WALTON and Frinton Yacht Club held the third race in their Winter Series.

It took place in very different conditions to the first two.

Clear blue skies, warmth in the sun and a pleasant eight to ten knots of breeze greeted the sailors as they rigged their boats.

Race officer Alec Moss set an excellent course that was simple but testing.

The start was a reach from the line set off Titchmarsh Marina to a buoy just off Stone Point.

The two Phantoms of James Oxley and Martin Jenkins were first across the line but Oxley was able to sail over Jenkins in the drag to the corner of the Twizzle, where the boats headed off upstream on a dead run.

Oxley has clearly got his boat well set up for running as he maintained a four or five-boat distance between his transom and the chasing Phantom.

Further back, the three Lasers of Dominic Jacobs, Ken Potts and John Tappenden were having a very close duel, with young Dominic just edging ahead of his rivals.

Oxley rounded the first mark 20 seconds ahead of Jenkins, while the tightly-bunched group of Lasers rounded together a minute or two further back.

Unfortunately, Paul and Gemina Burnage suffered a broken centreboard and had to retire before rounding the first mark.

Jenkins settled into the beat and split tacks with Oxley.

Although James is getting to grips with his new Phantom, Jenkins still has a noticeable edge on the upwind legs.

By the time the two leaders rounded Spit Buoy, Jenkins had passed his rival and established a lead of nearly a minute.

In the pack of chasing Lasers, Jacobs had eased away from Potts, with Tappenden pushing his friend hard.

With legs out into the Wade, a run back down river and then a good long beat to the finish, the order stayed the same.

At the finish line, Jenkins had stretched his lead over Oxley to one and three quarter minutes and it looked that this would be enough to take the overall win, with the Lasers almost out of sight down river.

The race lasted 80 minutes and this meant the Phantoms had to give over seven minutes in handicap to the Lasers.

When the results were worked out, it was confirmed that Jenkins was first with Jacobs second and Potts third.

The series is now very tight at the top, with Potts leading with five points to Jenkins' six.

With two races to go, there is a lot to play for.

The next race is on Sunday, March 4.

Results: 1st Martin Jenkins, Phantom; 2nd Dominic Jacobs, Laser; 3rd Ken Potts, Laser; 4th James Oxley, Phantom; 5th John Tappenden, Laser.