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National 12 Gul Series at Salcombe Yacht Club

by Tom Stewart 24 May 2018 06:43 BST 5-7 May 2018
National 12 Gul Series at Salcombe © Sophie Mackey

After a couple of weather related false starts the 2018 Gul Series finally got under way in style at Salcombe over the bank holiday weekend. Four races were held over three days under wall to wall sunshine on the azure waters of the Salcombe Ria.

2017 Gul Series Champions Graham and Zoe Ballantine overhauled Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smiths early lead and stormed into what seemed like an unassailable lead in the first race but there is no such thing at Salcombe and as the sea breeze began to fight the land breeze their challenge faltered within feet of the finish line. Cruelly as they ran out of breeze the chasing pack closed right up and in a dramatic last gasp Tom and Robert Stewart leap frogged from 3rd to steal victory by a whisker.

Race 2 saw those positions reversed. With the tide up we were given a full tour of the creeks. Tom and Robert started fast pursued by Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith as well as Graham and Zoe. At times they had a comfortable gap but at the last leeward mark they were neck and neck with Graham and Zoe, the boats split away from each other but a left shift saw the first race positions reversed.

Race 3 after the now traditional lunch time pasties on the beach was held on a short course which kept the racing tight. Jon and Sam Brown sussed the tide out and went town side on the beat to 3 whilst Tom and Robert led the bulk of the fleet up passed Ditch End. After a lap the more modern boat showed its advantage and Tom and Robert snuck through. Graham and Zoe recovered well after a difficult start and almost got Tom and Robert at the finish.

Race 4 was held on The Monday bank holiday morning. Tom and Robert got off the start line and had a good lead on the way to number 4. With Jon Ibbotson and Rachel Smith in second being chased by the Camm's. The lead was reduced after Tom and Robert accidentally clipped a back marker and took a 720 penalty and yet again the Camm's made steady gains throughout the race at the last leeward mark they were close enough to initiate a tacking dual eventually the boats split and Tom and Robert found some breeze to cross the line first and take the event.

Jonathan and Sam Brown showed their quality finishing fourth and taking the prize for the first non-winged rudder.

Overall Results:

PosBoatSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st 3544Tom StewartRobert Stewart 1‑2113
2ndVery Hungry Caterpillar3530Graham CammZoe BallantyneBurghfield SC‑21225
3rdAtomic Kitten3540Jon IbbotsonRachel SmithRanelagh SC33‑539
4thTonto3483Jon BrownMaya/Sam Brown 4‑53411
5thCapriciso3445Nigel WhiteChris WhiteBurghfield SC‑1244614
6thD.B.Cooper3543John MeadowcroftDan MeadowcroftSYC‑766517
7thZippy3431Simon BallantineKaren BallantineSYC6‑98721
8thMax Factor3473Rosie WhiteHarry Greef 5‑109822
9thEbba3457David CopseRowanTBC887‑923
10thCatch the Sun3526Christian DaySophie DaySYC97‑101026
11thSilverfin3501Neal LillywhiteFreya LillywhiteBurgfield101111‑1232
12thPara‑docs3534Charlie LloydHelen LloydSYC‑1312121135
13th 3418   111314(DNC)38
14thMagic Pudding3451Nik LyeTBCTBC141413(DNC)41

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