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Salcombe Yacht Club Whitsun Solo Open Meeting

by David Greening 28 May 16:26 BST 25-27 May 2019

Sponsored by Coast and Country Cottages and Barney Greenhill

The Whitsun Weekend attracted twenty six Solo sailors to Salcombe Yacht Club to complete a four race series under the supervision of Principal Race Officer Geoff Gilson. Predominantly fresh westerly breezes and very neap tides made for exciting sailing and a tendency for the locals to overthink their routing.

The Saturday afternoon race got away with a solid beat with the ebb tide out to Blackstone, which saw the Laser boys; Tim Law and Mike Hicks at the fore, with visitor Nick Martingale holding the podium places for much of the race, to Gerston, followed by diminishing loops of the harbour.

Sunday morning dawned breezy, and with a high tide, the course was Blackstone, Yalton, Crossways, Yalton; David Greening and Robin Hodges emerged from the leading bunch on a planing run, chased down by Tim Law, with Greening and Law crossing tacks on both of the beats out of Yalton. Upon re-entering the main anchorage, Paul Playle came into contention, however a diversion to the Ferry by Playle and Law, allowed Greening to take the long tack from Fisherman's toward the Watch House and secure the win from Playle and Law.

The wind had eased slightly for the Sunday afternoon race, which saw a repeat of Saturday's Blackstone Gerston Blackstone Crossways Millbay Crossways course, with Tim Law, Robin Hodges and David Greening breaking away from the pack at Tosnos, by the return to the Bag Law was long gone, but Hodges and Greening were caught while wallowing off Biddle Head by Ian McGregor securing third place from Hodges.

On Monday morning the fleet was set the ever popular tour of the harbour, Blackstone, Gerston, Saltstone, Frogmore, and Yalton. On a flood tide, the fleet divided between the Salcombe and Portlemouth sides, with Simon Yates, Roger Bennet, Nick Jackson and Mike Hicks making it from the Portlemouth side before the wind shut down, while those on the Salcombe side, led by David Greening fed in.

After a spectacular planing reach back from Gerston to Saltstone, Yates led Bennett then Greening, and on the final beat out of Yalton, Roger Guess and a reinvigorated Hicks joined the fray, and all five of this group held the lead and some stage. Eventually on a very belated shorted course signal, Hicks took the win from Bennett, then Greening.

All in all an excellent weekend of sailing, helped along by the drinking vouchers generously provided by Barney Greenhill, who also presented the Barney Greenhill picture to Tristram Squire for the sailor who finished all races with the most points.

Overall Results: (top five)

1st 5743 Tim Law (Salcombe Yacht Club)
2nd 5749 Mike Hicks (Salcombe Yacht Club)
3rd 5792 David Greening (Salcombe Yacht Club)
4th 5487 Roger Bennett (Silver Wing Sailing Club)
5th 5180 Paul Playle (Salcombe Yacht Club)

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