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Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series - Race 1

by Simon Dobson on 5 Sep 2 September 2017
Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series Race 1 © Nick Fisher

The beginning of meteorological Autumn saw the frivolity of the Bucket and Spade Series supplanted by the serious business of race one of the Salcombe Yacht Club's Autumn Series.

Traditionally one of the most popular series amongst competitors for its combination of sunshine, decent breeze and a harbour unencumbered by hordes of visiting boats, this Saturday did not disappoint with plenty of sunshine and pleasant force 3 attracting over 40 boats to the start line.

Race Officer Paul Ellis set a slightly risky first leg to a mark under the lee of Bolt Head, followed by a couple of laps around Crossways and Blackstone. In the event however, the breeze held in under the cliffs reasonably well and the beat out from the start line to the mark next to Little Eelstone on the edge of Starehole Bay proved a tactically challenging one with the many wind shifts providing lots of opportunities for gains and losses.

The Cadet fleet was first away, swelled in numbers by the return of the club's young hotshots from various National and Regional championships. Evie Booth re-established her position at the front of the fleet in her Tera Pro, followed home by George Alexander and Ben Meek.

The Medium Handicap fleet numbered 10 boats, more than half helmed by ladies. The new Firefly of Peter Cook and Janet Exelby proved dominant, winning by over 5 minutes. The RS Feva of Andrew and Lewis Groves did well to come in second on corrected time, ahead of the Laser Radial of Ester McLarty.

In the Fast Handicap fleet, the Phantom of Alistair Morley did enough to take the win on corrected time from the RS400s of Peter and Sue Colclough and John and Annie McLaren.

In the fleet of 15 Solos Chris Cleaves nailed the start and lead out of the harbour chased by Julian Meek and Roger Guess. As the breeze became shifty past Limebury Point, Simon Dobson came through from fourth to lead at the first windward mark. On the run back into the harbour Graham Cranford Smith found more breeze out to the east and sailed through to second place. Although Cranford Smith closed on Dobson on a couple of occasions on the subsequent laps of the harbour, the leading three maintained these positions until the finish.

In the Yawl fleet Martin Beck took an early lead that he was not relinquish, extending it steadily all the way around the course. Behind him the classic boats of Peter Stratton and Carolyn Adcock and Barney and Juanita Greenhill pushed the modern boat of Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer Chapman into fourth place.

Race 1 Results:

Cadets
1st Tera Pro, Evie Booth
2nd Tera Pro, George Alexander
3rd Tera Sport, Ben Meek

Medium Handicap
1st Firefly, Peter Cook and Janet Exelby
2nd RS Feva XL, Andrew and Lewis Groves
3rd Laser Radial, Ester McLarty

Fast Handicap
1st Phantom, Alistair Morley
2nd RS400, Peter and Sue Colclough
3rd RS400, John and Annie McLaren

Solos
1st Simon Dobson
2nd Graham Cranford Smith
3rd Chris Cleaves

Yawls
1st Martin Beck and Stephen Page
2nd Peter Stratton and Carolyn Adcock
3rd Barney and Juanita Greenhill

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