CLACTON Sailing Club members raced for the Coronation Cup, which also counted as the fifth race in the Summer Series.

Pete Boxer, sailing his single-handed A Class catamaran, claimed the victory but only just ahead of Pete and Helen Lyall, in their Wanderer dinghy, once the handicap times were calculated.

Dan Brzezinski, also in an A Class, took third.

The start of any race is critical and, with an onshore wind, the orientation of the startline meant the fleet would start on a starboard reach.

Local sailors understand the effects of the flooding tide and knew they could safely push up to the line under control without risk of going over early.

A tight bunch of sailing boats gathered near the buoy, each with their own strategy.

The racing rules of sailing give ‘luffing rights’ to the leeward boat when an overlap is established with the windward boat.

This explains why, in the closing seconds, Boxer and Ian Wright, sailing with Maria O’Sullivan in their Dart 18, were manoeuvring to get underneath the other and how Brzezinski, being pushed up by Allen Griffiths, in his Laser, had no option than to loudly call ‘up, up, up’ on the Hurricane catamaran being sailed by Mark and George Venables, causing them to hit the ODM and have to re-start.

The Wanderer and the big F18, being sailed by Brian Allen and Rob Mitchell, quietly avoided all the trouble and both cleared the line heading out to sea on the first beat.

The A Class cats revelled in the conditions and out-pointed all the boats.

Only when the kite boats could open their secret weapon would the A’s know if their upwind advantage would be enough.

Mark and George Venables had recovered quickly from their bad start and were chomping on the heels of the F18 by the first windward mark.

Wright and O'Sullivan could not get their Dart to come alive in the light winds and contented themselves with memories of their last race together, when they had demonstrated total mastery of high wind sailing.

Meanwhile, Pete and Helen Lyall were having a fabulous race in the Wanderer; nicely powered-up without any need to spill wind the close teamwork of the helm and crew working in harmony sailed a faultless race.

Race officer Derek Cheek had set a challenging course with a long upwind/downwind sausage in the middle which meant a long race.

With the cats completing three laps and the monos two laps, the leaders took over an hour and a half and the tailenders nearly two hours but all agreed it was excellent fun and an excellent way to improve boat trim and handling skills.