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Devon Yawl Nationals at Exe Sailing Club

by Ted Timberlake on 3 Aug 2003

The Exe Sailing Club at Exmouth hosted the seventh UK National Championships. The event was combined with a Salcombe Yawl open meeting and there were 19 Devon Yawls and 2 Devon Dayboats taking part along with 8 Salcombe Yawls. Both days saw light and variable winds with wind shifts of up to 180 degrees making the race officer’s job an exacting one in laying the windward mark of the Olympic-style course.

Race One on Saturday was for the Builder’s Trophy. Tim Petitt DY186 made a good start and led for much of the early round. Following a 180 windshift the wind died away so that by the time the back of the fleet reached the windward mark for the final round the front runners had caught up. The resulting congestion at the windward mark brought a new meaning to a boat jumble. Tony Vining DY305 was the first to break free and held the lead to the finish followed by David Melton DY12, Mark Hubbard DY352, Shane Buckley DY349, and Tim Petitt.

The second race was for the Topsham Plate, and Shane Buckley fought his way to the front and held his lead holding off Andrew Matthews DY100A second and Paul Jacobs DY343 third.

The trophy for the third race was the Exe Enigma. There was a total recall after the first start and the second start was disciplined by the Black flag. Paul Jacobs achieved line honours with Tim Petitt and Shane Buckley a close second and third

Shane Buckley and DY349 had finished the day with everything to go for with a 3 point lead over Paul Jacobs in DY343.

The wind was light again for the start of racing on the Sunday but a little more of it than the Saturday. Two races scheduled.

The fourth race of the meeting was for the Fulford Shield. During the jockeying at the start Shane Buckley became hemmed in and crossed the line well down the fleet. Paul Jacobs was better placed. Tony Vining just pipped Mike Bennet DY102 first round the windward mark but Stewart Price DY36 took the lead by the next mark and made good use of clean air to hold this lead to the finish. Paul Jacobs made second place with Tony Vining third. Despite a well fought race Shane Buckley was unable to make up enough places to maintain his overall lead of the previous day thus letting Paul Jacobs through with a 2 point lead

The fifth race for the Devon Yawl Plate had to be abandoned. Thanks go to the Exe for hosting an excellent event and in particular to Mike Sydenham the Exe SC Devon Yawl Fleet Captain for organising such a successful event.

Once again Topsham Yawls dominated the event. However, there are many challengers in the offing and next year’s Nationals at the Yealm may see a change of fortune.

Overall Results:

PosHelm & CrewSail NoBoat NameClubPts
1stPaul and Dan JacobsDY343JackpotTopsham SC6
2ndShane Buckley and Ken DrakeDY349Black SheepTopsham SC8
3rdTim Petitt and Andrew WoodDY186MistletoeYealm YC11
4thTony and Janice ViningDY305Blue SkyeTopsham SC12
5thDavid Melton and Ron WescottDY12ScillaAxe SC12
6thStewart Price and Bruce MaclaganDY36Bale OutTopsham SC14

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