SAILING: Grantham’s Val battles to fourth in ‘Beastie’

Val Millward
Val Millward
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Grantham sailor Val Millward was back on the water in the Exmoor Beastie event held at Wimbleball Lake in Somerset last weekend.

The three-hour pursuit race was held in sunny conditions with a strong wind that was forecast to increase.

As the slowest boat entered, Val and her ‘Red Jester’ Challenger 257 set off first, chased by the faster classes according to their relative speeds.

It looked as though Val could be in with a shout as her Challenger led the 41-strong field for two-and-a-half hours and four laps of the lake.

But then the wind began to drop and she was overtaken by a K1, followed by a Phantom, and then a Contender.

Val said the race officer’s forecast that the wind would increase during the afternoon and unfortunately not come to pass.

She said: “Alas, the wind is a fickle thing. Fourth was a good performance when you know you are passed by exceptionally sailors.

“Perhaps the wind will be better for the Challenger next year.”