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Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series - Race 3 and Cruiser Regatta

by Simon Dobson on 19 Sep 16-17 September 2017

Two separate weddings, both daughters of stalwart Salcombe sailors, meant that many regular club sailors were otherwise engaged on Saturday afternoon. This, and a weather forecast of light wind and rain showers saw turnout much reduced for race three of the Salcombe Yacht Club's Autumn Series.

In the event the weather forecast proved to be, if anything, over-optimistic. A north-westerly force one or two at the start soon gave way to a flat calm whilst the rain was persistent and cold. Competitors doing their best to eek some forward motion out of their craft must have been envious of those quaffing champagne and canapes at the receptions taking place on either side of the estuary.

In the Cadet Handicap, Ben Meek had a comfortable margin of victory over his brother Will with Gus Howells in third. In the Medium Handicap, Ruari McColl sailing a Laser Radial just pipped Andrew and Lewis Groves in their RS Feva XL.

In the Fast Handicap fleet, the Race Officer gave competitors and extra half a lap making for a very long drift in rain with Norman and Karen Brown in their National 12 finally emerging victorious over the Merlin rocket of Simon and Laura Evans.

In the Solo fleet, Simon 'Yotter' Yates made the best start and held on for the win. Behind him Julian Meek challenged early on but was unlucky to get stuck in a hole and have the rest of the fleet sail around him, Julian's audible frustration greatly cheering up those nearby.

In the Yawl fleet, Andrew Wood and Tim Petit enjoyed a comfortable victory over Geoff Gilson and guest crew Geoff Allen.

Sunday morning was a different and much better story for the Cruiser Regatta. Autumn sunshine and a northerly force three to four, veering easterly for the second race, allowed Race Officer Graham Cranford Smith to run two windward leeward races to comprise the Cruiser fleet's rescheduled Summer Regatta. Seven yachts turned out, some crews no doubt blowing away some cobwebs from the parties the night before.

In the first race, the Sea Scape of John and Annie McLaren, a nippy 18-foot sports boat, had a close race with the much larger X-Yacht of Ian and Wendy Stewart, the Sea Scape just hanging on for the win.

In the second race, the Sea Scape got clean away leaving Ian and Wendy in a close battle with the graceful Swan of Simon and Karen Ballantine. With both boats sailing two handed, it was hard work on the winches for both ladies whilst their husbands enjoyed an easier time of it behind the wheel. In the end Simon and Karen prevailed allowing them to claim second place overall whilst John and Annie secured the title.

All competitors had an excellent morning's racing and were back on dry land in time for lunch, an essential requirement for cruiser sailors.

Race 3 Results:

1st Tera Sport, Ben Meek
2nd Tera Pro, Will Meek
3rd Topper, Gus Howells

Medium Handicap
1st Laser Radial, Ruari McColl
2nd RS Feva XL, Andrew and Lewis Groves
3rd Wayfarer, Alex Janzen

Fast Handicap
1st National 12, Norman and Karen Brown
2nd Merlin Rocket, Simon and Laura Evans
3rd National 12, Charlie and Helen Lloyd

1st Simon Yates
2nd Simon Dobson
3rd Olly Alexander

1st Andrew Wood and Tim Petit
2nd Geoff Gilson and Geoff Allen

Cruiser Regatta Results:

1st Sea Scape 18, John and Annie McLaren
2nd Swan 44, Simon and Karen Ballantine
3rd Maxi 1000, Peter Sandover

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