Please select your home edition
GJW Direct 2020

124th Salcombe Yacht Club Annual Regatta sponsored by Salcombe Gin

by Malcolm Mackley 16 Aug 2019 17:55 BST 11-16 August 2019

There was a huge mix of sun, wind and rain during the 124th Salcombe Gin sponsored SYC annual Regatta and the 183 competing boats in sixteen different classes were challenged on the water with plenty of navigation decisions in a busy estuary with a predominantly blustery and unpredictable strong wind blowing from over and around Salcombe. Two days were lost because of high winds, however the remaining four days sailing was action packed with each morning and afternoon class sailing four races.

The local Salcombe Yawls occupy a special place in the Regatta and the fleet is divided into Gold, Blue and hot shot Red fleets. All fleets are in a currently healthy state and the morning Gold fleet enjoyed competitive racing with some teams showing sensible discretion not to race on the particularly windy Sunday. At the front end of the fleet Darius and Jane Panahy had to win the final race to score overall victory from Adrian and Lisa Simpson. The afternoon Blue fleet Yawls were also closely contested between Andrew Wood and Tim Petit and the East Portlemouth combo of Michael Knowles and Mandy Henderson, with "Woody" emerging overall victor, although both teams had two wins each. The Hot Shot Red Fleet is enjoying a renaissance at the moment with boats changing hands and new top helms joining the fleet.

There were also a number of high profile "guest" helms competing in the 23 boat fleet, however by the end of the Regatta there were to be no surprises with Will Henderson and Jim Stone winning the beginning of the week races and winning overall from Paul Ellis and Martin Beck in second and Simon Gibbons and Andrew Read in third. Alistair Morley in Charles Thompson's Yawl "The Great Bustard" showed signs of his undoubted sailing brilliance by securing two race wins towards the end of the week but his earlier results held him back from climbing higher in what is now a very competitive fleet.

The morning class starts involved the Junior Handicap, Topper, RS400, RS200, Phantom, Merlin Rocket, a large Laser Radial and 4.7 fleet and a Yawl Gold fleet. The morning also included two very welcome fleets of Enterprises and Larks that are classes not currently regularly sailed at Salcombe. The morning starts had generally lighter winds than those in the afternoon, however all fleets enjoyed fantastic exciting reaches to the Gerston mark through the open area of the estuary known as Widegates. The morning fleet also had the benefit of generally "beating with the tide" thereby avoiding the challenges of short tacking against the tide.

The Junior handicap was dominated by Jasper Walter in his Laser 4.7 and Henry Koe from South Bank (Putney) topped the Topper fleet. Thanks go to Topper for loaning some boats and Coast and Country for sponsorship. The ten RS400s was narrowly won by ex 505 World Champion Peter Colclough and Peter Bennett from the Silver Winged Sailing Club boat of Peter Jackson. Michael Gifford and Isobel Stewart (Waldringfield SC) won the RS200 with Chris Catt and Anjie Hurd (Netley SC) managing to take one race win from the Gifford boat. The Merlin Rockets were dominated by the Fran Gifford and Sophie Mackley duo whilst the very healthy fleet of 11 Larks was led by Stuart Hydon and Ann Biglin (Shustoke SC) with Harry Pynn and Gemma Cook (Waldringfield SC) taking a win in the last race to secure second place. It was a welcome return to see the blue sails of the Enterprise class and Martin Brooking and Jane Anderson (Hunts SC) came out top in a competitive fleet. Finally in the morning fleets the Lasers Radials and 4.7 had a bumper group of youthful and competitive sailors with Harry Evans coming out top of the 4.7 and Ruari Mcoll in the Radials.

