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Salcombe Yacht Club Summer Series - Race 2

by Will Henderson & David Greening 25 Jun 06:41 BST 22 June 2024

Yawl, Fast, Short Course Handicap and Junior Handicap (by Will Henderson)

Races 2 of the Salcombe Yacht Club Summer Series took place on 22nd June. The competitors were favoured by what the over 60s call classic Salcombe conditions. That is to say blue skies, blue seas, a strongly flooding tide and a Force 3-5 South Westerly wind.

With those conditions it was fitting that Mr Blue Sky himself, Malcom Mackley, was the Race Officer. It was clear that whatever course was set there was going to be a lot of beating. There was. Malcolm set the Yawls and Fast Handicap a course of 1 (Blackstone), 5 (Salstone), 2 (Millbay), 3(Crossways), 2 (Millbay), X (inflatable laid near Snapes Point). The Short Coures and Junior Handicap competitors had the same course but without the 1, 5.

In the Junior Handicap George and Mark McClaren in a Feva XL sailed round in solitary splendour, as did Andrew and Tristram Squire in the Albacore in the Fast Handicap. The low turnouts being excused by absentees doing their race committee and patrol boat duties or being away at open meetings.

The modern (red) and classic (blue) fleet Yawls race together in the Summer Series, with the classics having a handicap advantage of about 3.2 minutes for every 100. Off the start the 4 moderns and 3 classics all chose the East Portlemouth shore. Up the first beat it was neck and neck on the water between the classic 68 and the moderns 145, 168 and 170. That is, until 145 ran aground off Ager Point and 68 sailed into an unusual windless patch just north of Blackstone. John Burn and Ross Bourne in 170 tacked onto starboard round Biddle Head and came out to Blackstone with a handy 30 metre lead over 168 which, like 68,was forlornly waiting for the South Sands puff (a lift on starboard blowing out of the South Sands valley). From there 168 chased 170 around the course. Those two went short tack for short tack up the beats, with 168 overtaking 170 on the third beat.

There was similar battle on the water for third place between 68 and 145, which was joined in the later stages of the race by 187, making good progress after a slow early part to her race. At the finish the moderns,145 and 187 crossed about a minute ahead of the classic 68, but on handicap 68 beat both of them to come third. Despite their hour and a half long battle 168 and 170 managed to put enough time between them and 68 to come 1st and 2nd of the Yawls on handicap.

The short course handicap race featured 4 ILCA 4s and 1 ILCA 6. The ILCA 6 sailed by Paul Donahey prevailed on the water, but the leading ILCA 4 sailed by Emily Hoar was only one and a half minutes behind and won on handicap from Paul by the fair margin of about one minute in a 40 minute race.

All the sailors who make it up to the Clubhouse for cake, drink and pizza agreed that they had had a thorough and enjoyable work out. We hope for more of the same for the rest of the summer.

Solo Report (by David Greening)

Following the cancellation of the previous Saturday's race due to high winds, twelve Solo sailors came to the line on a classic Salcombe afternoon.

On a spring low tide Race Officer Malcolm Mackley set a course that maximised the available water in the harbour, and included three tough windward legs, short tacking along the beaches against the building flood tide into a Force 3 West South Westerly breeze.

At the start Tim Law secured leeward pin position, with Paul Ellis close behind. They were joined by Chris Cleaves and Simon Dobson following the beat around Biddle Head, to form a leading group that were to exchange places for the next hour and a half.

A smaller posse of Robin Hodges, Gavin Stevens, Graham Cranford Smith and David Greening, had an equally competitive race, but never managed to close the gap to the leading group.

Ultimately Paul Ellis stretched his longer and younger legs to take a win from Tim Law, bloodied from his match play with Chris Cleaves. Simon Dobson finishing third from Cleaves.

Special mention should go to Chris Spencer Chapman and Geoff Allen, who despite being the senior members of the fleet were only just behind the youth section despite the short tacking up the beats, which left the youngsters gasping for breath!

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