TOP MAN: Martin Cook was the overall winner of the Novice Regatta crown.

Wind wreaks havoc as Cook claims regatta win at Welland Yacht Club

Martin Cook raced to overall glory at Welland Yacht Club’s Novice Regatta on Sunday on a competitive day of action.

With only two different classes of boat competing on the day, the Solos of Cook and Paul Wilson and Lasers of Gail Follington and Mark Holland all had to be separated by personal handicap.

For the start of race one, it looked like the wind may have picked up a little – but the sun had disappeared.

With Cook taking the early lead and the first around the windward mark, he was followed by Follington then Wilson and Holland.

As they made their way up river to the top mark, the wind dropped away by the approach of the top mark and all four boats were level.

Cook was again first to round it, with the wind picking up slightly, so initial progress on the windward leg was good – but it soon dropped away by the next bend.

That man Cook was first across the finishing line followed by Follington, then Holland and Wilson.

Cook held on to the win after handicap was applied, with Wilson second and Follington and Holland sharing a corrected time for third place.

The chances of an increase in breeze looked good ahead of race two, so a slightly shorter course – but for two laps – was set.

But, as competitors were waiting for the start, the wind changed direction – creating a running start.

Once under way, the wind dropped and the race reduced to a single lap.

With what little wind there was spilling over the riverbanks, this created the strange situation of two boats sailing in opposite directions, but with both having the wind behind them.

Follington made it first across the line followed by Holland, then Cook and Wilson, with the finishing order maintained once handicaps applied.

With the wind having dropped away completely after the finish, the planned third race was cancelled leaving Cook to toast overall victory from runner-up Follington.

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