James continues hot streak

Nine dinghies launched in the cool conditions with a fresh breeze.

The sailors dug out their dry suits which had been put away for the summer as a precaution against the risk of a swim in the still cold waters.

The fleet was split into two classes.

In Class 2 for the slower boats the twins Eleanor and Sophie Newland sailing their Laser 4.7s had the GP 14 of Paul Jackson for company. Sophie sailed a very competent race leading her sister home by nearly four minutes.

Class 1, for the faster boats is keenly contested and the start of this race was no exception.

Martin Jenkins in his Phantom was able to break away from the start first with the Phantom of James Oxley and the Hadron of Geoff Parker in close pursuit.

The first mark was upwind and uptide. The fleet split in two halves with Jenkins and Parker taking the West side of the river and Oxley and Petra Potasse in the Javelin taking the East side.

Oxley was able to slip round the mark just ahead of Jenkins and Parker but Petra and crew Steve capsized just short of the mark to sample the water temperature.

Over the next two legs the Phantoms duelled for the lead, Jenkins was able to get past Oxley on the second beat and lead.

Parker was holding on gamely in his Hadron and with handicap taken into consideration the race was very close.

Jenkins lead the fleet round Kirby Buoy but Oxley was able to squeeze above him on the gybe and retake the lead.

With a straight reach and run back to the finish at the club Oxley was able to lead Jenkins home. Parker finished a couple of minutes after the leading Phantom and after handicaps were applied finished in between them in second place. Jenkins was relegated to third and Tim Oxley was fourth in his new Hadron after having had his new boat damaged before the start by a motoring yacht. Paul and Jemima Burnage were fifth in their Wayfarer.