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Salcombe Yacht Club Sailing Club Series - Race 2

by John Burn 25 Apr 06:26 BST 22 April 2023

Uninviting conditions presented themselves on Saturday seeing a spring low tide mixed with a predominantly south easterly wind direction. If that's not enough to put you off it was also grey, cold, and at times, raining.

However, SYC sailors are a hardy bunch and with the Salcombe Yawl training weekend in full swing there was plenty of competition to be had.

Handicap Race

16 boats made the start, the numbers strengthened this week with a substantial offering from the Yawl fleet, all keen to put what they'd learnt in the morning to the test!

Will and Mandy Henderson dont need any help when it comes to making a Yawl (or in fact any boat) go fast and were out in their Lark. They got the best start, picked the shifts well and, by the time they rounded the first Blackstone mark, had a small lead over Fran Gifford and Jennie King in the Merlin Rocket.

Mike and Karen Whitehouse, also securing a good start, were first of the Yawls to round Blackstone and set off on the down wind leg neck and neck with the Albacore with Tris Squire at the helm and his dad Andrew crewing.

Fran and Jennie worked their way into the lead and once back in the harbour managed to navigate the tricky conditions well to secure both 1st place over the water and 1st place on corrected time.

Next to cross the line was the Albacore but on corrected time they found themselves relegated to 3rd with the Whitehouse Yawl managing to stay close enough to earn themselves 2nd place on corrected time.

Solo Race

18 Solos lined up for the start and once again with all the usual start line shenanigans found themselves being recalled for a second go. This maybe a regular occurrence now with such a large fleet of highly competitive sailors all trying to gain any small advantage they can over one another.

Second time round the black flag was hoisted to help control the unruly bunch. Olly Turner had decided to set his new lycra rowing outfit aside for the afternoon and come sailing, however this eager beaver wasnt paying proper attention and was the only one to be caught and subsequently disqualified under the black flag.

Paul Ellis made no such mistake and was soon clear ahead. As the fleet made their way along the section from Blackstone to Snapes Point Paul managed to extend his lead further.

Martin Hodgson had broke free of the bunch as he made his way in front of the ferry landing and soon had company in the form of Chris Cleaves.

As the fleet headed through The Bag It was looking like Paul had it all sewn up leaving Hodgson, Cleaves, Dosbon and Fells to fight amongst themselves for the remaining podium positions.

However, now back in the harbour, the conditions had turned to resemble that of a Wednesday evening race meaning there was not much wind around.

Paul got caught out trying to round Millbay which enabled Chris Cleaves to close the gap, sneak past and snatch 1st place away from Paul who now had to settle for 2nd. Tim Fells claimed the final podium place securing 3rd.

Thank you to OOD Andy Savell and his team for all their efforts on Saturday afternoon.

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