ROUND five of Highcliffe Sailing Club’s Harbour Evening Series received an unexpected boost in numbers when 10 members of the popular Ladies that Launch programme joined the field last Friday.

Following two sessions of the scheme designed to build confidence and encourage more female members to compete in club sailing, Highcliffe’s ladies took to the water alongside nine experienced sailors in ideal conditions.

With the first upwind mark set towards the Westerly end of Mudeford Spit, Ian Pike (Solo) very quickly set the pace as the usual suspects came to the fore from the outset.

Heading towards the second mark towards the beach at Hengistbury Head, the breeze became shifty which resulted in the fleet’s more experienced sailors gaining a greater advantage, so much so that when the frontrunners were embarking on their second lap, some of the newcomers were still completing their downwind leg.

In the end, Pike took the honours in his first race of the series ahead of Lorrian Wells (Laser Radial), while third place moved Kate Jardin (Laser Radial) within touching distance of Saron Rusden at the summit of the overall standings.

The best-placed Ladies that Launch representative was Nicky Fitoussi (Laser Radial) in eighth, closely followed by Lauren Rogers (Laser Radial) and Jenny Rogers (RS Quba).