THE first race of the year – the Haslett Cup – was held at Clacton Sailing Club.

It took place in fine conditions, with mild, southerly force three to four winds blowing across a flat sea.

Daniel Brezinski was first afloat and keen to test-sail his new single-handed Dart Sprint 15 catamaran.

In fact, he was so keen he crossed the line early on the one-minute gun.

Despite looking very convincing as he sailed the first beat to windward, he was eventually caught by the rescue support boat and advised of his error.

Larry Foxon timed the start to perfection and crossed the line on starboard tack, heading into the ebbing spring tide in his Laser dinghy, followed by a modest fleet of other dinghies.

Brothers Anton and Gleb Vassiljeva each raced one of the club Toppers and commodore Derek Cheek, with crew James Stacey, competed in the Omega.

The Eagle family joined the fun, with Jack and Emily sailing their own Topper and colourful Byte dinghies.

The beat was followed by a fast broad reach out to sea.

The increasing tide, however, caught most competitors out on the reaching leg back into the beach as they were tempted to free-off too much and all of them had to tack to make the outer-distance mark to start the second lap.

Foxon held the lead throughout, applying the lessons of the first lap during the second to win the race by a convincing margin.

Racing will alternate with social sailing every weekend from now on at Clacton Sailing Club, in Holland-on-Sea.