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Salcombe Yacht Club Spring Series - Race 5

by John Burn 9 Apr 21:07 BST 8 April 2023

A decent South Easterly breeze and spring low tide made launching from Batson on a busy Easter Weekend somewhat interesting.

Our very own Jayne Morris was acting Racing Officer and set the course 3-7-3-7-1-3 with 7 being left to starboard, no doubt in the hope of avoiding any 'masts in the mud' scenarios in the breezier conditions at Gerston.

Handicap Race

It was great to see 7 boats, all from different classes line up for the final race in the Spring series.

Just as the fleet got under way, albeit with a few late comers, Simon Ballentine put on a great display in front of the club for the many spectators. He got caught out by a gust and went for a very quick dip, this enabled Will and Mandy Henderson in their Lark along with AJ and Tris Squire in their Albacore to get away.

As they made their way through the loop in The Bag John and Annie McLaren, after starting late in their RS400, were steadily catching the front pair.

The front two however remained close and it was Aj and Tris who took line honours but only just, they were 24 seconds ahead of the Henderson's who unsurprisingly on corrected time were the winning team.

Aj and Tris ended up second but with their impressive previous four first place finishes they comfortably won the series.

Simon Ballentine finished off the podium in third.

Solo Race

20! Yes, that's right, 20 Solos rocked up to the start line for the final race in the SYC spring series. What makes it more impressive is that there was at least seven regular Solo sailors that didn't turn up!

Now with so many keen racers all itching to get under way there was perhaps inevitably, a general recall.

Jayne rightly opted for the black flag second time round and with this addition the fleet behaved and the start was clean.

The shifty conditions at the start certainly seemed to suit Malcolm Mackley who very rapidly checked out and began sailing off into the distance.

Malcolm reached Crossways first and maintained his lead all the way down the long run to Gerston. No mean feet with the likes of Simon Dobson, David Greening, Paul Ellis and Tim Law all chasing him down.

Remarkably on the windy long beat back to Crossways, then the second long run back to Gerston, Malcolm had only been passed by Law and was still holding on to second position.

Unfortunately I'm sad to say that this story doesn't have a happy ending. After doing all the hard work in the breezy conditions in The Bag and holding his own at the front, Malcom was hit by a gust and capsized just off Snapes Point.

What makes this even worse is that Jayne had shortened the course so all Malcolm needed to do was round the point and complete the short dash to finish. The capsize ultimately led to Malcolm retiring from the race but he can surely be proud of himself after such a brilliant performance.

The final race positions:

Tim Law 1st
Simon Dobson 2nd
Paul Ellis 3rd

Chris Cleaves however won the series with a very consistent set of results.

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