Hurricane Bertha Wins the Day

Arden Sailing Club Pursuit Series

Last Updated: Aug 11, 2014 08:01pm
Defford, Wychavon
By Rob Evans
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Hurricane Bertha did not deter six intrepid sailors from entering the 8th race in the Pursuit Series at Arden Sailing Club, Defford. 

At the start of the race the wind was a light north easterly force 1 or 2, however within fifteen minutes into the hour long race things had changed dramatically. The wind had shifted to the west north west and increased in strength to a gusty force 5 to 6. It was clear this was really going to test the sailing skills of everyone on the water. After completing two laps exciting laps Keith Hodges in his Comet decided it was just too strong for him to handle and so retired from the race. The others continued with huge waves spraying from the bows of each boat as they raced with the wind behind them back down the river.

With one almighty gust of wind boats were tossed about, with Niall Campbell, Stuart Stephen and  David Stephen all sailing Laser Dinghies capsized in spectacular fashion.  At this point Emma Williams also in a Laser took the sensible decision to retire while she was still upright. Only Simon Newman in a Solo managed to survive and continued sailing. Conditions had now deteriated to such an extent that Officer of the Day Keith Stevens took the decision to abandon the race while the safety boat assisted those who needed it back to the landing stage at the club.

Only David Stephens’s boat sustained damage with a broken rudder. Everyone agreed when safely back on shore that it had been an exhilarating race but Berta got the best of them.

Later, back at the club house, everyone enjoyed a delicious BBQ to help Emma celebrate her 30th Birthday.

Anyone interested in sailing or learning to sail and wanting more information should contact Keith on 01684 833061 or visit our website at www.


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