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Salcombe Yacht Club 2017 Spring Series - Race 1

by David Greening on 20 Mar 19 March 2017
Salcombe Yacht Club Spring Series Race 1 © Jayne Morris

ith winds gusting in excess of 30 knots a group of the hardier Salcombe dinghy sailors gathered at the top of the Batson slipway in anticipation of the opening races of the Salcombe Yacht Club 2017 Spring Series; discussions turned to the possibility of abandonment, however it was soon realised that the Race Officer was Simon Ballantine who's idea of a Summer holiday is to sail to the Arctic Circle to climb granite rock faces; therefore wetsuits and dry suits were donned and the fleet set forth.

Early arrivals at the starting area, Geoff Allen and Robin Hodges, were soon centreboard high, which saw in David Greening and Chris "Chubby" Cleaves in a brief moment of sanity head home for the boat park, however with the sight of the late arrivals staying upright, insanity prevailed and they returned to the start area.

The Solos were first away, five grey men in grey boats on a grey day crossed the line in harmony, with Bill Jago the first to capsize on the first beat; Cleaves rounded the Millbay mark in the lead, only to head down the mine and get maximum value from his dry suit, though the remainder of the fleet was saddened by this event, Graham Cranford-Smith, Bill Jago and David Greening set off at maximum speed for the Bag. Two loops of the Bag saw Cranford-Smith in control of his pursuers.

Upon this trios return to the Harbour, Greening found more height, and the increased wind speed was more to his liking, and rounding Mill Bay with a comfortable lead, which he held to the finish, despite some massive wind shifts on the final beat causing an outbreak of the yips at Ditch End.

In the Handicap Fleet, Alistair Morley led off the line in his Phantom a position that he held throughout the race. AJ and Tristram Squire in their Merlin finished second on the water, but a consistent performance from Charlie Blazeby in his Laser Radial saw him secure second place on corrected time from the Salcombe Yawl of Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer-Chapman.

Race 1 Results:

Solo
1st 5617, David Greening
2nd 5598, Bill Jago
3rd 5444, Graham Cranford-Smith

Handicap
1st Phantom 1357, Alistair Morley
2nd Laser Radial 203307, Charlie Blazeby
3rd Salcombe Yawl 170, Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer-Chapman

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