Strong winds wipe out Tweed sailors

Tornado on a reach to a win.

Only six boats out of a fleet of 14 sailed by 25 crew were able to complete the fifth race of the Tweed Valley Sailing Club summer series as strong winds reaching up to 26 knots hit the Tweed River last weekend.

With many retiring early it was exciting sailing for the survivors. The strong flood tide against the wind created large waves in the river which enabled boats to surf and gain speed.

The first to finish was the Weta Scored a Tri (John and Saffron Cook) that completed the 10km course in a record time of 70 minutes.

John and Saffron were very happy with their afternoon, winning their first line honours result this season, edging out perennial winner Dave Chester and crew Kynan Luescher on a Hobie 16, who led the fleet by three minutes after the first lap but were forced to retire following a capsize early into the second lap.

Line honours in the mono hulls went to NS14 Tornado, (Bill Fenelon and Taj Krasna) beating second-placed Laser Siesta (Gary McCrohan) by two minutes and third-placed Laser Bluey (Kate Yeomans) only nine seconds behind.

Three boats started in the North Coast NS14 Class Championship with only one completing the course.

The 30-year-old northern rivers built NS14 Tornado was skilfully sailed and avoided damage to complete the difficult course and take the bullet.

Tornado showed exceptional boat speed on the fast reaching legs and led for most of the race.

New sailors Andrew Jaggers and Jessie Normans sailed NS14 Blue Tack, but withdrew after numerous capsizes, while Tasar Hippocampus (Mike and Imogen Mansted) was also forced to retire early with a broken mast while actually leading the fleet.

It was a disappointing result for Mike and Imogen as this would have been their first race win.

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