Duo claim ISO national crown

WINNING combination John Gill and Juliette Daniels took the ISO national title with six firsts from seven races in Christchurch Bay at the weekend.

So consistent were the Essex sailors from Stone Sailing Club that they discarded a second spot.

Indeed, consistency was prevalent throughout with the top six pairs scoring multiples of the same position.

For instance, Poole Yacht Club’s Euro champs Rob Howlett and Barry Newport scored six thirds and only secured third overall and top local team.

Another set of visitors, Jonny Wells and ‘Bugsy’ Malone, finished second.

Highcliffe race officer and the whole volunteer team got a very well-deserved thank you for their organisation and management of the event.

The turnaround between races was excellent with the course set quickly for great racing in the best sailing conditions.

The first race started with everyone close off a classic starboard line with the favourites steadily emerging at the front. Gill and Daniels established the lead and with it the pattern for the whole weekend.

For the second race on Saturday, both wind and tide increased to start building the waves.

Another good start by all provided some close crosses making the leaders work a bit harder for their success.

Both wind and tide strengthened for race three and crews felt like they were several feet out of the water with the gusts surging the boats over the surf crests and on to the next wave.

With just three races to go on Sunday, everyone headed out for the 10.30am starting gun to try and make a difference to the results.

The race leaders continued their battle well out in the lead finishing with the same one-two-three race order.

In race six, Wells and Malone took the lead from the champions in a duel well out in front of the fleet.

In the middle, Bob Ladell and Gary Hill at last found some form to challenge Howlett and Newport. The boats went bow to bow at the last mark, with the Poole pair just squeezing through on the line.

In the final race, fatigue was setting in, nevertheless, the now familiar race lead played out again leaving Gill and Daniels a second to discard for the national champions’ trophy.

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