Mike proves his nerves of Steele to seal Cup success

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Lackford Lake played host the St Edmundsbury Sailing and Canoeing Associations’ Kronenbourg Cup on Sunday in perfect sailing conditions.

With a record 19 boats, including six Lasers on the water, necessitating an extension to the normal start line, the fleet got away to a clean start in the first race.

Jon Holmefjord (Laser) read the shifts perfectly and established a good lead around the first mark, followed by Mike Steele (Laser) and new members Anthony Gunstone and son Felix sailing their Firefly.

However, Steele managed to negotiate his way past Holmefjord on the second lap as the pair claimed first and second respectively.

Despite a change in the breeze, Steele once again proved the man to beat in race two, recovering from a dreadful start to overhaul the lead built up by Guy and Vicky Forkes, Senior and Gunstone on the penultimate beat.

This enabled him to finish first, but still gave the handicap victory to the Gunstones, who had rapidly come to terms with the nuances of the lake on their first outing.

Senior finished third with Geoff Morris, having an excellent race in his Solo, in fourth.

With one point separating Steele’s Laser and the Gunstones’ Firefly, the outcome of the day’s trophy came down to the third and final 50-minute pursuit race.

Imogen and Nick Collier led the way in the Topper, with the rest of the fleet starting over the next 15 minutes and the Lasers setting off last.

Chris Seear in his Streaker soon took the lead, hotly pursued by the Gunstones’ Firefly.

These positions were held for the first two laps, as the faster Lasers steadily worked their way up the fleet.

Steele managed to overhaul the leading pair with five minutes to go, but very nearly lost the lead to the Gunstones’ Firefly in the closing seconds of the race, as he became becalmed at one of the turning marks between two patches of breeze.