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Salcombe Yacht Club Sailing Club Series Race 3

by Graham Cranford-Smith 12 May 20:26 BST 11 May 2019

Some us went racing in the Salcombe Ria on Saturday 11th May. Those who did, were in pursuit of a pinnacle of sailing achievement, much as headlined actually. Namely: The Salcombe Sailing Club Series 2019. Race 3. Your correspondent is charged with the task of reporting upon this, to the waiting world.

In a quest to avoid undue improvisation of the facts, we will confine to remarking that:
a) The sun was definitely out and the air temperature a good bit warmer than lately.
b) The wind was northerly. About 9 mph.
c) Despite the northerly component, the breeze was actually reasonably stable and free of 28mph gusts and 30 degree shifts. Unusual for Salcombe, recently.
d) Most if not all the fleets, were set a course from the watch house start beating against the ebb tide, to Gerston. We returned on the run to Crossways; a square beat back to Gerston (really nice actually). Thence a long run back to Mark X, off Small's Beach and then, to finish.
e) It was good to be alive.

We have reviewed the published results for the Medium handicap from the very day itself. Your correspondent did also witness the scampering away of Tim Fells in his Aero 7 blitzing his competitors by er, nearly half an hour. This is sobering management information for his competitors. Tim may have some handy tips for those trying to beat him, he being a man of considerable experience and success in many classes notably the Merlin, B14, Lark and SB3. Worth the question. If any consolation, this is the minimum margin one might expect to be beaten by Tim and Fran Gifford, when racing against them in a Merlin, so do not be dismayed.

Ben Meek, no mean talent, was second in a Laser 4.7 thence by Clare Booth also in an Aero 7.

One can report more accurately on the outcome of the Fast Handicap race. Cleaves won in his Phantom. This he did, in complete compliance of the Racing Rules of Sailing; we learned later. Bruce Hattersley, edged Fiona and Graham Cranford Smith in their Merlin by one second on handicap.

Solos are the staple of Salcombe Yacht Club though numbers are a bit down on times of yore.

Is this Anno Domini? The decline of dinghy racing overall? The onset of the Phantom and the Aero? Whatever the case, it is a bit concerning to contemplate. Nevertheless, though derided by some as being slow, Solo racing is undeniably close. Being class racing it is also to be cherished. Not so often troubling the scorers, but nevertheless reliable regulars, we would like to recognise here Geoff Allen, Roger Pope and Stuart Cartwright who usually compete each week. It is also gratifying and excellent to see the return of Jonty White to a Solo after a protracted and very serious illness.

Simon Dobson, fresh from a hat-trick of wins the preceding week in his Yawl, claimed first in the Solos over Robin Hodges, who is sailing very well presently. He was followed by Andrew Bourne, another class stalwart.

Finally, but not least, the Yawl. Commodore elect Andy Savell and First Lady Elizabeth Savell lead the Yawl series, this day beating Peter Stratton and Barney Greenhill. Well done to them.

Yawl results:

1st. Y187, Andrew Savell. Elizabeth Savell
2nd Y161, Peter Stratton. Carolyn Adcock
3rd Y138, Barney Greenhill. Juanita Greenhill

Medium Handicap results:

1st Aero 7, Tim Fells
2nd Laser 4.7, Ben Meek
3rd Aero 7, Clare Booth

Fast Handicap results:

1st Phantom, 1306, Chris Cleaves
2nd Phantom, 1357, Bruce Hattersley
3rd Merlin Rocket, 3769, Graham and Fiona Cranford Smith

Solo results:

1st Simon Dobson
2nd Robin Hodges
3rd Andrew Bourne

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