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South West Water Pursuit Race at Salcombe Yacht Club

by John Burn 6 Dec 2022 09:18 GMT 3 December 2022

Saturday saw nine boats brave the cold and windy conditions for the annual South West Water Pursuit Race. First off would be the Solos followed by the Yawl a minute later, then the Laser two minutes after that, and finally the RS400 some 12 minutes after the Laser.

The course was 4-1 then repeat until the time limit was reached, a perfect course providing nice long upwind and downwind legs.

As the Solos made their way up the first beat Tim Law, Tim Fells and Simon Dobson battled it out for the top spot but eventually the two Tim's started to pull away from Simon turning it into a two Solo race.

Stephen Galvin and Pippa Hilditch in the Yawl quickly made up ground on the Solos from the off and looked like they might pass them with ease pretty early on. As the fleet entered Yalton Creek and the wind began to become unpredictable the Solos came into their own and kept the Yawl at a safe distance.

On the long downwind leg to Blackstone the Solos appeared to benefit from much better pressure as they exited the Creek enabling them to pull away from the Yawl and Laser whose progress had some what slowed.

Upon reaching Mark 1 it was still the two Tim's out in front with the lead constantly changing. Next up, the long hard beat all the way back to Mark 4. This would test the sailors fitness and concentration but with the Tim's evenly matched they would continue their battle all the way up the beat.

This leg is where the Yawl and Laser managed to get passed one of the Solos who had become detached from the front group but it was too little too late as time was running out fast.

As Law and Fells neared Mark 1 for the second time they were greeted by a rescue boat containing the Race team ready to put an end to the mornings activities. It went right down to the wire and it was Law who just edged out Fells for the win.

Simon Dobson finished off the podium in 3rd with Solos claiming the top five positions.

Unfortunately for the RS400, starting 15 minutes after the Solos was a big ask and probably never really stood a chance.

Thank you to Chris 'Chubby' Cleaves and team for overseeing proceedings and to the Safety Boat crews for overseeing the multiple capsizes.

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