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Salcombe Yacht Club Sailing Club Series - Race 6

by Andrew Squire & David Greening 4 Jun 13:41 BST 1 June 2024

Handicap fleet (by Andrew Squire) Course 4P,3P,4P, 7P, 3S

The fleet of fourteen competitors including eight Salcombe Yawls started cleanly in a light easterly breeze and a slack high tide on a long beat to Yalton. The early leader was Yawl 172 chased by John and Katie Meadowcroft in their Merlin Rocket.

The fleet played the wind shifts on the way to Yalton with the Merlin rounding first followed by Peter Colclough and Chris Laycock in a 505 with Andrew Squire and Fiona Cranford -Smith in an Albacore close behind. The competitors by that time were enjoying a moderate breeze with plenty of hiking.

On the run to back to Salcombe and the next mark at Crossways followed by a further beat back to Yalton, the three leading boats, and particularly the Merlin Rocket, had pulled away in the consistent Easterly breeze. That helped them on the run back into the Bag and towards Gerston buoy against what was by that time an ebb tide.

As forecast the wind was to veer from East to West and that led to a period of doldrums in the Bag which was enjoyed in the sunshine by the three leading boats. The chasing pack headed by Olly Turner and crew Frankie Burn in Yawl 170, took full advantage to close the gap in the westerly which was filling in behind them.

The new wind held for the reach across Widegates and back but it withered away in a beat through the Bag with the leading boats loosing further ground. On entering the harbour, as set by the Race Officer, John Burn, the crossways buoy had to be left to starboard on the beat to the finish line, something missed by at least one Yawl.

Line honours went to the Merlin Rocket but on handicap the winner was Yawl 170 followed by the Albacore with Ross Borne and Laura King in Yawl 75 taking third place.

Solo fleet (by David Greening)

Sixteen Solos came to the starting area for Race 6 of the Salcombe Yacht Club Sailing Club Series.

With the starting line in the transition zone between the prevailing light North Westerly breeze and a fitful sea breeze, it took the great experience or perhaps the toss of a coin for Race Officer John Burn to decide which direction to send the fleet. As it was, he sent them northwards, setting an ambitious course with two laps of Yalton, a trip up to Gerston followed by a couple of laps of the harbour.

With the tide under the start, an individual recall flag saw OCS Mark Sanken and Graham Cranford Smith restart. Tim Fells in a moment of generosity to the fleet unnecessarily restarted. Simon Dobson emerged from the line with speed, with David Greening also making progress finding less ebb tide in the Yawl trots. Dobson rounded Yalton first with Greening and Bill Jago close behind. The second beat back from Crossways to Yalton saw Fells back with the leaders, with Chris Cleaves also playing the shifts well.

On the final leg out of Yalton, a sea breeze came out of Goodshelter, which Fells and Cleaves took advantage of, and along with Dobson were able to pick up the sea breeze in the harbour first, whilst the middle of the fleet inverted.

Having consulted his watch, the Race Officer removed the Gerston leg from the course, and the fleet made their way back to X then then to Crossways to the Finishing line. With a dying breeze, Dobson stemmed the tide best to round Crossways in the lead, while Fells and Cleaves battled to the shortened course finish, with Fells taking second from Cleaves by a bow fitting.

Results can be found on the Salcombe Yacht Club website here.

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