CLACTON Sailing Club members competed for the prestigious Denis Wood Cup.

The silver trophy, steeped in club history, attracted a wide range of competitors, including race winners Liam and Ian Wright, fresh from a credible performance at the Dart 18 Catamaran National Championships.

The conditions were lively, with the combination of a good-size swell and fresh onshore breeze, making launching, let alone landing, tricky.

Shortly after 11am, the starter horn blasted to signal the commencement of an exhilarating 90-minute race, with competitors completing an extensive course made up of a diamond and interlocking sausage.

Team Lyall, husband and wife Peter and Helen, took the startline honours in their Wanderer, but they were quickly overtaken by the much faster catamarans, relishing the fresh conditions.

Team Chivers, the husband and wife combination of Martin and Debbie, racing their Dart 18, were the first boat at the windward mark, followed very closely by the chasing pack of high-speed catamarans, including Liam and Ian Wright, in their Dart 18, the Foxon and Rolfe team, in their Hurricane, John Summerfield, in his Dart 15, and the Allen and Venables duet, racing their blistering-fast Hurricane SX.

At the top of the Diamond, there was all to play for, with not only the freshening wind to consider but a very rapid tide.

The Wright boat was able to take a lead position until halfway through the race, when it was being pushed hard by team Chivers.

However, they then dramatically capsized and had to show their ability to come back from a major setback.

The pack took full advantage of the Wright’s misfortune and followed the course, putting as much distance in front of the highly-accomplished son and father team.

Team Wright recovered their boat and all competitors pushed their craft to the limits.

However, Team Chivers, with theirs eyes on the prize, managed to hit a submerged object and lost their steering, forcing a reluctant retirement.

Summerfield, in his Dart 15, relished the conditions and pushed forward, as did Allen and Venables.

At the finishing post, Liam and Ian Wright were worthy winners, with Summerfield second and Foxon and Rolfe third.

Afterwards Brian Allan received a special award for being the most improved sailor.

He was given the coveted Reg White Hurricane Trophy and it was presented to him by race winner Ian Wright.