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CoastWaterSports 2014

A glorious summer in Salcombe and events ahead

by Graham Cranford-Smith on 31 Aug 31 August 2017
The view from Salcombe Yacht Club © Graham Cranford-Smith

Unlike say, spring in Val d'Isere, the visual cues in Salcombe that the season of mist and mellow fruitfulness is soon to be upon us, are less easy to discern.

Instead, by way of prompt that the autumn is around the corner, it is tempting to remark (cheaply), that, never mind the prospect of gathering swallows, it suddenly becomes easier to park. Had Keats been alive today, he should certainly have used this allegory of autumnal England. He may have also referenced the annual ritual ceremony that is the cracking out of one's steamer wetsuit. This produces an aroma with notes of cabbage that has powerful associations of the Autumn Series for any serious dinghy sailor. A rich seam for any self-respecting bard.

Anyhow, the joy of finding a vacant parking space is to overlook that, without those of you who make annual, or more regular visits, the town and SYC would be bereft, both spiritually and economically. That it is now possible to lose the wheels, is but small recompense for the absence of racing brethren and families whose company we have greatly enjoyed. So, to all those who came to Salcombe and holidayed this year and more specifically, competed with us at Salcombe Yacht Club: thank you. Even though most of you thrashed us on the water.

It has been great to see you and we hope you will come back soon.

It is the case that other than through force majeure and the Solo Nationals, your correspondent has not elected to leave the Salcombe parish for some months, except to Kingsbridge and back helming a Merlin or Solo. However, we are not parochial in outlook. At SYC we are fortunate to count many friends in the dinghy sailing scene which on the evidence, is not as moribund as some forecast. There have been some healthy Nationals attendances. As an aside, we submit there is an immutable correlation, between your actual completion of a Nationals entry form and the prospect of modern shorter course racing formats. And steady on, gate starts for larger fleets.

Whatever the case, we have been following you all with great interest.

For example, a purview of the results for national championships that generally follows on from Merlin Rocket Week, reveals many who are familiar with the Ria, SYC bar and terrace, have not been idle. The National Twelve Burton Week starred several who exported sand in their shoes directly from SYC Regatta Week, Millbay beach to Weymouth. The reasoning is presumably, that time not cajoling a sailing dinghy around a course, is no more than wasted holiday entitlement. If so; spot on.

In reports from Tenby, we located three Henderson siblings, a surname forever synonymous with Salcombe, competing with no little success at the RS200 Nationals. They are joined by many other Salcomb-ites including lo, Ollie Turner who as a strategy, again concluded he need bring nothing to wear shore side but his Speedos and as it turns out, a bikini. He has confided to your correspondent that by this nuanced overture, his chances of true romance, will be improved. We will report further once we have news.

Meanwhile heartening indeed was the success of Jon Gorringe and Oli Wells he, of Team Pinnell and Bax in Mounts Bay. Mercifully, conventionally attired and also to our vicarious joy, they did nail, the RS400 championship in consummate style. Jon chose the Salcombe Gin SYC and Town Regatta weeks as warm up events in his Merlin, which plainly did him no harm at all. To Jon and Oli (a scratch team which is all the more impressive) from all of us here at SYC we say: kudos.

Also in the RS classes, we should like to applaud our own SYC cadets, Evie Booth plus Will and Ben Meek who have lately completed the RS Tera nationals at the WPNSA with very respectable results, in the Pro and Sport fleets.

As a heads up: in 2018, once again SYC and the Town Regatta Committee, will be running three flagship events. Please save the dates:

  • 8th- 13th July 2018 – Merlin Rocket Week (Entries open 10:00 Saturday 4th November 2017 on the SYC website: NoR to be published mid-September).
  • 5th – 10th August 2018 – Salcombe Week.
  • 12th – 17th August 2018 – Salcombe Town Regatta (a family week with many other excellent activities, including the not-to-be-missed fireworks).

Next year it would be pleasing to see support for the Regatta and Town Weeks from the Enterprise class with whom we have enjoyed a long association. The Enterprise is very well suited to the vagaries of the estuary. Enterprise teams: you will be most welcome. As will we hasten, everyone.

BUSA Fireflys and cadets: expect keen entry prices to Salcombe Week. Details to follow.

Next up in 2017:

Salcombe Yawl open on 9th/10th September 2017.

We are also running a Lark Masters event on the 14th/15th October 2017 to celebrate fifty years of Mike Jackson's excellent design. Black tie dinner as well. This event is co-ordinated by SYC member Tim Fells, Lark alumni (and, let it not be forgotten, with Fran Gifford, 2017 Merlin Week Champion).

Beg, borrow or steal a Lark and be here.

Solo Western Area meeting on 28th/29th October 2017.

SYC Club racing

It behoves us to mention also that despite the lack of wind over the Bank Holiday, we ran the last of the "Bucket and Spade" races which is a handicap and Yawl six race mini-series. Great fun it was too.

Overall Results:

1st Solo 5755, Graham Cranford Smith
2nd Solo 5601, Simon Yates
3rd Solo 5096, Robin Hodges

Salcombe Yawl
1st Y159, Dan and Gail Bridger
2nd Y170, Geof Gilson and Chris Spencer-Chapman
3rd Y89, David Sworder and David Fitzsimmons

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