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Squib South Coast Championships at Royal Torbay Yacht Club

by Duncan Grindley 15 Sep 2017 17:28 BST 9-10 September 2017
Stu Rix and Steve Warren-Smith win the Squib South Coast Championships © Keith Davies

The Squibs returned to Torquay after a number of years away for their 2017 South Coast Championships over the weekend of 9th & 10th September. 11 boats entered, but due to a manoeuvring incident with a trailer in Weymouth, only 10 boats arrived, although all 11 teams were present.

The race officer for the weekend, Phil Rumbelow, held a briefing on the harbour wall saying he was likely to hold four races instead of the scheduled three due to the following day's forecast and everyone set off to the middle of Torbay for the day's racing.

The wind was a westerly F2-4, shifting at least 15 degrees with occasional showers coming through. After a short delay moving the start line to accommodate the shifting wind, the first race was set as a triangle / sausage with a 0.6 miles beat.

The fleet decided the committee boat was the favoured end, the start was clear and after the first left shift Croc 855 (Richard Sullivan & Sue Harper) tacked and comfortably crossed the fleet and at the first mark had a comfortable lead over the chasing pack of Wizard 623 (the Gibson brothers) and Aquabat 13 (Stu Rix & Steve Warren-Smith), but Croc held their lead on the following legs to take the first win of the weekend.

Race 2 start was again at the committee boat end and another triangle / sausage course, Croc had another good start slightly down the line and Surprise 760 (Duncan Grindley & Matt Keely) got the start next to the boat, some tacked off right to clear their wind and at the top mark Croc were leading again, but the next time the windward mark was rounded the order had changed, Aquabat led ahead of Croc, closely followed by Surprise, but a wrap in 760's kite allowed Croc to get away and White Magic 828 (David Wines & Keith Davies) to slip through to take third place.

The third race was changed to a windward leeward with the beat extended to 0.7 milea, twice around, once again the committee boat was favoured. There was no clear leader up the first beat with the wind shifting more than previous races with the windward mark being moved towards the harbour, but once the snakes & ladders had settled down, Aquabat won again, White Magic second and a newcomer to the podium Archimedes 822 (Charlie & Babs Thomson) took a well-deserved third place.

The last race of the day was set, this time the favoured end was the pin, the fleet headed down to make the most of the bias. Aquabat winning the pin, but Surprise was first to tack and the two headed off right towards the Imperial Hotel and at the top mark they were nose to tail with a good distance from the rest of the fleet.

At the bottom mark they were still inseparable, both went out right again, but this time the left was to pay, White Magic tacked at the mark, got more pressure and the favourable shift to move up to second, Aquabat only just getting across in time to keep their lead at the last top mark, consistent Croc rounded third, Wildfire 104 (Chris Hill & James Pritchard) rounding and finishing fourth ahead of Surprise.

Unfortunately race 5 was abandoned Sunday morning due to the strong winds being forecast, meaning the final overall order was Aquabat, Croc, White Magic. Congratulations to Stu & Steve for sailing a very consistent series with three wins from four races in the shifting conditions.

Overall the race team had a tricky and busy event with the shifting Westerly wind - the windward mark was moved every time the wind moved making the beats as fair as they could be in the conditions - so thanks to all of them for their hard work, they got us away quickly and did a great job!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoatOwnerR1R2R3R4Pts
113AquabatSteve Warren‑Smith31113
2855CrocRichard Sullivan12436
3828White MagicDavid Wines53227
4760SurpriseDuncan Grindley445513
5104WildfireChris Hill957416
6822ArchimedesCharlie Thompson883718
7853EchoJohn Barton6.5761219.5
8623WizardBen Gibson21212620
9695MimosaSimon Unwin6.569820.5
10564QuicksilverEddie Harper1098926
11153AldebaranIain Jones1212121236