Please select your home edition
Edition
Vaikobi 2024 LEADERBOARD
Product Feature
ZhikDry™ LT
ZhikDry™ LT

Salcombe Yacht Club Spring Series Race 3

by David Greening & John Burn 25 Mar 16:41 GMT 23 March 2024

Solo Spring Series Race 3 (by David Greening)

With the cognoscente informing themselves with weather apps indicating gusts in excess of thirty five knots from the North West and therefore saving themselves a wasted journey, a reduced fleet of nine Solos headed to the starting area on the basis that if they could survive the run from the slipway to the start line, then the hills to the west of the Ria would offer some protection, which indeed was the case, except that most of the wind that did arrive in the starting area had a significant vertical component, which explained why several boats were capsized before the start.

Lesser Race Officers might have abandoned racing, but Dan Bridger has form in starting Solo races in challenging conditions, and this one was to be no exception, and set a course to Saltstone to an X mark off the start line, to Saltstone and back to what would become a shortened course at the Club line.

Having righted his boat after a pre-race bottom clean, Roger Guess led Tim Law and John Evans away from the start line by sticking to the more predictable wind on the Portlemouth shore, while the rest of the fleet was wallowing in multi directional wind, eventually all of the fleet got away, and big gusts started to emerge out of Batson Creek, the wind built as the boats turned onto a fetch at Snapes Point, at which point it got very windy followed by moments of not very windy at all.

After flat out reaching back and forth through the Bag, Guess and Law became becalmed while trying to run into the X mark, which gave the pursuing back a glimpse of possibilities, however Guess rounded first with Law in pursuit and Cleaves, Evans, Jago and Greening forming an orderly queue back to Saltstone.

Most of the seasoned group of Solo sailors considered the broad reach back through the Bag from Saltstone as the windiest and fastest that they have encountered in their many years of Solo sailing, however given their average age, it could have been that their memories had failed them, however it was very windy. So much so that within sight of the finish line Guess capsized for the second time, and Law's boat filled up, fortunately for them they had a sufficient lead to gain first and second places respectively, while John Evans grabbed third place in a photo finish between the next five boats.

Brilliant fun in challenging conditions, thanks to the Race Team and Safety Boat crews.

Handicap Spring Series Race 3 (by John Burn)

After an improved turnout the previous week, numbers were once again down as the weather forecast no doubt deterred some.

Race Officer Dan Bridger had much to ponder as he contemplated his course options. No wind, lots of wind, too much wind, not to mention the sun, rain, and hail—you name it, he had it.

He settled for 5-X-5-X-5, with the X mark being placed in the middle of the estuary between the line and Millbay.

Tim Fells and Frances Gifford, sailing a Lark, were joined by the two Merlin Rockets of Andrew and Tris Squire along with John Burn and James Greenhill.

Tim and Fran took the lead right from the get-go, demonstrating some great boat handling skills in the tricky conditions off the start line.

As the Lark and Merlins arrived at Saltsone, a mighty squall hit, resulting in big grins and an exhilarating two-sail blast back from the mark. At this point, the Squires fell over, which enabled Burn and Greenhill to get back into the race after they had been swimming on the previous leg.

Tim and Fran were the first to reach the windless section of the race track in front of the club, which allowed John and James to close up, but they never got close enough to put Tim and Fran under any real pressure.

The second trip to Saltsone was a more controlled affair, as the wind had abated slightly and the return leg enabled spinnakers to be flown.

As they reached the main harbour, it had blown up again as the second squall of the day blew through, this time bringing the hail with it.

Thankfully, the course was shortened, and line honours, along with corrected time victory, went to Tim and Fran in the Lark.

John and James finished second, while Andrew and Tris unfortunately did not finish.

1st Tim and Fran Lark
2nd John Burn and James Greenhill

Related Articles

Salcombe Yacht Club Sailing Club Series Race 4
Sailors tried to recall which mark was indeed M and which was O The fourth instalment in the SYC Sailing Club Series proceeded under the watchful eye of Race Officer Graham Cranford-Smith. The sun was shining and a steady force 3 had set in, so all that was left now was to set the course, and what a course it was! Posted on 13 May
Sailing Chandlery RS400 Southern Tour at Salcombe
Double Olympic Silver Medalist Ian Walker emerges victorious 12 RS400's enter 'The Bag' at Salcombe. Double Olympic Silver Medalist Ian Walker emerges victorious. Some probably never came out. Posted on 7 May
Merlin Rocket South West Series at Salcombe
From rain squalls on Saturday to sunshine on Sunday 27th April 2024 and the 70 competitors might have wondered why they had made the trip to the Southwest as they donned full sailing kit just to rig in Saturday's rain squalls, but by the end of the weekend the sun was shining. Posted on 1 May
Salcombe Yacht Club Sailing Club Series Race 1
A formidable lineup of 20 boats on the Fast Handicap start line The commencement of the annual Yawl training weekend marked the kick-off for the Sailing Club Series, boasting a formidable lineup of 20 boats at the starting line. Posted on 22 Apr
Salcombe Yacht Club Spring Series Race 6
Ideal weather conditions attracted a strong turnout for the concluding race Ideal weather conditions attracted a strong turnout for the concluding race of the spring series, with 8 teams assembling at the start line. Posted on 15 Apr
Salcombe Yacht Club Spring Series Race 4
Under the radiant Easter weekend sun and a brisk 10-15 knot SSE breeze Under the radiant Easter weekend sun and a brisk 10-15 knot SSE breeze, a bustling fleet of nine boats gathered for race 4 of the spring series. Posted on 2 Apr
Salcombe Yacht Club Festive Series 2023/24
Three days of very different racing before and after Christmas Eleven competitors, mainly in Solos, turned up for the first race of the Salcombe Yacht Club Festive Series 2023/24 on Saturday 23rd December. Despite the forecast westerly breeze, gusting over 30 knots, racing went ahead. Posted on 3 Jan
Salcombe YC Winter Series race 2
Good turnout for the Solos despite the total lack of any discernible wind A mixture of seven boats in the handicap fleet, and twelve Solos, took to the water on Saturday, despite the total lack of any discernible wind. Posted on 13 Nov 2023
Merlin Rockets at Salcombe
Spectacular Craftinsure Silver Tiller Finale The saying goes, 'It's always sunny in Salcombe'. On Saturday that theory was put to the test with some incredibly tricky conditions. While rain is uncharacteristic of the beautiful seaside town, crazy gusts and wind-shifts are certainly not. Posted on 30 Oct 2023
Salcombe Yacht Club Winter Series Race 1
It certainly felt like the end of the long, gentle autumn The first race of the Winter Series certainly felt like the end of the long, gentle autumn. 14°C, a force of 5/6 southerly, and the forecast of rain. Remarkably, four Yawls turned up, plus the 505 of Peter Colclough and the ILCA 4.7 of Edward Alexander. Posted on 30 Oct 2023