Geoff is first home in channel race

SAILING - 'FLY' owned and skippered by Geoff McBroom from Clevedon beat off a record number of other sailing yachts on Saturday to win this year's Capita Architecture Holms Race.

'FLY' owned and skippered by Geoff McBroom from Clevedon beat off a record number of other sailing yachts on Saturday to win this year's Capita Architecture Holms Race.

Geoff is a well-known local sailor with many years experience of racing in the Bristol Channel, and who also has sailed single handed to the Azores.

Since the Portishead Cruising Club who organise the race, have teamed up with Capita Architecture (based in Bristol) who provide generous sponsorship, the popularity of the event has grown considerably, and a record number of 54 yachts from Portishead, Pill, Clevedon, Weston, Oldbury, Cardiff and Newport faced blustery conditions to compete in what is now the largest yacht race in the Bristol Channel.

Starting from Portishead Pier, rounding the Flat Holm, Steep Holm and returning to Portishead Point, the event is unusual in the sailing world in that the skipper selects their own start time hoping to gain maximum benefit from the outgoing tide to the Holms and the incoming tide back to Portishead.


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Throughout the day the westerly winds varied between Force 3 and 6 which meant hard work for the crews constantly changing the sails, and keeping in the narrow channel of deep water and fastest moving outgoing tide also required frequent tacking of the boats in what proved to be a choppy sea.

The return from the Holms saw many of the boats flying spinnakers in the windy conditions as skippers pushed their boats and crews hard in their attempts to win. The race is open to anyone and competitor boats range from seven to 12 metres in length, and unusually in yacht racing circles, all the yachts taking part were privately owned by local enthusiasts.

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The organisers would like to thank Portishead Marina for the significant amount of extra work required as lock after lock of boats was first let out of the marina before the race and for their return afterwards.

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