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Whitsun Solo Open at Salcombe Yacht Club

by David Greening 2 Jun 10:38 BST 29-31 May 2021

Whitsun weekend saw thirty two Solos assemble for the Salcombe Yacht Club Open Meeting, held over three days on predominantly East North Easterly fresh breezes and spring ebb tides. The racing was managed by former Solo star Geoff Gilson with a willing team of helpers.

Race 1 on Saturday afternoon saw the fleet on the naughty step, with the first start subject to a general recall, on the second start, under a black flag, the fleet powered off the line in search of the Gerston mark. By Snapes Point Paul Ellis had already built a comfortable lead which by Gerston was commanding and to this correspondent appeared unassailable, however sailing at Salcombe is often likened to a game of Snakes and Ladders, and Paul, together with the P&B cohort of Davenport and Lonsdale landed on a snake, while Mark Maskell climbed the ladder of a filling sea breeze from Biddle head to take the win from Isaac Marsh, with Paul holding onto third.

Sunday dawned and a course for Race 2 was set around the creeks in a freshening breeze, first mark Yalton. The leading bunch were the boats who crossed the tide into the Yawl trots to shelter from the ebb tide behind Snapes, these comprised Chris Cleaves, David Greening, Mike Hicks, Tim Law and Paul Ellis. Ellis dropped out of the group while completing penalty turns, while Cleaves found the lift off Goodshelter to lead around Yalton. On the trip into Frogmore, Law got caught in the wind shadow off Hallwell Woods, while rookie Oliver Davenport broke through. There followed a reach to Gerston and a fetch back, which sorted the men from the boys... the boys proving fitter, with Davenport taking the win from Cleaves.

Race 3 was back-to-back with the morning race, leaving little respite. With the tide now at maximum ebb, the temptation to take a starboard lift across the tide proved too much for Cleaves and Hicks who struggled to make the Fairway buoy, whilst those who doggedly pursued the battle up the Portlemouth shore fared better, notably Robin Hodges and Paul Ellis, who were joined by Simon Yates who had pursued a leeward route through the Bag. Eventually Tom Lonsdale and Tim Law were able to power through on the beats to take second and third places.

So, Monday morning dawned with sunshine, wind and a photogenic harbour, and the PRO wisely resisted the temptation to send the fleet into the Bag, setting Yalton, Blackstone, Yalton, Blackstone, Blackstone to Yalton being a two mile beat into a spring ebb tide in a force four East North Easterly on the nose to the windward mark. Ellis, Cleaves and the team Northampton powered off the start line toward the Salcombe shore, while the rest of the fleet gasped for clear air, having to work the Portlemouth shore to find a clear lane. Davenport and Lonsdale had noted Cleaves routing to Yalton from the day before to plane in to the mark to control first and second place, with Paul Ellis in third. Star of the race was Malcolm Mackley who made significant gains into single figures by pursuing a lonely course up the Portlemouth shore on the second beat.

Third place was sufficient to secure Paul Ellis the Open win from Olly Davenport with Tom Lonsdale third. Paul started consistently well, sailed fast and in the right direction, it is only a matter of time before Davenport and Lonsdale work out the direction!

The weekend's racing was wrapped up at a prize-giving on a sunny Yacht Club terrace where Paul thanked all the race team, catering, and bar for making such a great event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st5574Paul EllisSalcombe3‑4137
2nd5954Oliver Davenport ‑91618
3rd5956Thomas LonsdaleWOSC4‑7329
4th5743Tim LawSalcombe5‑82411
5th5879Chris CleavesSalcombe‑1327615
6th5905Issac MarshNorthampton2‑1411518
7th5749Michael HicksSalcombe‑1138920
8th5779Mark MaskellBlackwater11110‑1322
9th5601Simon YatesSalcombe6‑1551223
10th5328Steve ConroySalcombe7109‑1726
11th5180Paul PlayleSalcombe155(OCS)727
12th5792David GreeningSalcombe‑186121028
13th4813Robin HodgesSalcombe8194‑24.531
14th4801Godfrey ClarkFishers Green101216‑1938
15th5021William WallSalcombe179(OCS)1541
16th5786Simon GreensladeStarcross‑1918131142
17th5744Ian McGregorSalcombe12‑20151643
18th5951Billy JagoSalcombe1417(DNC)1445
19th5755Graham Cranford SmithSalcombe‑2213182152
20th5453Bruce HattersleySalcombe(DNC)16192055
21st5747Roger LumbySalcombe‑2421142257
22nd5183Malcolm MackleySalcombe20DNF(DNC)859
23rd5364Mark WaterhouseSalcombe16‑25212360
24th5734Adrian GriffinSalcombe232317‑24.563
25th4646Justin HallNorthampton‑2626201864
26th2952Mark SanckenSalcombe212422‑2767
27th5313Jonathan ReynoldsSalcombe2522DNF(DNC)73
28th5088Tristan SquireSalcombe27DNF(DNC)2886
29th4857Michael HodgesSalcombe(DNC)DNCDNC2692
30th5427Jayne MorrisSalcombe(DNC)27DNCDNC93
31st167William FraySalcombe(DNC)DNFDNCDNC97
32nd5308Philip MageeSalcombe(DNC)DNCDNCDNC99

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