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Barney Greenhill Whitsun Solo Open at Salcombe Yacht Club

by David Greening 31 May 2017 10:53 BST 27-28 May 2017
Whitsun Solo Open at Salcombe © Rob Hyde

34 Solos turned out for the Barney Greenhill sponsored Solo Open meeting at Salcombe Yacht Club over the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend.

On Saturday afternoon, Race Officer Geoff Gilson's course setting options in a variable South South Westerly breeze were restricted by a Spring low tide, so the classic Blackstone Gerston Blackstone Crossways prevailed.

Tim Law mastered the first beat by picking out the shifts, to round Blackstone with a comfortable lead, ably assisted by a yacht steaming through the fleet at the windward mark leaving at least one capsized boat in its wake, which he maintained throughout the race. However there was more competition amongst the chasing pack, with regular visitor Steve Conroy emerging to take second place from Iain McGregor.

Saturday night saw a reception at the Yacht Club for competitors, which gave the fleet an opportunity to celebrate Alec Stone's 90th Birthday. Geoff Gilson a protégé of Alec spoke of his achievements, including winning more Solo National Championships and World Championships than any other person.

Sunday dawned with a few bleary eyes, more water in the harbour and a light North Easterly breeze, Race Officer Norman Brown set a "round the creeks" course with the start taking the fleet up the harbour against a strong ebb tide.

The front runners were to emerge from a group that tacked off the Portlemouth shore early, to drive over the tide into the lee of Snapes point, Tim Law leading this charge from Paul Rayson at Yalton. However as the leading group turned into the Bag at Bungalow point they were confronted with a full flowing ebb tide, the little wind that there was could only be accessed by heading into the tide. Those behind were to benefit from the frustrations of the leaders. With much shouting at Tosnos Point, Paul Rayson and Iain McGregor got away by sailing conservative courses; with Tim Law finally emerging in third place following the final beat up the Salcombe shore line to the finish.

By Sunday afternoon the tide had eased slightly and the fleet headed into the Bag on a shifty North Easterly, with the fleet forming a tight procession on the reaches to and from Gerston; this played into the hands of leader Tim Law, while the rest of the fleet defended their positions and slowed each other down. Newbie visitor Lawrence Creaser, now learning the location of the racing marks, pulled through to second from Paul Rayson.

With a protest pending, Law needed a good result on a misty Monday morning, with the wind blowing randomly from the East and the West, Tim rounded the Blackstone mark in the last three, and appeared to be history, but by this time the rest of the fleet was sitting at Biddle Head struggling to make the ebb tide; Ed Stephens and Tim Law headed to the town side of the Estuary to steam past the fleet into first and second, which they held to the finish, which gave Tim the Barney Greenhill Solo Open Meeting victory.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5743Tim LawSYC1‑3124
2nd5181Paul RaysonSYC/Fishers Green‑61337
3rd5705Lawrence CreaserHISC442‑1410
4th5744Iain McGregorSYC32‑11712
5th5598Billy JagoSYC5‑94514
6th5328Steve ConroyFishers Green SC28‑14919
7th5096Robin HodgesSYC‑1067619
8th5617David GreeningSYC758‑1320
9th5455Mark MaskellBlackwater SC975‑1221
10th5568Philip KingSYC8‑1361125
11th5601Simon YatesSYC‑12109827
12th5573Ed StephensSYC1117‑19129
13th5381Chris SinclairOxford‑231517436
14th5553Alec PowellHISC/Locks16‑19101036
15th5180Paul PlayleIsland Barn Reservoir SC131412(DNF)39
16th5535Tim JacksonPapercourt14‑21151544
17th5453Bruce HattersleySYC18(DNC)131647
18th5747Roger LumbySYC‑2411162148
19th4857Mike HodgesPapercourt1712‑212049
20th5739Mike RoundSYC/South Cerney2016(DNF)1955
21st4646Justin HallNorthampton22‑26181757
22nd4612Peter SturgessSYC211820(DNC)59
23rd3977David RudmanChipsted SC‑2724221864
24th5734Adrian GriffinSYC‑2820232366
25th5088Tristram SquireSYC‑2925242473
26th5427Roger PopeSYC262325(DNC)74
27th4168John JordanFrampton on Severn SC‑3027262275
28th5311Mike KnowlesSYC2522(DNC)DNC82
29th4772Nick FisherSYC15(DNF)DNCDNC85
30th5257Roger GuessSYC19(DNF)DNCDNC89
31st167Will FraySYC(DNF)DNCDNC2595
32nd5361Nick JacksonSYC/Burgfield(DNF)DNCDNCDNC105
32nd4789Jayne MorrisSYC(DNF)DNCDNCDNC105
32nd5271Peter HammondSYC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC105

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