Last weekend saw the last races of the Winter series at Exe SC blown off which was a great pity as the weather has been benign most of the last couple of months, writes Rex Frost.

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A couple of previous weekends had been abandoned due to high winds and another two due to lack of wind, but the others had been notable for their pleasant sailing conditions.

On most days there was sun and sunglasses were the order of the day.

With dinghy crew taking turns to be race officials there was a variety of courses over the series and on two occasions we had good triangular courses across the Cockle Bank and round Bull Hill. One recent afternoon Frankie Upton managed two good races and got everyone ashore as the sun set and Chris Rhodes managed a good course in to Starcross railway line, giving the fleet a long reach down river. In the final set of races the wind was light and shifty with places changing all the time.

The duo of Farrant and Brewster used their wiles to stay ahead of most, no matter what occurred but each was keeping a close eye on Keith and Hazel Lawson who were catching up all the time. In the handicap fleet, the 200s of Rex Frost and Bob Horlock swapped places over and over and in the second race with the change of helm, Ellie Geare and Nick Pearce contested the lead all the time with Nick pulling out a lead just before the finish. The Blaze of Rob Jones sailed away to win easily in the first race and ran a close second to Tim Graham in the next.

In the overall Series placing for the Trio fleet, it was a case again, of turning out consistently to compete and was won by veteran Tony Brewster who rarely misses a race. Guy Farrant and Marilyn Booker were second, Keith and Hazel Lawson were third while club secretary Nick Webber, having had some good results early on, eased into fourth place.

The Handicap fleet was won by those old favourites Chris Rhodes and Les Arscott (RS 400), with Tim Graham and Philippa Beard (RS400) second. The Lasers of Nick Coombes and Malcolm Crundwell were third and fourth.

The one-off event which is the Boxing Day Race is the last sail for the year and weather permitting is usually very well supported and despite it being the festive season, competition will be fierce. Those who are not up for sailing are welcome to join us on the beach for the Christmas Day swim instead.


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