CHRIS Perry reaped the rewards of his tactical nous to take the honours in the latest round of Highcliffe Sailing Club’s Autumn Series.

With the sea state moderate to rough with the tail end of Hurricane Gonzalo set to sweep across the country, several competitors had second thoughts which left a reduced field of nine for Sunday’s action.

The larger boats started well but with gusts picking up to some 27 knots, the wind proved troublesome with all but those sporting the smallest sails suffering multiple capsizes.

In particular, the Laser Radials were frequently overpowered and spent a considerable amount of time in the water.

Perry, however, opted for a 4.7 in the conditions and this paid dividends. The pace was fast with huge rollers offering the opportunity to surf from the gybe mark back towards shore.

After an incredibly swift six laps, Carl Bray and Simon Topping (Fireball) were first across the line in race one with Pete Bell (Europe) a mere 58 seconds behind.

Perry (Laser 4.7) crossed the line third but took the win on corrected results.

Race two saw Bell make a cracking start with Perry close behind.

After five laps, Peter Emmerson and Graham Platt were on course for a top-five finish but capsized just before the finish line.

Once again, Bell and Perry were competing for the finish with the former crossing 22 seconds ahead only for his rival to take the win after the times were adjusted.

Result: 1 Chris Perry, 2 Peter Bell, 3 Lorrian Wells.