Qantro just clinches second win of series

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With some crews still recovering from the overnight race from Sunderland, and others put off by the northerly wind, just five boats headed out for round four of the Whitby pursuit series.

They were greeted by a fresh breeze, most deciding that reefed mainsails and small head-sails were in order.

Sky Walker was first away and made swift progress on the windward leg to the bell buoy. Masquerade and Qantro followed six minutes later, both making reasonable getaways, but Qantro was a bit too eager to go for the first buoy and had to put in an extra pair of tacks to find space at the mark giving her rival the early advantage.

Two minutes later, Samaki was away, with Cold Steel having to wait a further five minutes before starting her pursuit.

By this time, Sky Walker was around the Bell Buoy and with spinnaker set was speeding towards Sandsend.

The others were more cautious and continued under white-sail, making little impression on the leader.

Rounding the Sandsend mark sails were hardened in for the return to the Bell Buoy. The positions remained unchanged.

Sky Walker was still well in front and looked unlikely to be caught. Masquerade was going well in second but the gaps behind were changing as Qantro found her chosen sails a bit too small and dropped back, while Cold Steel was closing on Samaki.

Unfortunately Sky Walker’s navigation wasn’t as efficient as her sailing as she headed straight back towards Sandsend at the start of lap two instead of rounding the Bell Buoy.

This gifted the lead to Masquerade but, having changed to a larger head-sail, Qantro was starting to claw back ground and with Samaki and Cold Steel also closing the result was suddenly looking very uncertain.

Masquerade had a short lead from Qantro as they started another run to Sandsend,

Cold Steel was up into 3rd ahead of Samaki and closing on the leaders.

At this point, Qantro decided that even more sail was required, shaking out the reef to give full sail area, and the plan was quickly rewarded as she pulled alongside Masquerade.

Getting past though was harder as she went for the inside line and found herself in the wind-shadow.

As the final minutes ticked past, the lead pair were locked side-by-side and as they fought each other Cold Steel was looming up behind.

Then in the closing moments, they reached the Sandsend mark.

Qantro took advantage of her inside line and got her nose in front, Masquerade though wasn’t giving up and with a swift jibe around the mark was quickly up back up to speed.

Cold Steel was quickly round too but the clock ran out at just the right moment for Qantro to take her second win of the series.

Result: 1st Qantro, N Drake, 2nd Masquerade, D Miller, 3rd Cold Steel, Dey, Jarvis and Gowland.