A thrilling showdown for Combs club sailors

COMBS Sailing Club had the two top Byte sailors in the country competing in the Byte International Championships, hosted by Cardiff Yacht Club.

Rick Whitehouse, six-time Byte C2 Inland Champion, and Louis Saunders, current Byte C2 National Champion and Lightning 368 National champion, were both in action over the two-day event, which involved seven races and featured competitors from across the country.

At last year’s National Championships, sailed on the Solent, Saunders beat Whitehouse into second place, so the scene was set in Cardiff for an exciting showdown.

Saunders started badly, with mistakes in the first two races resulting in poor results.

But he fought back throughout the weekend and the result was only decided in the final race, when Saunders defeated his fellow club member by a single point.

Afterwards, Saunders said: “Rick and I sail against each other all year at Combs and competing against him at club level sharpens us both up.

“When my first two races went wrong, I knew Rick would take full advantage but I was able to come back at him in the remaining races.”

Another Combs sailor, Bob Pyett, competed during the same weekend in a Supernova dinghy at an open race at Blithefield, where he achieved a good mid-fleet result. The following weekend of June 11 and 12, Paul Thompson and Andy Pyett raced in the RS300 Sprint Championships at Rutland Water.