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The Salcombe Gin Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta 2017

by David Greening & Malcolm Mackley on 22 Aug 13-18 August 2017
Salcombe Gin Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta 2017 © Sophie Mackley

Salcombe Yacht Club welcomed one hundred and sixty boats to its week long regatta, an increase on the previous year. Winds were generally from the southern quadrant and tides were neapy, making for most enjoyable racing.

With Salcombe Gin coming on board as headline sponsors, competitors were able to enjoy cocktails on the terrace after racing, a Gin and Jazz Party on Thursday night and Gin based prizes throughout the week.

Racing is divided into morning and afternoon fleets thereby ensuring that half the day can be spent watching others race or enjoying the beaches, cliff walks or hostelries of Salcombe.

The morning race officer, John Wyllie had to contend with both very light and very windy conditions as the week progressed.

The Junior handicap and Topper fleet had some outstanding young sailors who in particular revelled in the windy conditions at the end of the week where they demonstrated great boat skills showing that the youth wing of the Regatta sailing was in very good shape. Etan Gerrell and Tom Barnes from Queen Mary Sailing Club dominated the junior handicap fleet in their Feva dinghy and Constantin Gerber (Tamesis Sailing Club) dominated the Toppers.

Amongst the Medium and Fast Handicap fleets were a strong presence by the RS400's, which were won by Peter and Sue Colclough, Merlin Rockets, won by Jon Gorringe and Nicki Bass and a very welcome return of a Firefly fleet, most of whom came from Plymouth University and was won by Michael Calvert and Sophie Harris.

The Salcombe Yawl Gold fleet racing is a reasonably laid back affair, and allows Yawls of all ages, and sailors of all abilities to compete over shorter courses without the pressure of the afternoon fleets. This year saw an increased turnout and was dominated by Nigel Austin sailing the legend that is Taylor Maid to clock up another five wins to her esteemed history.

Race officer Geoff Gilson made the most of the conditions in the afternoons which started with sea breezes in the early part of the week, had a wobble on Monday, when the wind died at Widegates, before returning with a vengeance for the last two days, concluding with winds in excess of 30 knots at the close of play on Friday.

The National Twelve fleet had a good entry of fifteen boats using the regatta as a warm up for their championships; Tom and Robert Stewart (RHYC) won overall in a closely contested battle from Graham and Zoe Camm, (Burghfield Sailing Club) and John and Ollie Meadowcroft (SYC).

Amongst the 32 strong competing Solo Class sailors, Godfrey Clarke (Fishers Green Sailing Club) is very well known for his light airs expertise and he dominated the first two days of racing. From day three onwards however Tim Law (SYC) showed his mastery in the ever increasing winds winning the next three days races by very large margins thereby enabling him to watch, rather than compete in the final day's very windy race. Strong performances by two other SYC sailors, Phil King and Iain McGregor secured second and third overall places overall with Chris Mayhew from Royal Harwich Yacht Club (RHYC) fourth and also the victor of a windy Friday race.

23 Modern Salcombe Yawls competed for the Paris Points Cup, in what was to prove an extremely competitive fleet, and though the eventual winners were the ubiquitous Will Henderson and Jim Stone sailing Black Tern, there were five different race winners including Merlin and RS400 sailors Jon Gorringe and Nicki Bass and XOD stalwart John Tremlett sailing with Rob Adams. The Auburn Cup, the Salcombe Yawl sailors POW was won on an extremely windy Friday by Simon Gibbens and Andrew Reed.

The Salcombe Yawl Blue fleet aka Classic fleet saw Mike Knowles and Mark Waterhouse open up an early lead at the beginning of the week, but John Smithers and Pete Hughes got into their stride on Tuesday and Wednesday to control the series, with a late start by Anthony Lofts putting paid to his chances of stealing the series from Smithers and Hughes.

A highlight of the regatta was the "Salcombe Gin Endeavour Trophy" which was a raced in Fireflies with representatives from each of the different classes being sailed at the Regatta competing against each other to find out who was the "Champion of Champions". Competition was intense; however it was no surprise to many that the "legendary duo" of Will and Mandy Henderson (SYC) representing the Yawl Fleet secured a memorable victory for this new and generously sponsored Salcombe Gin event.

The date for the next SYC Regatta is 6th – 10th August 2018.

Overall Results: (top three in each class)

Fast Handicap
1st Merlin Rocket 3754, Jon Gorringe and Nicola Bass
2nd Phantom 1357, Allister Morley
3rd RS200 1331, Tom Ballantine and Maddy Anderson

1st 1329, Peter and Susan Colclough
2nd 922, Steve Conroy and Patsy Vice
3rd 1421, John and Annie McLaren

Medium Handicap
1st Streaker 1846, Mike Eggleston
2nd Enterprise 22756, Tim Brettell and crew
3rd Enterprise 20234, David Beaney and Alison White

1st 3799, Michael Calvert and Sophie Harris
2nd 3798, Andy Stickland and Becky Pearson
3rd 3800, Mike Jacot and Becky Allen

Junior Handicap
1st RS Feva 6199, Etan Gerrell
2nd Laser Pico 6, Devon Perry
3rd Laser 4.7, Emily Janzen

1st 37597, Constantine Gerber
2nd 48167, Thomas Lawson
3rd 47792, Oliver Randall-May

Laser Standard
1st 209265, Mike Hicks
2nd 195250, Edward Benz
3rd 161391, Torrin Blazeby

Laser Radial
1st 159343, Thomas Walker
2nd 172161, Kathryn Ball
3rd 181876, Esther McLarty

1st 5743, Tim Law
2nd 5568, Phil King
3rd 5744, Iain McGregor

Salcombe Yawl Red Fleet
1st Y183, Will Henderson and Jim Stone
2nd Y167, Simon Gibbens and Andrew Reed
3rd Y173, Malcolm Squire and Jonathan Britton

Salcombe Yawl Blue Fleet
1st Y19, John Smithers and Pete Hughes
2nd Y132, Anthony and Allyson Lofts
3rd Y15, Mike Knowles and Mark Waterhouse

Salcombe Yawl Gold Fleet
1st Y61, Nigel Austin and crew
2nd Y62, Stephen and Samuel Cooper
3rd Y152, Jane and Darius Panahy

The full results can be found at

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