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Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series - Race 7

by Malcolm Mackley 15 Oct 2017 18:28 BST 14 October 2017

On Saturday the 14th October the Salcombe Estuary was buzzing with dinghy sailing activity and had Race Officer Geoff Gilson and his team expertly controlling both a 34 boat Lark Class Masters sailing event together with the normal Club Racing.

The sun shone for the club event and a light Southerly breeze provided very pleasant top of the tide October sailing, although sailors needed to be aware of a large influx of Portuguese Men of War in the estuary.

The Juniors enjoyed a full estuary course with the Tera of Will Meek leading the Topper of Gus Howells. The medium Handicap fleet had a good turnout with Peter Cook and Janet Exelby demonstrating ever increasing skills in their new to them wooden red Firefly. There was a welcome return of Claire Booth in an Aero 7 who secured second place from Ruari McColl who is one in a steadily increasing fleet of Lasers at Salcombe. The Fast Handicap saw fittingly, Norman and Karen Karen Brown secure a deserved win in their National 12 as allegedly this will be their last season of sailing together after many successful previous seasons.

The Solo fleet was well supported and hotly contested with 17 boats on the water. Geoff Allen once again made a great start but it was Simon Dobson with his Dacron sails and upright mast light weather rig setup that established an early lead. There was a tricky light wind run from the Bag to Gerston Number 7 mark where tactical positioning was important and where Chris Cleeves showed his mastery to secure a second place. Ed Stephens in his new "blue suede shoes" coloured Solo held 3rd position until the final beat into the estuary where Graham Cranford Smith got past him having chosen a more Portlemouth sided route to the finish.

Whilst racing his Solo, Stewart Cartwright, one of Salcombe's very own "National Treasures" thoughtfully went to pick up what appeared to be a plastic floating object on the sailing race track only to discover it was in fact one of the many Portuguese Men of War that are currently invading the estuary. These beasts sting can be dangerous, however latest reports indicate that Stuart is alive and well.

The elegant Salcombe Yawls sailed serenely around their course with Andrew Wood and Tim Petit pipping Barney and Juanita Greenhill to the post on the last beat to the line.

Race 7 Results:

Juniors
1st Tera 2852, Will Meek
2nd Topper 48168, Gus Howells
3rd Tera 2741, James Alexander

Medium Handicap
1st Firefly 3217, Peter Cook and Janet Exelby
2nd Aero 1517, Claire Booth
3rd Laser R 155962, Ruari McColl

Fast Handicap
1st National 12, 3480 Norman and Karen Brown
2nd Phantom 1452, Ian Stewart
3rd Merlin 3612, Andrew and Sheila Squire

Solos
1st 5676, Simon Dobson
2nd 5573, Chris Cleeves
3rd 5755, Graham Cranford Smith

Salcombe Yawls
1st 97 Andrew Wood and Tim Petit
2nd 138 Barney and Juanita Greenhill
3rd 140 Andrew and Elizabeth Savell

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