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Hurricane 5.9 SX Open at Starcross Yacht Club

by Ben Cutler-Sharp 17 Jun 2019 14:34 BST 8-9 June 2019
Hurricane 5.9 SXs at Starcross © Joseph Buxton-Smith

It was the turn of Starcross Yacht Club to host the annual Exe Regatta on the 8th and 9th of June 2019. The regatta is a joint effort between the five clubs situated on the River Exe. Boasting the largest fleet of Hurricane 5.9s in the country, SYC invited the national series to come along and join in the fun.

With Saturday's forecast for gusts of 30knots and a sizeable swell in the sailing area racing was called off. This gave plenty of time for a lie in and a bit of boat fettling on Saturday.

At 9:15 on Sunday, with some of the fleet nursing hangovers from Saturday nights BBQ and live band, 13 Hurricane 5.9 SX and one standard Hurricane 5.9 headed down the river Exe and out to sea. Sailing against the tide and with a light southerly wind, this was a big effort, but all of the fleet made it out.

The first race got under way in a light 5 knot SSW wind with John Donovan and Nigel Hingston leading the way off the line and to the first mark with Graham Buxton-Smith And Helen Gillard in hot pursuit. After some close racing it was Ben Cutler-Sharp and Kez Wiltshire who emerged on top to take the win with Doug Smith and Isobel Smith showing good pace all around the course, to come in second.

In the second race, it was Jim Carter and Jonathan Gosling with a cracking port flyer start to make it to the windward mark first, with Ben & Kez in hot pursuit, eventually overtaking down wind to stay in the lead until the end. The new sailing partnership of Robin Ponting and 12 year old Eloise Smith had a superb race coming in second. With Eloise's older sister and father coming in 7th, the family rivalry was born.

With the tide ebbing out against a dying breeze creating some steep chop, race three was a struggle with visitors John Ready and Josh Hunt showing well to come in second, hounding Ben and Kez who took their third straight bullet.

With a huge rain cloud in bound and a dying breeze the final race was canned and the fleet headed home only to become becalmed on Exmouth beach. A huge thank you was in order to the rescue boats for getting everyone home and the galley staff for staying open to provide hot food and drinks which were greatly appreciated.

It was a super competitive event in the mid field, with lots of place changes and tight battles! A special mention to all the juniors in the fleet with Tesni King helming at 13 years old and Isobel and Eloise Smith crewing at 15 and 12 years old. They are improving all the time and will be the ones to watch in the future!

The next stop for the Hurricane fleet is in Clacton on Sea on the 13th and 14th of July with the Nationals rounding off the year at Canvey Island Yacht Club on the 30th of August to the 1st of September.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st421Ben Cutler‑SharpKez WiltshireStarcross YC1113
2nd11John ReadyJosh HuntBrightlingsea3429
3rd454John DonovanNigel HingstonStarcross YC43310
4th346Robin PontingEloise SmithStarcross YC52411
5th416Doug SmithIsobel SmithStarcross YC27918
6th207Jim CarterJonathanStarcross YC65718
7th485Graham Buxton‑Helen GillardStarcross YC88521
8th428Adam CharlesworthRichardStokes Bay SC106622
9th276Jeremy LeesFiona StonhamStarcross YC99826
10th206Basil StricklandAndyStarcross YC7131030
11th315Tesni KingBill KingStarcross YC11101132
12th448Mike BakerAlaric ColvilleStarcross YC14111944
13th278Joseph P Buxton‑GemmaStarcross YC13121944
14th431Andy BedfordRob TaylorDatchet Water12191950
15th438Toby GrayReuben GrayASA19191957
15th455Julian ReichertJeremyThorpe Bay YC19191957
15th481Trevor BawdenKylie BawdenStone SC19191957
15th118Paul MckayGraemeDatchet Water19191957

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