Please select your home edition
Edition
Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club LEADERBOARD

Salcombe Yacht Club 2021 Commissioning Race

by David Greening 6 Apr 11:01 BST 3 April 2021
Salcombe Yacht Club 2021 Commissioning Race © Lucy Burn

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, which gave the sailors ample opportunity to reacquaint themselves with the vagaries of the Bag before flat out close reaches across Widegates to Gerston and back.

With a variable Force 3 to 4 East North Easterly on an ebb tide, consideration had to be given to resolve the paradox of whether to sail a potentially shorter route from the East Portlemouth shore but run the risk of less wind under the hill, or to short tack up the Salcombe shore. The twenty-nine boat fleet was equally divided on this at the start.

The four Merlins had an upwind speed edge on the rest of the fleet and pulled out ahead, with Mark Waterhouse and Fran Gifford leading up the Salcombe shore and Will and Mary Henderson leading off Portlemouth and who fed in with a healthy lead when they finally drove across the tide to the Salcombe side.

The Solos of Tim Law and David Greening and the Salcombe Yawl of septuagenarians Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer Chapman and the non-septuagenarians Andrew Wood and Tim Petitt led the chase through the trots to Snapes Point.

On turning Snapes the fleet fetched through the Bag, where Paul Ellis planed through to leeward of the Yawls to catch the onto the heels of Law at the Gerston gybe mark, as the four Merlins planed into the distance.

Those caught behind the returning Yawls felt much as it must have been like to be stuck behind a six wheel Tyrell at Monaco, which allowed the Solo of Chris Cleaves to overtake Greening and Simon Dobson, when he took the rarely successful route through Crab Pots.

So, with the four Merlins sailing in formation toward the line, the Race Officer shortened the course, allowing Will and Mary to take line honours from Mark and Fran, however it was the Solo of Paul Ellis that emerged victorious from Tim Law on corrected time.

All the sailors came off the water with smiles on their faces, grateful to be out on the water again.

Overall Results: (top six)

1st Solo 5574, Paul Ellis
2nd Solo 5743, Tim Law
3rd Merlin Rocket 3726, Will and Mary Henderson
4th Solo 5879, Chris Cleaves
5th Solo 5792, David Greening
6th Salcombe Yawl, Andrew Wood and Tim Petitt

Related Articles

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 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
RS Aero UK South Western Championships
Salcombe delivers a fantastic weekend of racing to an enthusiastic band of sailors Salcombe delivered a fantastic weekend of racing to an enthusiastic band of 15 RS Aeros to enjoy the end of summer after a disrupted season. Posted on 5 Oct 2020
2020 Solo Club Racing Championships
Racing across the country in a safe socially distanced manner With the 2020 Solo National championship cancelled, like many others due to the Covid 19 pandemic, the Class Association were keen to find ways of keeping its members engaged during these restricted times. Posted on 25 Jul 2020
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 3
From Gerston to the finish line This third and final article about fast track sailing in the Salcombe Estuary follows a part of the Salcombe Yacht Club race track that can be very challenging for certain sets of conditions. Posted on 1 May 2020
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 2
Getting into and out of the 'Bag' For many sailors the Salcombe estuary "Bag" is casino lottery sailing, shrouded in mystery and chance, however the regular top sailors seem always to do well here. This is not luck, it is that they have learnt the fast track. Posted on 15 Apr 2020
Fast Track Sailing in the Salcombe Estuary part 1
Upwind from the start line to Blackstone Having now watched the Salcombe Estuary sailing experts for some time, it has become apparent that for a given set of tidal and wind conditions there are only a limited number of ways to "fast track" around the race course. Posted on 11 Apr 2020