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Team Spirit - Life and leadership on one of the world's toughest yacht races by Brendan Hall
 Team Spirit - Life and leadership on one of the world's toughest yacht races by Brendan Hall

Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series - Race 6

by John Burn & David Greening 10 Oct 2022 06:21 BST 8 October 2022

It was great to have a new addition to the fast handicap fleet where numbers have been rather thin of late. Taking advantage of our winter membership offer, Sam and Abbigail Blocksidge joined Saturday's fun in their Merlin Rocket.

With the sun shining and a gentle (very gentle at times!) south westerly breeze Race Officer Chris Chubby Cleaves opted to keep all the fleets in the main stretch of the harbour.

A superb decision not only because that's where the wind was but more importantly (and truth be told probably the real reason) Salcombe Live was on!

Various genres of music could be heard blasting out from the local Pubs as well as SYC and Cliff House treating the racers to a free concert whilst battling it out on the water. How many Sailing clubs offer that to their members?!

Current leaders of the Fast Handicap Series, Andrew and Shelia Squire in their Albacore, wasted no time short tacking up the Portlemouth shore leading the way with Blocksidge Merlin giving chase.

Simon Ballantine in his Aero 7 had made the brave but ultimately wrong decision to head up town side. Initially it looked good for Simon but by the time he reached Blackstone the Squires were long gone and half way to Mark 3 never to be seen again.

Andrew and Shelia seem to excel in these conditions and rewarded themselves with a very convincing win, Simon Ballantine kept the Merlin honest finishing 2nd with Sam and Abbigail although second on the water dropped to 3rd on corrected time.

Handicap Results


Similarly to the fast handicap there were only three Yawls, two blue and one red. With all three opting to short tack along the beach, Mike Knowles and Nick Bass had the best start and took an early lead.

John and 12 year old Frankie Burn were quick to act and by the time they reached Millbay, they were out in front. This light weight pairing, perfectly suited to the conditions, began to stretch their advantage over Mike and Nicky.

Unfortunately, Peter Andrews and Richard Williams got stuck trying to round Blackstone in the strong flood tide as the breeze died on them thus destroying their race.

After two trips of Balckstone - Crossways, the course was shortened with John and Frankie out in front taking the win with Mike and Nicky 2nd. Peter and Richard called it a day after the front two managed to lap them on the way to the finish.

Yawl Results

Solos (by David Greening)

Eleven Solos came to the start line in a light South Westerly, beating into a building spring flood tide.

After much deliberation the cognoscenti chose the East Portlemouth shore, and David Greening, being closest to the line led up the Portlemouth shore, only to be hauled in by Simon Yates by Mill Bay and Ed Stephens off Biddle Head.

Simon Dobson worked his way through the fleet, and was to overtake Simon Yates down the penultimate run to take the lead, a position that he maintained to the finish.

Race Officer Chris Cleaves, an avid proponent of the two hour race, kept the Solos going for an extra lap, despite shortening all of the other classes, perhaps to allow the fleet to enjoy the karaoke that purported to be the Salcombe Live Music Festival.

Greening who had briefly overtaken Stephens at Blackstone to regain third place, capitulated on the final beat allowing Stephens to take third place from Yates.

Solo Results

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