TWELVE dinghies took to the water for the final two races in Walton and Frinton Yacht Club's Spring Series.

They took place in perfect conditions with class one - traditionally the most competitive - for the faster boats and class two for the slower ones.

The club's top sailors fought for honours in class one and it is a reflection of how competitive the fleet has become that in the five races four different helms have won individual races.

Class two is dominated by the smaller-rig Lasers.

The club's ladies are enjoying considerable success, with every race being won by a female helm.

The Newland girls have been particularly successful, filling the top three places overall.

Race officer Chris Brooke set a good, challenging course, starting in the Twizzle and sailing down to Wade buoy.

Both fleets started together for race five.

In class one, John Sewell, in his Solo, and Martin Jenkins, in his Phantom, were fighting for overall victory, with just this and the rearranged race four to go.

However, it was James Oxley, in his full-rig Laser, who got the perfect start and went on to sail a superb race and take the winning gun.

Jenkins' Phantom did enough to take second, despite suffering a mainsheet block disintegrating a minute before the start.

Sewell chose a wrong mark and finished back in fifth.

This meant the rearranged race four, which was to be sailed straight after, would decide the winner of the series in class one.

Jenkins was struggling a bit with his reduced mainsheet arrangement but got away first and sailed a much better race.

With a final long upwind leg to the finish, it looked like Jenkins had done enough to win the race.

The Phantom crossed the line more than five minutes ahead of Oxley's Laser, which was enough on handicap.

Things were looking good until a shift in the wind direction meant Sewell's Solo was able to lay the entire last stretch of the river in one tack, whereas the Phantom and Laser had to put in two or more tacks.

This was enough to change things around and Sewell took the race on handicap by just 16 seconds.

In class two, Beth Newland had an excellent day.

In race five, she got clear away from the start and sailed a great race.

It was good to see Trevor Halls and Tracey Bettany back out in their Bosun and new member Malcolm Smith was able to get to learn his way around these waters which are new to him.

Newland went on to win race four from her sisters, Sophie and Eleanor, with the Bosun coming in fourth.

A similar pattern emerged in the rearranged race four as Beth took the win ahead of Sophie, with Eleanor third.

Overall in class two, Beth was the clear winner. Eleanor was second and Sophie third.

The next racing is on Sunday, May 28 when the Summer Series begins.

Results: Race five: Class one: 1st James Oxley, Laser; 2nd Martin Jenkins, Phantom; 3rd Geoff Parker, Hadron.

Class two: 1st Beth Newland, Laser 4.7; 2nd Sophie Newland, Laser 4.7; 3rd Eleanor Newland, Laser 4.7.

Race four: Class one: 1st John Sewell, Solo; 2nd Martin Jenkins, Phantom; 3rd James Oxley, Laser.

Class two: 1st Beth Newland, Laser 4.7; 2nd Sophie Newland, Laser 4.7; 3rd Eleanor Newland, Laser 4.7.

Overall: Class one: 1st John Sewell, Solo, 7pts; 2nd Martin Jenkins, Phantom, 8pts; 3rd James Oxley, Laser, 30pts.

Overall: Class two: 1st Beth Newland, Laser 4.7, 4pts; 2nd Eleanor Newland, Laser 4.7, 8pts; 3rd Sophie Newland, Laser 4.7, 10pts.