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Ocean Elements 2018
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Salcombe Yacht Club Festive Series Boxing Day Race

by David Greening 30 Dec 2018 13:09 GMT 26 December 2018
Salcombe Yacht Club Festive Series Boxing Day Race © Margaret Mackley

The Boxing Day race is a popular event in the Salcombe Yacht Club sailing calendar. Race Officer Mandy Henderson set two laps of a triangular course within the harbour on a spring ebb tide, with a south easterly breeze, ranging from nothing to a little.

23 boats made it to the starting line area, with many struggling to get to the line, possibly due to the course direction being reversed in an attempt to achieve a beat to the windward mark.

More by luck than judgement your correspondent was closest to the seawall, in the least tide, and was able to call for "room" immediately after the starting signal, only to be greeted by a call of "you must be joking" from the other twenty two entries, since this is not a valid call in the Racing Rules of Sailing, Greening tacked anyway, and the resulting chaos amongst the rest of the fleet allowed him to build up a healthy, and what would be for some, a race winning lead before anyone else had crossed the starting line.

Eventually the faster boats, the Aero 9 of Dan Bridger and the Phantom of Alistair Morley made it through the tidal gate that is the Ferry Landing to join Greening's Solo on the down tide legs.

The Millbay mark was always going to be a problem, a handbrake turn was required in order to round the mark to port and to make it over to the less tidal Salcombe shore, Bridger made it, Morley stuck to the Portlemouth shore and Greening wallowed allowing most of the fleet to close in, notably the Solo of Simon Dobson who made good progress up the beaches, and then had sufficient wind or momentum to cross over with Morley.

By this stage Dan Bridger had rounded the sic. windward mark and was on the way home, to finish nearly half an hour ahead of most of the competitors, with Morley finishing second, ahead of Dobson.

Overall Results:

1st Aero 9 1752, Dan Bridger
2nd Solo 5676, Simon Dobson
3rd Phantom 1459, Alistair Morley

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