L Series, a series that is primarily aimed at sailors learning about the sport. Sergio Velluti, racing in a Laser Radial, crossed the line in first place in all three of the races, but once personal handicaps were applied in order to even out the field, Mat Windley rose to the top of the overall standings.

Joe Rosser, who raced in a Pico, was the best placed youth sailor in the competition on Saturday, and has the opportunity to overtake Windley in the final two upcoming Saturdays of the season.

The racing resumed on Sunday with the Late Summer Series where winds were force three to four from the East, making for perfect sailing conditions. Race Officer Jim Taylor set a square course for the race, providing two fast reaches, a downwind leg and beat.

Velluti in the Laser Fleet once again started strongly, winning the first race having led from almost the start. In the second race, Velutti again sailed well, finding the best line to the windward mark, but this time he failed to hold onto his lead despite looking destined for another first-placed finish.

He was overtaken by Mark Pettit and Steve Eccles, but managed to sail inside Eccles on the run after looking like he was stuck in third, battling back to finish second behind Pettit. Despite Velutti's good sailing though, it is Brent Auld who leads the overall standings across the Series after two weekends of racing.

In the General Handicap Fleet, Philip Blurton and Morgan Jeffries in a Tasar and Richard and Sue Morley in a Buzz battled it out for victory. The Morleys had the better start in both races but the Tasar was faster on the reaches and pulled ahead to win both. The results leave the Morleys leading the series overall by a solitary point.

This coming Sunday will see the club host the East Sussex Sailing Federation Youth and Adult Cup competitions. Sailors from clubs along the Sussex coast will converge on Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club to compete for the Federation Cup trophies.