Pete Lee and Steve Bingham got their timing just right to sail to a clear win in the Yorkshire Ouse Sailing Club’s inaugural “Roundabout Race” on the Ouse at Naburn on Sunday. Unlike all other types of yacht racing, this is only against the clock but with a twist. Compared by some to Formula One Grand Prix qualifying, for the serious sailor it is designed not only to test boat speed but the helmsman’s skill in judging best course direction, (you can sail the course in either direction… try that in F1 qualifying!), the best wind and weather conditions and river traffic, anytime over a five hour “window”.
With only have one opportunity to do a race lap, judging the moment is critical. With virtually no wind in the first hour, most of the fleet set off then, most choosing to sail upstream first, but two going down river. This proved to be to be the wrong decision with Ian & Margaret Purkis being carried away from the course by the current for many minutes close to Naburn lock.
Neil Botham went upstream and posted the best time initially only to be pipped for second later by less than half a minute by Larry Gray and his crew Keith Cooper. Pete Lee held back, waiting for a rain storm to pass which killed the wind, bringing everyone on the water to a standstill. Once it had cleared a gentle breeze set in and Pete took his moment. Going upstream first and despite being the last to finish, race organiser and timekeeper Andrew Holmes confirmed what the spectators anticipated, Pete and Steve had set the fastest time and win in style.
Overall result: Time (corrected on PY handicap)
1st Peter Lee and Steve Bingham (Enterprise) 1hr 32mins 14secs
2nd Larry Gray & Keith Cooper (Enterprise) 1hr 57mins 9secs
3rd Neil Botham (Streaker) 1hr 57mins 33secs
4th Peter Rawson & Fran Hyett (Enterprise) 2hr 8mins 55secs
5th Ian & Margaret Purkis (National 12) 2hr 53mins 24secs
6th Vince & Fiona Phillips (National 12) Rtd.