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Wind stops play at the Southern Championships - Day 1 Race report

By Andy Read.

A strong forecast didn't deter the intrepid blaze sailors (although a few decided to take an early trip to the bar and come back tomorrow), launching into a fresh 18-20kt breeze. The first minor casualty as Alex Cory got taken by a wave on launching and subsequently had to go on the rob to replace his rudder stock, making it back onto the water just in time for the start.

Sharing the event with other classes, the Blazes lined up when it came to our start and all got away cleanly with Will Gould pulling away with speed from the line. With the wind building now to gusting 25kts for the race, Alex Cory put last nights kebab to good use, sailing fast and low upwind to win the race to the windward mark, only to have it all go wrong with his borrowed rudder stock and the longer tiller extension meant he ended up in the drink.

Will rounded first onto what can only be described as "the mother of all reaches" and continued to sail a clean race to take the win, followed by Andy Read in 2nd. A valiant effort from James Brown who completed the course but missed the time limit for finishing.

With winds building to gusting 30kts+, the Race Officer made the wise decision to call it early and set up for a big day tomorrow.

We now have 4 races tomorrow, and a discard coming in to play for today's race, it's all to play for going into tomorrow. It's not too late for anyone who wants to make it tomorrow as it will essentially be a one day event for them!

A worthwhile shout out to Neil Smith, travelling all the way from Staffordshire and can only sail today.

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