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Salcombe Yacht Club South West Water Pursuit Race 2016

by David Greening 21 Nov 2016 13:11 GMT 19 November 2016
Salcombe Yacht Club South West Water Pursuit Race © Margaret Mackley

Saturday saw the third edition of the Salcombe Yacht Club South West Water Pursuit Race, an event held to recognise the support that South West Water has given Salcombe Yacht Club by providing additional berthing facilities for the Club's expanding racing fleet.

Race Management was in the hands of Peter Cook, who expertly organised a one and a half hour pursuit race, in a challenging gusty south by south westerly force 4 breeze; on a spring ebb tide. By containing the race in the harbour there was nowhere to hide, especially at the seaward end of the course.

First away were the Laser 4.7's, with youthful enthusiasm Charlie Blazeby and Toby Rew in their Laser Radials saw this as an opportunity to get a four minute jump on the Solos,... but the Race Officer could spot a Laser Radial from a Laser 4.7, and the Individual Recall flag was raised, never to be lowered.

The second start saw 14 Solos and a lone Salcombe Yawl set off, with Bruce Hattersley, Robin Hodges and David Greening battling it out at the head of the race, with gusts and wind shifts seeing each have spells at the front of the race.

Later starts saw Yawls, Phantoms and 505 of Peter Colclough and AJ Squire joining the pursuit. The rather awkward wind direction saw plenty of casualties, keeping the rescue boats busy, and of the twenty four starters, only thirteen boats were to eventually complete the course.

However what was to be the penultimate beat saw the Aero 7 of Tim Fells mixing with the leading Solos and upon turning the Mill Bay mark pulled out a significant lead by Crossways, which was to prove useful.

At 14:30 the gun, a euphemism, in these days of health and safety, a hooter, was sounded and the Race Officer set off to anoint the winner. The leader at that time was attempting to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, by capsizing after rounding the leeward mark, however Tim Fells righted his boat fast enough, to hold off the Solos of Robin Hodges and David Greening, to take the trophy.

Overall Results: (top three)

1st Aero 7 1505, Tim Fells
2nd Solo 5573, Robin Hodges
3rd Solo 5617, David Greening

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