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Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series - Race 1

by John Burn & David Greening 4 Sep 21:31 BST 3 September 2022

SYC sailors provided some good entertainment for spectators on Saturday. With wind speeds averaging mid teens and gusts topping out in the mid twenties there was plenty of capsizing on show.

Handicap Race

The Fast handicap fleet were first away and joined by Andrew Groves and George Alexander in Laser Radials, I suspect due to the lack of competition in the medium handicap.

Tim Fells was quick to take charge of the race in his Aero 7 as they rounded Blackstone. The downwind leg from mark 1 was pretty lively, with the wind against tide whipping up a fair size swell for the sailors to surf down.

After surviving the worst of the wind and waves at Balckstone Olly Alexander in a Phantom got caught out and found himself going for a quick dip just off Fishermans. This allowed Tim to get away and the rest of the fleet to get passed him.

Tim returned from The Bag still in the lead and with a quick loop of 2-3 he finished first on the water and 1st on corrected time with an impressive 2 minutes 30 seconds lead over 2nd placed Andrew Groves.

Olly came back to take third after a good recovery from his earlier swim.

Yawl Race

It was a shame to only see three Yawls out on Saturday when conditions were so good. The three out were made up of two red fleet and one blue fleet boats.

Will and Mandy Henderson took an early lead off the line but John Burn and Tom Roberts showed good upwind speed and managed to get passed the Hendersons and round Blackstone first, just ahead of Will and Mandy with David Sworder and David Fitzsimmons not too far behind.

It was neck and neck between the front two as they made their way up to mark 7 but it was Will and Mandy who got to the mark first pulling out a small lead on John and Tom. They remained very close as they navigated the beat back through The Bag but it was at Snapes Point where it all went wrong for John and Tom.

Unfortunately for them they took the wrong line and went in too close whilst Will and Mandy nailed the rounding on the outside. The quick loop of the harbour saw them now remain in position until the finish, Will and Mandy 1st, John and Tom 2nd and the two Davids 3rd.

Solo Race

Thirteen Solo sailors came to the line in a gusty, shift force four southerly breeze. First to the Blackstone mark were Paul Ellis and Chris Cleaves, followed by Tim Law, who all made the most of powering through the steep chop.

There followed a downwind roller coaster ride, with some failing to maintain equilibrium between wind and waves. Ellis consolidated his lead over Cleaves by gybing off at Tosnos toward Halwell, a manoeuvre that some others failed to pull off. Simon Yates managed to sail around the outside of the pursuing pack at Gerston but was eventually overhauled by David Greening.

With the final Crossways mark sitting in a sea of no wind, all competitors were kept on their toes right up to the end of the race, but eventually Ellis took a comfortable win from Cleaves, followed by Greening and Yates.

Thank you to Ian and Wendy Stewart as well as the safety boat crews for overseeing Saturday's racing.

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