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Henri Lloyd Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta Week 2015

by David Greening 18 Aug 2015 14:30 BST 9-14 August 2015
Enterprises during the Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta 2015 © Malcolm Mackley

Success when racing in Salcombe Harbour is a much like Snakes and Ladders, the winners are the sailors who can find the ladders and avoid the snakes, unfortunately many of the snakes may look like ladders.

The morning races comprised of a mix of Junior Classes, Handicap Classes, the Enterprise Class and an emerging RS400 fleet. Stars of the show were the Thames A Raters of Ian Stewart and Martin Hunter racing in the Fast Handicap Fleet, although Alistair Morley managed to put together a more consistent series sailing his Phantom to win this fleet.

Charlie Blazeby dominated the twelve strong Laser Radial class, winning all six races, enough to secure the Henri Lloyd Trophy for best performance of the week.

Enterprise legend David Beany enlisted local Caroline Evans to guide him around the harbour, enabling them to draw past the Jacksons by the end of the week as the harbour became flukier.

Locals Pete Colclough and John McLaren opened their RS400 account with a first and a second on the Sunday race; however regulars Pete Jackson and Chris Kirkham put together a consistent set of results at the end of the series to take the win from the Colcloughs.

The afternoon races were under the control of Race Officer Geoff Gilson, who made the most of some tricky conditions, with none of the classic South Westerly Force 4 conditions that the competitors long for.

First away in the afternoon was a healthy fourteen strong National Twelve fleet, with several top National 12 sailors making it a family week and sailing with their children. National Champion Tom Stewart reeled of a string of five straight wins, sailing with children Robert and Isobel, with John and Ollie Meadowcroft presenting a matching set of second places. Mike Hoyle and Emma Cadwallader were the only team to break the Stewart's dominance with a win in the tricky Friday conditions.

Forty two Solos made up the largest fleet of the week, and they opened proceedings on the naughty bench, with a General Recall, resulting in the RO resorting to Black Flag disqualifications for the remainder of the week. In a race to Frogmore, Simon Yotter Yates made the early running, however an athletic performance by young Peter Ballantine ground the older sailors down, to see Peter take the first of four wins and two seconds. Phil King showed his old skills, with his best results toward the end of the week as the spring tides set in, taking second place overall from Simon Yates. First visitor was Godfrey Clarke from Fishers Green in sixth place.

Mike Hicks fresh from the Laser World Masters, opened his account in the Standard Laser class with three straight wins, maybe it was the Regatta Week social life that saw him go off the boil slightly, when Edward Benz mounted a challenge at the end of the week, which saw him in second place from Hicks.

Twenty one Modern boats made up the Yawl Red fleet, and the Sunday Race in a light South Westerly set the tone for the week. After a General Recall the Yawls also found themselves on the naughty bench, yet once away Will Henderson and Jim Stone opened their account with a comfortable win from Dan and Gail Bridger.

Will and Jim's domination continued on Monday, winning by over four minutes from Simon Gibbens and Andrew Reed, with Frankie Rowsell and Victoria Gibbens clocking up their second third place of the week.

The wind went Easterly on Tuesday, and the fleet were taken to Frogmore, the sail out of Frogmore was to see several campaigns on the slide, as opportunities seized the opportunity to sail into the no wind zone under Halwell Point including Will and Jim who were never to recover. Graham and Tessa Pike, master and mistress of the dead wind situation, sizzled along to take the win.

But it was business as usual on Wednesday, when Henderson and Stone returned to the fore, overtaking Gibbens and Reed at the finish on the return from Yalton.

Easterly winds and little water in the harbour reduced the Race Officer's options, and made for nerve wracking runs down the banks of the harbour. For a while it appeared that this was Malcolm Squire and Jonathan Britten's race to loose, which was indeed the case, as Henderson once again prevailed.

With Will and Jim having an eleventh on the scoresheet, it was still possible for the ever present Dan and Gail to take the series. The North Westerly meant that anything could happen, and did... except at the very front, where Henderson and Stone held their nerve while the rest of the fleet inverted in its attempts to make the Millbay buoy, standing in a strong flood tide and little wind to assist the journey.

The Salcombe Yawl Blue or Classic Fleet mustered sixteen boats, and David Jayne and Chris Spencer-Chapman opened the batting from John Smithers and Peter Hughes. However Anthony and Allyson Lofts scored straight wins on Monday and Tuesday and appeared to be in the driving seat. But consistency by John and Peter and a win on the final day saw them take the top spot.

Winners:

Topper: 46721 George Alexander
Junior Handicap: RS Feva XL 3774 Flossie Tanner and Tabby Priestly
Laser Radial: 203307 Charlie Blazeby
Enterprise: 20234 David Beany and Caroline Evans
Medium Handicap: Streaker 1846 Mike Eggleston
Yawl (Gold Fleet): 101 Richard and Harry Morris
Fast Handicap: Phantom 1357 Alistair Morley
RS400: 1078 Pete Jackson and Chris Kirkham
National 12: 3544 Tom, Robert and Isobel Stewart
Solo: 5573 Peter Ballantine
Laser Standard: 203313 Michael Hicks
Salcombe Yawl (Red): 183 Will Henderson and Jim Stone
Salcombe Yawl (Blue): 19 John Smithers and Peter Hughes

Full results at www.salcombeyc.org.uk/results

2016 SYC Regatta Week: 7th to 12th August, 2016

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