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Exe Sails & Covers Starcross Steamer 2022

by Ben Cutler-Sharp 28 Mar 11:22 BST 27 March 2022

The annual Starcross Steamer took place on the 27th of March on the Exe estuary. With Starcross Yacht Club celebrating its 250th year, the sun shone and the wind blew, creating some very summery conditions for the first day of British Summer Time.

The Steamer comprises of a classic pursuit race format, the slowest boat being chased down by the faster boats. First off was a Firefly followed by the other 67 entrants ranging in speed up to an RS800 in a giant 2.5 hour game of chase. The Steamer forms part of the South West Sailing winter series with a series of pursuit races held at clubs all over the South West.

It was the Firefly of Angus Cook and Mike Dunbar from North Devon Yacht Club setting off first leading the fleet around the course, being chased 5 minutes later by a group of Solos lead by Olly Turner of Starcross YC and the Enterprise of Paul Young and Oliver Mason of Midland SC. This would be the story of the first three laps with Olly Turner closing down the Firefly until a gentle capsize whilst going downwind, allowed Angus and Mike to eek out a slightly bigger lead.

With pursuit races, the excitement is always at the end, with the fleet converging as the finish horn sounds. This year's Steamer was no different with the Firefly still out front at the last mark with a few minutes to go. Behind them, Olly was just ahead of a gaggle of faster boats closing in. The pack comprised of a real mix of classes, with the Solo and the Enterprise trying to hold off the Merlin Rocket of the previous winner of the Steamer Mike and Jane Calvert, Comet Trio of Andrew and Caroline McAusland, Osprey of Terry Curtis and Peter Greig and the B14 of Russ Gibbs and Lucy Loughton.

Going into the final few seconds heading downwind, the spinnaker boats enveloped Paul and Oliver's Enterprise and long time forth place Solo of Simon Greenslade, who finished 7th and 8th respectively. Try as they might, they couldn't quite get to Olly who managed to hold on in a photo finish with Russ and Lucy, who were desperately hoping the race was a few minutes longer. Out front, the Firefly's lead was just too great and Angus and Mike had the honour of leading start to finish!

On behalf of Starcross Yacht Club, thank you to the extremely diverse range of boats who came to enjoy the Exe estuary and the huge team of volunteers who made them very welcome. We look forward to having you back in 2023!

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelm/CrewLaps
1Firefly3695Angus Cook / Mike Dunbar4
2Solo5545Olly Turner4
3B14762Russell Gibbs / Lucy Loughton4
4Merlin3691Mike Calvert / Jane Calvert4
5Osprey1234Terry Curtis / Peter Greig4
6Comet Trio501Andrew McAusland / Caroline McAusland4
7Enterprise22901Paul Young. / Oliver Mason.4
8Solo5786Simon Greenslade4
9Laser00SARich Babbage4
10Merlin3703Richard Whitworth / Jemima Scroggie4
11Albacore8209Cameron / Jake Stow4
12Laser192722Jon Williams4
13RS Aero 73023Richard Watsham4
14Salcombe Yawl159Dan Bridger / Steven Galvin4
15Solo5926John Steels4
16Merlin3797Mark Elkington / Sarah Roberts4
17Laser176836Michael Bagge4
18Merlin3580Mike Mackie / Tina Mackie4
19Merlin3779Dave Lee / Kirsten Glen4
20Merlin3656Charlotte Gough / Dave Gough4
21Comet Trio 2503Iain Horlock / Bob Horlock4
22Laser83637Gavin Hardman4
23RS Aero 72835Guy Harill4
24Laser208190Nigel Mckay4
25Blaze Fire831Robert Jones4
26RS400411Richard Cain / Barney Dearsly4
27Merlin3772Dan Heaton / Tom Gurney4
28RS Aero 73866Ellie Craig4
29RS Aero 72960Mike Way4
30RS Aero 71892Mike Upton4
31MRX3622Mark Candelas / John Donaghue4
32Merlin3789Nick Scroggie / Edward Scroggie4
33RS8001166Ralph Singleton / Nuala Sellwood4
34Hornet2160Nigel Skudder / James Beer4
35RS5001040Edd Whitehead / Ian Mairs4
36Merlin3813Steve Harling / Eleanor Thomas4
37D‑Zero236Dave Bartlett4
38Albacore6917Peter Knight / Henry Metcalfe4
39RS200418Fred Mainwaring / Karen Haslam4
40Fireball14976Juliet Barnes / Steve Long4
41Merlin3785Robin Charles / Oliver Hunt4
42GP 1414014Andy Wadsworth / Helen Allen4
43RS Aero 72550Chris Jones4
44Laser Radial202204Roger Williams4
45Merlin3698David Downs / Ros Downs4
46Laser96Martin Moore4
47RS4007Daryl Geary / Paul Craft4
48Fireball14789Hannah Finlay / Barry Smith4
49Laser 30003209Jim Trice / Ian Trice4
50Blaze713Sam Blocksidge4
51Hornet2165Andy Hohl / Philippa Greenslade4
52Laser167886Magnus Jackson4
53RS200916Jim Barlow / Jodie Barlow4
54Byte Cii1449Eleanor Butler4
55RS200411Ben Newall / Jonathan Newall4
DNSLaser157674Stephen Walton1
DNSRS Aero 73342Jack Miller0
DNSFinn68Gary Phare0
DNSFinn534Andy Bartram0
DNSScorpion2014AJ Eaton / Joshua Eaton0
DNSBlaze827Hugh Kingdon0
DNFMerlin37Vyv Game / Mike Tuckett2
DNFMerlin3616Alistair Glen / Moira Glen1
DNSIcon18Paul Bartlett / Nicki Bartlett0
DNSHornet2190Dick Garry / Sam Woolner0
DNFRS400910Jonathan Carr / Keith Wheatley1
DNSRS4001287James Bowman / TBA0
DNFRS700978Steve McDonald0

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