In the afternoon the Handicap fleet were first away with Dan Bridger in his Aero 7 just taking first place overall from Michael and George Hicks in a Scorpion. The fleet included a healthy mix of Aeros and also an elegant Flying Fifteen, a MRX and a Streaker. The National Twelves were dominated once again by Graham and Zoe Ballentine, however there was good competition below that with John Meadowcroft and Em Mayhew edging second place from the Anthony and Rory Gifford Twelve. The Solo fleet was as always, highly competitive for the 22 competitors but Tim Johnson revelled in the boisterous conditions winning three of the four races and was first overall. Simon Dobson was always close at hand to secure second overall with Robin Hodges, race winner on the final day, securing third place. Finally the 9 strong Laser Standard Fleet was dominated by Neil Davies (QMSC) with three firsts and one second place.

In spite of losing two full days racing, the racing that did happen was generally carried out in sunshine and a good atmosphere was created with the combination of sailing, beaching and just mastering the complex logistics of the Salcombe estuary. The club worked very hard to ensure good race organisation and club facilities and overall the week was a success. Special thanks go to our race officers John Wyllie, Geof Gilson, Ian Mcgregor together with the support of the Salcombe Harbour Authority and our main sponsor Salcombe Gin.

For full Results go to

Related Articles

National 12s at Salcombe
Dinghy Shack Series held over the early May Bank Holiday weekend In usual fashion for the first May Bank Holiday Weekend, the National 12 fleet descended on Salcombe for 3 days of sunshine, ice cream and sailing. A few regulars from the fleet were absent so 10 N12s, and 20 sailors, took to the water. Posted on 5 May
Salcombe Yawl Open Early May Open 2021
27 boats and 54 sailors out on the water in Salcombe Twenty-seven Salcombe Yawls with fifty four sailors emerged to take part in their first open weekend of the season. The Red (modern) fleet and the Blue (classic fleet) were evenly divided, with thirteen Reds and fourteen Blues. Posted on 4 May
Salcombe Gin Merlin Rocket Open
A very healthy fleet of 32 teams on an insanely beautiful spring day Salcombe Yacht Club, despite the privations of the recent past, has been lucky to host the Merlin Fleet as one of the last official events of 2020 and for SYC, the first permitted in 2021. Posted on 20 Apr
Salcombe Spring Series race 2
Early start for the 33 enthusiastic sailors Salcombe Yacht Club brought the start forward on Saturday April 17th to allow sailors to be off the water in time to celebrate the life of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh in the afternoon. Posted on 19 Apr
Salcombe Spring Series race 1
Starting with port tack flier by National 12; ending with horizon job by RS400 April 10th saw the first races of the Salcombe Yacht Club Spring Series, with a Force 3 to 4 North Easterly on a flood tide. Race Officers Will and Mandy Henderson set the fleet on a beat to Tosnos Point, followed by a tight reach to Gerston. Posted on 12 Apr
Explore. Dream. Discover.
The Easter weekend was a time to get on the water around the globe for many The Easter weekend was a time to get on the water around the globe for many. Lockdown restrictions in the UK have eased somewhat, allowing the return of grassroots sports, and the fine weather resulted in sailors heading to their local clubs. Posted on 6 Apr
Salcombe Yacht Club 2021 Commissioning Race
Back out in the harbour in a bracing north-easterly The dinghy racers of Salcombe Yacht Club reconvened for a postponed Commissioning Race on a bracing Saturday 3rd April. Race Officer Ian Stewart and his able assistant Wendy set a course to Gerston, Blackstone followed by two loops of the harbour. Posted on 6 Apr
Salcombe Gin sponsor RS Summer Regatta
The perfect sundowner after a thrilling day's racing We all know that there is nothing better after a thrilling day's racing on the water than a perfectly mixed gin & tonic sundowner whilst looking out to sea, and thus a perfect partnership has formed. Posted on 16 Mar
Merlin Rockets at Salcombe
High calibre racing in high winds Nine keen Merlin teams made the trip to Salcombe with their boats for the weekend, and with a truly terrible forecast the likelihood of racing looked distant to say the least... Posted on 2 Nov 2020
Solo Western Area Open at Salcombe
Blessed with a brisk, if not refreshing, airstream Breaking with convention this report will thank first everyone, if not by name, by sentiment, involved in the excellent organisation of the National Solo, Western Area Championship held at Salcombe Yacht Club over the weekend. Posted on 12 Oct 2020