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Plymouth Last Minute New Year's Day Race

by Keith Davies 1 Jan 15:08 GMT 1 January 2021

The Plym and Royal Western Yacht Clubs combined at short notice to organise and promote a New Year's Day race, using club WhatsApp groups and social media feeds both clubs rounded up eager competitors from around the port.

Entry fees were a nominal donation to the RNLI, and both clubs providing prizes. With only a few days promotion 12 boats had entered. Crews being strictly limited to adhere to the latest Covid regulations, and all followed the RYA guidance.

On the day eleven yachts braved the initial -2 degrees and icy decks and light winds and were rewarded with a sunny morning on the water.

Race Officer Keith Davies from the Royal Western YC set a long ambitious course comprising of three laps around Plymouth Sound it what Longroom had advised was a 10 knot northerly. Racing started on time at 10.30 and all were clean except for Mike Nuttall's Jos of Avon who was well over. Boats at the outer distance mark had their time and distance spot on and started with spinnakers flying heading down across the sound towards the first mark.

The breeze continued to be light and patchy with Steve Andrew's Sun Fire loosing out in lighter wind to the east of the Sound. All boats made it clean around Duke Rock and started the slow beat in now less than 5 knots of wind. Peter Wanstall's Men Behaving Badly made the best job of picking their way up wind. As the lead boat rounded Asia it was decided to shorten the course at one lap.

Well done Men Behaving Badly and a big thank-you to Paddy for his behind the scenes work and Alan from the Plym Yacht Club for manning the Start Box, Nicola Davies for the photos, Chris Compton for Handicap input at short notice and special thank-you to all crews for supporting the Plym and the Royal Western by participating afloat. We all look forward to a successful year on the water in 2021.

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