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Salcombe Yacht Club Sailing Club Series - Race 6

by Andrew Groves & John Burn & David Greening 4 Jun 18:16 BST 3 June 2023

Solo Race by David Greening

Nineteen Solos turned up to the line to enjoy sun, a Force 4 Nor'easter with a flooding tide under the beat. Race officer Paul Engelmann set a brilliant course within the harbour, wisely avoiding the temptation of sending the fleet into the Bag. The fleet got away first time and were headed into the windward mark by class captain Adrian Griffin followed by Tim Law, who demonstrated superb downhill speed to draw past Griffin and then extended his lead by the leeward mark under Bar Lodge to unassailable.

For the rest if the fleet, the big tactical decision was which side to leave Blackstone on the way out of the harbour, those who left it on the North Sands side came into mark M on a faster angle, with Simon Dobson and David Greening heading off on port tack toward Gara, whilst the rest of the fleet tacked immediately and headed for the cliffs. Dobson held on longer and planed over the fleet in fresh breeze into a comfortable second position, while Gavin Stevens, Mike Hicks and Greening jostled for third place.

Eventually Greening pulled clear on the final run, and covered Stevens on the beat back to the finish line to secure third place. A charge through the fleet following an earlier capsize saw Chris Cleaves overtake Hicks into fifth place. It was a hard sail, which saw a few capsizes and two broken booms!

Fast Handicap Race by John Burn

A mixture of nine Yawls and one Albacore turned up on the start line for the final race in the Sailing Club Series.

The conditions once again provided another stiff North Easterly with wall-to-wall sunshine and a strong flood tide to contend with.

The race officer, Paul Englemann, set the course of 3-M-3-1-3-2, which meant no unnecessary trip into the bag, much to the delight of all the sailors.

David Stone flew up the first beat in Y184 and was the first to reach Crossways, just ahead of Phil King and John Sleep in Y183. The long downwind leg against the tide to mark M saw the Yawl contingent all stick to the Portlemouth shore.

Will and Mandy Henderson once again showed their downwind superiority and pulled clear from the group at Blackstone. They were joined by Andrew and Tris Squire in the Albacore, who after a tricky first beat had opted for more tide but crucially clear air on the Salcombe side.

The Hendersons, now firmly in the lead, went through the motions and notched up another emphatic victory.

The race was now for second place. Toby Straus and Tim Hunt in Y181 managed to pull clear of Stone in Y184 and close up to second-placed Yawl King and Sleep. The beat back to Crossways had them trading places, and this close racing continued right to the end.

After all the times were corrected, the results were as follows:

1st Will and Mandy Henderson, Y168
2nd Phil King and John Sleep, Y183
3rd Toby Straus and Tim Hunt, Y181

Stephen Galvin and Charles Thompson in Y99 were the first of the blue fleet boats to finish and bagged themselves 5th place.

Junior Race by Andrew Groves

Well that was eventful! With a solid F5 NE blowing down the estuary straight into a building tide it was a surprise that there were five junior sailors brave enough to give it a go but how well all five did!

This week they were all pretty much on the line when the hooter blew but it was Lewis Groves who raced off into a sizable lead with George Reynolds and Charlotte Simmonds giving chase. Freddie Lawrence and Douggie Roberts made up the fleet and as the 2 most inexperienced racers they deserve huge praise for even surviving let alone completing the race!

Once Lewis was around Crossways he promptly got smashed by a fierce gust and ended up swimming. He was up and sailing again in no time at all maintaining his lead but the Toppers, with their longer hull, were so much quicker downwind that George soon caught and passed Lewis and took a lead around Ferry Mark and back onto the beat in an increasingly choppy estuary. Charlotte had also managed to obtain a small lead on Lewis.

Lewis made excellent progress on the second upwind leg and soon caught and passed both Charlotte and George again taking a lead around Crossways and onto the run back to Ferry Mark, but as with the previous downwind leg George soon regained the lead and this time, due to excellent downwind technique, he wasn't going to relinquish it. Lewis pushing maybe a bit too hard paid the price with a spectacular crowd pleasing capsize off Millbay and despite again righting the boat quickly he went in again due to a fierce gybe whilst heading towards the mark, this gave Charlotte the opportunity to nip past into second place. Charlotte sailed an extremely strong race and was the only person to not take a swim which given the conditions was quite some achievement.

Douggie took the prize for most capsizes, with at least six, three of which were turtle. He seemed to see this as inevitable and all a part of the enjoyment. Freddie did his best to win the capsize battle but could not top Douggie's efforts.

The final positions were George taking a very well deserved first place, Charlotte second and Lewis managing third.

All 5 racers should be really proud of their efforts and bravery and for the enjoyment they provided to anyone watching.

Overall Results:

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