Johno Knight could not be stopped

As a small fleet of dedicated sailors headed out for the Stawell Yacht Club's trophy race, there were a few concerned glances as the anticipated abating wind decided it was time to increase in strength and become more variable in direction.

Northerly winds are often the most difficult to contend with and the race participants knew it was not going to be an easy sail.

Three of the most experienced sailors Johno Knight, Andrew Pearce and George Grellet, were able to judge the start of the race to perfection, crossing the start line in unison.

The first leg was a sail to the windward mark.

A tacking duel between Andrew Pearce and Johno Knight continued for the entire leg while George Grellet couldn't keep up the earlier pace.

Tony Hillier managed to claw back some distance from George Grellet, but once the top mark was rounded, the skill of the more experienced skipper showed as he took off on a broad reach in his own breeze and left fourth placed Hillier in his wake.

Hillier then started making some ground on Grellet during the last quarter of the second leg and was only 50 metres behind Grellet when he promptly completed an awkward gybe at the club house mark only to end up in the drink with a swinging boom to the head - Impulse dinghy one, Tony Hillier zero.

The duel between Johno Knight and Andrew Pearce continued for the remainder of the race with some great reaches across the wind, one of the fastest points of sail and running down wind to the bottom mark which required some pretty smart boat control to keep the dinghy upright.

Other notable participants in the race were Roger Spratt and Reuben Thompson who teamed up to sail one of the club's 125s.

The pair were sailing well, but had to make a pit stop half way through the race to repair gear that was just about to fail in the boisterous winds.

After the repair they quickly rejoined the fleet and sailed into a credible fourth position.

John Knight was on the water and ready to start the race, but with the wind increasing from the north decided it was prudent to be a non starter.

He does an amazing job sailing as often as he does with his light frame and being the oldest member of the club on the water.

In the end it was Johno Knight by .04 of a second on handicap who took out the race.

Andrew Pearce was in second spot with a three minute lead over the next place getter, George Grellet who came in third.

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