Salcombe Yacht Club 2017 Spring Series - Race 5
by Malcolm Mackley on 16 Apr
15 April 2017
The final day of the Spring Series provided wind that came from most directions of the compass and weather that varied from glorious sunshine to a chilly North Westerly.
After a very tight start line crush, the fleet of 13 Solos beat with the tide to Blackstone and was headed around the mark by Graham Cranford Smith with the young, (by Solo standards), Peter Ballentine snapping at his heals. These two pulled out an impressive lead running down the estuary as they sailed through a wind transition region off Salcombe Town and then caught a good NW breeze through the "Bag" to mark number 7, Gerston. On the return to the Salcombe estuary Peter Ballentine had a substantial lead and Graham Cranford Smith was under increasing pressure from Billy Jago, David Greening and Ian McGregor.
There was a very strong 21 boat entry for the handicap fleet with some of the hot shot juniors joining in the Easter fun. Again the start was closely contested; however it was the long run against the tide from Blackstone past Salcombe to the bag that shuffled the pack. Peter Colclough in his 505 stretched out a lead and his crew enjoyed some trapezing moments as they emerged from their trip to Gerston and back into the Salcombe harbour. The course was set for two further short loops in the harbour, but this was shortened for the handicap fleet to ensure that the Quba, Toppers and Fever junior sailors returned ashore within two hours. The 505 took line honours, however they were pushed well back in the final handicap rankings with Ian Stewart, now sailing a Phantom with great panache, coming in first place followed by the excellently sailed juniors of George Alexander and Ru McColl in a RS Feva and then an ever improving Charlie Blazeby in a laser radial.
The Solo fleet were subject to the full two loops in the harbour and Peter Ballentine continued to sail like a professional around the course to secure first place. David Greening incorrectly thought the Solo course had also been shortened and this potentially cost him the series by heading prematurely for the finish line and not the next race mark, number 2. This action contributed to pushing him down to 5th place in the race allowing Billy Jago to secure 2nd place and a spring series win, with Iain McGregor and Graham Cranford Smith crossing the line 3rd and 4th.
Overall the five race Spring Series experienced 2 very strong wind races, followed by 3 races sailed in very much more benign conditions. In the Solo fleet, Billy Jago pipped David Greening followed by Simon Yates and in the handicap fleet the Salcombe Yawl sailed by Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer Chapman won, followed by Simon and Karen Ballentine in their National 12 and Alistair Morley in a Phantom.
Solos Race 5
1st 4894 Peter Ballentine
2nd 5596 Billy Jago
3rd 5665 Iain McGregor
1st 5569 Billy Jago
2nd 5617 David Greening
3rd 5601 Simon Yates
Handicap Race 5
1st Phantom 1452 Ian Stewart
2nd RS Feva 4165 George Alexander and Ru McColl
3rd Laser radial 203307 Charlie Blazeby
1st Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer Chapman, Yawl 170
2nd Simon and Karen Ballentine, National 12, 3431
3rd Alistair Morley, Phantom, 1357
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