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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

National Solo Autumn Open for the Tyler Trophy at Salcombe Yacht Club

by Graham Cranford Smith 18 Oct 21:00 BST 16-17 October 2021
Salcombe Ria on Sunday morning during the Solo Autumn Tyler Trophy at Salcombe © Ollie Turner

Through the good offices of SYC Class Cap Adrian Griffin, and NSCA Solo SW area representative, John Steels, this event received excellent promotion. Especially as it turned out, the weather was the last of the extended sublime weather.

As a result, the event attracted forty-three entries of which sixteen were visitors. Adrian had also organised a training day on the preceding Friday, convened by Charlie Cumbley of North Sails. Aside from demonstrating the latest North Sails Solo products Charlie readily engaged the attention of the twenty-two present on the intricacies of the Solo. We all learned a lot. Thanks again Charlie.

Almost everyone had travelled to Salcombe the preceding day however the first race of three over two days started at 13:30 in a light Southerly breeze against a neap but briskly flooding tide.

Race officer Ian Stewart and team set a course to Blackstone, thence a long run to Gerston in slight pressure. From the Bag on return we enjoyed a visit to Mark 4 at Southpool followed by a shortened course. Sounds like a short race. It was not. Over two hours of fun for some.

As ever at the start, much was in balance as to which side to favour. Town, or Portlemouth. Those on the Town side showed early promise. But it is a brave person who would bet against local Paul Ellis who favoured the Portlemouth side. And so it proved. He, with Tim Law and others, such as Cleaves and Ed Stephens made it to Blackstone marginally ahead of Chris Jennings and Ollie Turner the leaders of the gang from Town.

Much concentration was required to make the best of the listless pressure as the fleet paraded through The Bag on the flood to Gerston. By this point Paul Ellis had established what looked to him to be an invincible lead.

Nothing is certain in a Salcombe race however. His lead evaporated en-route back through the Bag somewhat such that helms like Simon Dobson, a noted light weather guru plus Jennings and Cleaves were definitely in the hunt by the final beat to the finish.

Ellis however prevailed and posted a bullet, followed by Dobson. Prominent Merlin helm, Chris Jennings being no stranger to the vagaries of Salcombe came third.

On Sunday, the prospect of racing in the Range disappeared with the early morning mist. As so often there was more breeze in the Ria than outside. After a short and well-judged postponement Ian Stewart and team alighted on a windward leeward course in the main harbour.

The fleet was super keen this morning after a curry and convivial evening at the club. Many were OCS so a black flag start followed a general recall.

A left shift at the start in a slight flood should have favoured those at the beach side. But lack of ability to tack and a noted absence of pressure there did not help. Those in the middle right came out ahead. Once again Ellis aced the windward mark in his distinctive blue-hulled steed.

By this point Cumbley had awoken but even he was unable to outgun Paul in the tacking festivals between mark three and one/two. Pretty much the whole fleet favoured the Town side on the upwind legs giving onlooking patrons of the Ferry Inn and competitors alike, indigestion in the process. Weed was a factor in the fortunes of some.

Having won two races Paul Ellis had won the event with a race to spare. But either through the sheer fun of it, or being unsighted on the SI's, he remained on the pitch for the final race. Again this occurred in a Southerly breeze but a definite flood tide.

Some in the fleet, including rock star Ollie Turner (a refugee from the RS200/Merlin fleets - welcome), at the start on the favoured Portlemouth shore pushed their luck and later crossed the finish line in silence.

Of note Paul, who had not for once won the first beat tacked off onto starboard at the first leeward mark. He at first alone alighted on the Portlemouth shore for the long climb back to Blackstone. He was then followed by Dobson and Stephens who read this right and made hay. Jennings had done ok on the Town side but this was for nought he being one of the several OCS casualties.

At the gun, Ellis from Dobson from Cumbley. Final score: Paul Ellis 1,1,1. Remarkable. A gifted sailor; not just in dinghies either.

