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Salcombe Yacht Club May Bank Holiday Open Meeting 2017

by David Greening on 2 May 29 April - 1 May 2017
Salcombe Yacht Club May Bank Holiday Open © Margaret Mackley

Salcombe Yacht Club played host to a joint Salcombe Yawl, National Twelve and RS400 Open Meeting over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Race Officer Geof Gilson managed in excess of eighty boats over the weekend, in conditions that were to prove testing for both the Race Management and the sailors, with Spring tides, Easterly and Westerly breezes and intermittent rain.

On Saturday afternoon the Salcombe Yawl Red fleet headed toward Blackstone in a patchy, gusty south easterly breeze, and those who explored the edges of the racecourse fared best, with Rob Adams in Ruff rounding the windward mark ahead of Ann Jackson and Richard Gibbens, however the two beats back from Gerston were to see Simon Gibbens with Andrew Reed and Rob Henderson with Tristan Stone power through to take first and second from Rob Adams.

Spirits were quite literally dampened on Sunday morning with persistent rain knocking most of the forecast pressure out of the forecast southerly breeze, after the beat on the tide to Blackstone, the fleet approached Biddle head with the wind clocking through 360 degrees. Gibbens with Reed and Paul Ellis with Peter Cook made the early pace setting, with Gibbens breaking away on a zephyr at the Ferry Landing, Malcolm Squire and Jonathan Britton appeared to be heading for the Batson Slipway, before gybing to lead the pack and eventually finish second to Gibbens and Reed.

Sunday afternoon saw a slightly easier passage to Blackstone, with the Yawls sailing in one pack up into the Bag, Gibbens and Reed who were leading by Tosnos Point, took the classic route together with the bulk of the pack, to Saltstone, only to see the tail enders; Rob Henderson and Tristan Stone, Andrew Squire and Jonathan Britton and Paul Ellis and Peter Cook charge through on pressure to the podium places along the Lincombe shore, which kept Henderson's chances alive for Monday morning.

On Monday morning, despite more rain, the wind shifted to the west, which gave slightly more predictable conditions within the harbour, and the prospect of decent beats out of Yalton creek and Frogmore. Gibbens once again showed good acceleration in the lighter moments, moving into the lead off Fisherman's, which he extended by the Yalton mark, followed by Ellis and Greening with Mackley, with Greening just pipping Ellis at the finish line.

This gave Gibbens and Reed the weekend, from Henderson and Stone.

In the Salcombe Yawl Blue fleet, Andrew Wood sailing with Ru McColl showed good speed, managing to break away from the pack to score wins from the Lofts on Saturday and the Smithers on Monday, with better performances from the Lofts and the Dobson's on Sunday, both recording race wins.

However it was Woody who took the trophy for the second year running. In his thank you speech, he dedicated the win to David Jayne... a committed Yawlie and SYOA committee member who unexpectedly died on the Friday before the event and who was Woody's winning crew the previous year.

Overall Results: (top three)

Salcombe Yawl Red Fleet sponsored by Bartons Solicitors
1st 167, Simon Gibbens and Andrew Reed
2nd 183, Rob Henderson and Tristan Stone
3rd 181, Paul Ellis and Peter Cook

Salcombe Yawl Blue Fleet sponsored by Bartons Solicitors
1st 97, Andrew Wood, Ru McColl and Steve Galvin
2nd 132, Anthony Lofts and Allyson Lofts
3rd 112, Simon Dobson and Nicki Dobson

National 12 sponsored by Gul
1st 3530, Graham Camm and Zoe Ballantyne
2nd 3540, Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith
3rd 3544, Tom, Robert and Isobel Stewart

1st 1441, Paul and Mark Oakey
2nd 1469, Jon Gorringe and Nicky Bass
3rd 1418, Howard Fairbrother and Dan Martin

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