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Vaikobi 2021 Boots - LEADERBOARD

Twisted Cruiser Regatta at Salcombe Yacht Club

by Lucy Burn 13 Aug 19:59 BST
Twisted Cruiser Regatta at Salcombe © Lucy Burn

A sunny day dawned with winds at Prawle point showing 20 Knots, but a fairly flat sea as nine cruisers, ranging from an RS Elite to a Boreal 47, headed out to the range for the 2022 Twisted Cruiser Regatta.

They were accompanied by a very smart 8.7m RIB, with twin 225 hp engines giving 450 hp of power and a top speed over 50 knots, which was kindly provided by Twisted (SMS), who were sponsoring the regatta. The RIB was helmed by Callum Jack from SMS and ably crewed by the race management and photography team of Ann Jones, Jane Miller and Deborah Pluck.

With the wind in the North East, a course was set, starting between the middle harbour speed buoy and the Twisted Rib, with the virtual marks set as Gara, Gammon, Prawle, Starehole, and finish over the starting line.

Given the wind conditions there was a port bias to the starting line and the boats that took advantage of starting by the speed buoy got away first with Ardea, (Dufour 365) and Zan II (RS Elite) setting the pace. At the first mark, Ardea and Zan II were round first followed by Firefly (YW Humphreys 44), Tin Tin (Boreal 47), helmed by Jo and Jerry Gurney, Jerry being the most senior helm sailing, and Starfire (Elan 31) with Blue Diamond (Sigma 38) rapidly making up lost ground at the start and overtaking Starfire on the reach to Gammon.

The remainder of the fleet were not far behind. A fast reach to Gammon was followed by a good beat in a strong breeze to Prawle, where the downwind leg to Starehole commenced. Ardea and Zan II with her spinnaker were fighting it out for the lead, with Blue Diamond, Firefly and Tin Tin Following. A close contest was also taking place between the smaller boats, Jenny T (Sadler 32) and St Anthony (Javelin 30).

The fight for the lead continued with Zan II just pipping Ardea over the line and Blue Diamond finishing shortly behind. Tin Tin was the only larger cruiser to fly her gennaker and this may have helped her make ground on Firefly and just get ahead of them at the finish. These positions were maintained after corrected times with Starfire finishing sixth, followed by St Anthony, Jenny T and Swift (Jeaneau 45 DS), hampered by problems with their jib sheets crossing the line in seventh but finishing ninth on handicap.

Following a much needed short break for refreshments, the course for the second race was set the same as for the first. Swift retired due to their jib problems, leaving 8 boats to battle it out on the second race. The start was again port bias and the boats at the speed buoy end of the line headed off first. Zan II and Blue Diamond made the running with Ardea not far behind. Starfire and Firefly followed with very tight racing between them.

Starfire still carried one reef in the main but held full jib for this race, and Blue Diamond held a reef in the main, although they shook theirs out down wind. Jenny T decided on full sails for this race, and had an ever closer tussle with St Anthony. These positions remained all the way up the beat. The down wing leg required goose winging for all except Zan II with her spinnaker and Tin Tin flying her impressive gennaker.

The wind lessened as the boats got towards Starehole, particularly after Zan II and Blue Diamond got around the mark, finishing first and second respectively, having pulled out a gap on Ardea. Firefly and Starfire were neck and neck all the way down the run with Starfire eventually managing to get clear of Firefly's wind shadow, rounding Starehole and crossing the line in fourth place followed by Firefly and Tin Tin.

Jenny T and St Anthony, however, were not far behind and although finishing over the line in seventh and eighth place respectively, on corrected time, St Anthony came third and Jenny T fifth only 14 seconds behind Ardea in fourth.

The overall results from the two races put Zan II, having won both races in first place. Perfect conditions for the RS Elite. Well done Martin and crew.

Blue Diamond was second and Ardea third only a point behind. St Anthony's storming performance in the second race brought them through to fourth and then three boats all finished on 12 points - Tin Tin, Firefly and Starfire - with Jenny T only 1 point behind.

The fleet then headed for home, but Callum took the ladies on the race committee for a very exciting 40kn ride to Hope Cove and a visit to the caves on the way back. They were extremely impressed with the Twisted RIB and the idea that you could go to Guernsey for lunch in an hour!

A very good day was had by all taking part with plenty of close racing. Many thanks to the Race Committee and Twisted for supplying the RIB. The next racing in the range is scheduled for Sunday 21st August, let's hope for good weather again.

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