DeFYING challenging conditions, Garry Jennings and Amy Barker were first across the finishing line in the North Devon Yacht Club’s Sunday Series race.

A westerly wind was howling at a steady Force-5 and gusting up to a Force-7.

While the start line was relatively sheltered in the lee of Appledore, once out into the centre of the estuary the sail into the River Taw was a screaming reach.

Despite the lumpy sea, Amy managed to trapeze for most of the first half of the race before conditions deteriorated.

She said: “Well, it was a bit hairy out there, but I enjoyed every moment of it and would definitely do it all again”

It was only the second time Amy, a year-eight pupil at Pilton Community College, had crewed a Dart-18 catamaran. She is training for a national Dart-18 racing weekend to be held at Instow over two days this coming weekend.

Race Officer Joe Armstrong said: “It was touch and go whether the race was cancelled, but the experience of the helms and adequate rescue boat cover were good reasons to continue. The wind conditions gave Amy a great experience for sailing on the edge.”

Sam Heaton sailed well and was first across the line in the Sprint-15 class.

He is off next weekend to compete in the Sprint-15 Nationals on the Isle of Wight.