AFTER its four-month winter break, sailing was eagerly awaited at the Common Road club on Sunday.

It was a pity competitors had to put up with almost constant rain and a cold river with a strong flow. Nevertheless, competition was soon back in earnest.

Three helms dominated both races with Roger Middleton finishing first both times. Ian Edwards held the lead in the first race of the season and it was only in the final stages that Middleton squeezed through to win.

John Pickford had two reasons to remember the day. He was out for the first time in a new boat and then capsized for the first ducking of the year. He did, however, come back well to take third spot just behind Edwards.

The second race again saw the same trio side by side with everybody else some way behind. There was no clear leader until Middleton broke clear. Pickford stayed upright to claim a comfortable second with Edwards in third.