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Sailing Southwest Winter Series: Wrecker Open Pursuit at North Devon Yacht Club

by Jon Miles 4 Nov 2021 13:15 GMT 30 October 2021
North Devon Wrecker 2021 © Jon Miles

The Sailing Southwest annual winter pursuit race series kicked off this weekend with the opening event at North Devon Yacht Club at Instow. The series is sponsored by Allen Sailing with support from Admiral Trailers, and TracAce Limited.

The morning of the NDYC annual Wrecker Open Pursuit race dawned on 30th October with the promised sunny weather and F3-4 winds from SW.

28 boats representing 7 different sailing clubs from around the region assembled for a quick bacon roll before the start. As the race start time came around the wind was building to 4-5 and the race Officer Jon Miles set a course from the Committee boat toward the Bar ensuring plenty of action on the gybe mark in the Inner Pully (harbour entrance bar buoy). The fleet was led away by Angus Cook in a Firefly as a potential contender. Surfing conditions downwind from the bar to club buoy around Crow point assured some fast sailing.

At the end of the first lap Angus held the lead with two OKs, three lasers and a Comet Trio for company. The fast cats were just starting, led away by the Sprint 15s, a Dart 18 and two Hurricane 5.9s. Could the cats find a way through?

By lap 2 we were into the second half of the 2-hour race. Ian and Charlotte Horlock from Exe SC hit the front with last years' series winner Terry Curtis from Weymouth now in an OK, in second place but Sam Thompson from RNSA also sailing an OK was in very close contention. The two OKs were battling out the podium positions. Angus was close by in 4th. The Osprey sailed by Esme Stevenson and Tim Bowden (Weymouth SC) also looked good rising through the fleet to 9th, but the cats were trailing back in 17th in lighter airs.

As the wind freshened for the final lap the cats were finding their feet and with minutes to go the two Hurricanes hit the front with Ben Cutler Sharp / Dave Grant (Starcross SC) taking the lead and Mike and Viki Coulson (NDYC) in second with Sam Heaton (NDYC) sailing a Sprint 15 just squeezing through the Comet to take 3rd. The Osprey sailed by Esme and Tim found more speed and took 4th overall and the leading monohull, passing the Horlocks. 6th was the leading Blaze sailed by Chris Dyer (NDYC) holding off Figs Caine / Barnie Dearsly in an FR400 taking 7th followed by Terry Curtis.

So, the stronger winds at the finishing stages helped the faster boats pull through but hopefully all had a great day.

NDYC took the club prize in the Club Championship series sponsored by CMPR and all enjoyed prize-giving sponsored by Allen Sailing. Thanks also to TracAce Limited for supporting the admin for the series.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat TypeHcapHelmCrewClubPts
1280HURRICANE719Ben Cutler SharpDave GrantStarcross YC1
2365 or 485 or 658HURRICANE719Mike CoulsonViki Herbert CoulsonNDYC2
31972SPRINT 15904Sam Heaton NDYC3
41175OSPREY930Esme StevensonTim BowdenWeymouth SC4
5503COMET TRIO1052Iain HorlockCharlotte HorlockExe SC5
6843BLAZE1033Chris Dyer NDYC6
7411RS 400942Figs CaineBarney DearslyStarcross YC7
869OK1104Terry Curtis Weymouth SC8
93772MERLIN ROCKET980Dan HeatonTom GurneyMountbatten SC9
10828BLAZE1033Paul Tatem NDYC10
111615SPRINT 15904Jez Firth NDYC11
1268FINN1049Garry Phare Royal Torbay YC12
1391OK1104Sam Thompson RNSA13
143695FIREFLY1172Angus CookEva LewisNDYC14
153698MERLIN ROCKET980David DownsRos DownsTata Seel SC15
16R249REDWING1094Eric EvansStan PyleNDYC16
17Club ArgoTOPAZ1075Matthew BrittonThom BrittonNDYC17
181906SPRINT 15904Liam Bunclark NDYC18
19164712LASER RADIAL1147Matt Muir NDYC19
20128697 radialLASER RADIAL1147Howard Stone NDYC20
2117LASER1100Jon Farr NDYC21
2287*TOPAZ1000Toby WhiteSilas BraundNDYC22
23WA2LASER RADIAL1147Dave Barker NDYC23
2416162LASER RADIAL1147Martin Robson NDYC24
252 Club laserLASER RADIAL1147Mike Harris NDYC25
RET113347 or 135500LASER1100Michael Selter NDYC29
RET7876DART 18832Ben PennyDan CranerNDYC29
RET173522LASER RADIAL1147Andy Mellors NDYC29

Sailing Southwest Winter Series Events planned to follow include:

  • Penzance Pirate at Penzance SC on 14th November
  • Christmas Cracker at Paignton SC on 5th December
  • Sutton Bingham Icicle at Sutton Bingham SC on 30th January
  • Roadford Rocket at Roadford SC on 20th January
  • Channel chop at Portishead SC on 12th March
  • Starcross Steamer at Starcross YC on 27th March
  • Exmore Beastie at Wimbleball SC on 3rd April

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