In all, though we say it ourselves, a fun event. Particular thanks to all our visitors. You are extremely welcome. Thank you too, to Ian Stewart and his race team, including the safety boat crews. Plus the hardworking staff of SYC. Thanks also to John Steels of the NSCA and our very dear Class Cap Adrian Griffin who was laid low for the duration. Get well soon Adrian.

Commiserations also to those who did not do as well as they might have hoped.

As a general commentary and advice, for those who race, nothing in the moment can deal with the innermost dashed hopes of a poor showing. But viewed as a positive, adverse real-life events can intervene. These will assist the Solo sailor in maintaining a sense of proportion.

For example, a life-altering discovery on return to shore, that one has momentarily overlooked, one's wedding anniversary would, in theory, give one a sharp perspective that one's day on the water had after all, not been too bad.

We must caution, that such a scenario is extremely inadvisable. It could not in practice, ever occur; certainly not to a Solo sailor. Surely not. We deploy it simply for illustrative purposes and philosophical discussion only.

It is true that one Solo helm was seen departing the dinghy park on his bicycle in extreme haste with a look of profound panic about him. But an anniversary oversight, cannot possibly have been the reason.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5574Paul EllisSalcombe YC‑1112
2nd5898Simon DobsonSalcombe YC2‑324
3rd5890Charlie CumbleyWarsash SC‑6235
4th5444Chris JenningsBurghfield SC34(OCS)7
5th5879Chris CleavesSalcombe YC4‑659
6th5769Ed StephensSalcombe YC‑88412
7th5181Paul RaysonSalcombe YC75(OCS)12
8th5964Paul BartlettStarcross YC9‑11615
9th5691Guy MaygerFlepham SC‑119716
10th5966Tim LawSalcombe YC512(OCS)17
11th5546Oliver TurnerStarcross YC107(OCS)17
12th5107Martin HodgsonSalcombe YC‑13101323
13th5180Paul PlayleSalcombe YC15‑171126
14th5601Simon YatesSalcombe YC17‑241027
15th6000Doug LattaHayling Island SC1215(DNF)27
16th5364Mark WaterhouseSalcombe YC20‑21929
17th5893Gary MoltonTeign Corinthian YC‑29131629
18th5792David GreeningSalcombe YC‑23161430
19th5926John SteelsStarcross YC‑22141731
20th5726Andy JonesBurghfield SC26‑33834
21st4857Michael HodgesSalcombe YC‑24231235
22nd5755Graham Cranford‑SmithSalcombe YC1620(OCS)36
23rd5220John BurnSalcombe YC‑30221537
24th5837Richard InstoneChase SC2118(OCS)39
25th5744Iain McGregorSalcombe YC1427(OCS)41
26th4789Jayne MorrisSalcombe YC19‑382342
27th5876Gavin StevensSalcombe YC2519‑2844
28th5361Nicholas JacksonSalcombe YC1829(DNC)47
29th5331Andrew SquireSalcombe YC(DNC)301848
30th5453Bruce HattersleySalcombe YC28‑342048
31st3915Greg BartlettStarcross YC‑37282149
32nd5747Roger LumbySalcombe YC31‑351950
33rd5844Nick FisherChew Valley LSC‑32252550
34th5529Rob AllenSalcombe YC‑38312253
35th5313Jonathan ReynoldsSalcombe YC‑36362460
36th5311Michael KnowlesSalcombe YC35‑392661
37th5738Ian ArmstrongRoyal Southern YC34‑402761
38th4955Mark BlackhamChase SC‑33322961
39th5734Nigel BlazebySalcombe YC2737(DNC)64
40th5021William WallSalcombe YC(DNC)26DNF67
41st5088Tristram SquireSalcombe YC39‑423069
42nd5308Philip MageeSalcombe YC(DNF)413172
43rd5303Andy SavellSalcombe YCDNF(DNC)DNC86

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