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Devon Yawl Nationals at Poole Yacht Club

by Derek Gouldsworthy 26 Sep 2002 09:01 BST

21 & 22 September 2002

Topsham Sailing Club narrowly retained their unbroken line of wins in the sixth Devon Yawl national championship sailed under the burgee of Poole Yacht Club over the weekend of 21 / 22 September.

Twenty two Devon Yawls mainly from Yealm YC, Topsham SC and Exe SC with others from as far a field as Maidstone and Newport, Pembrokeshire competed to decide this year’s national championship. Racing took place in Poole Harbour around an Olympic course, comprising on average three laps each in a series of five races over the two days.

Saturday’s racing was held in bright sunny conditions with a shifting, light force 2 – 3 from the north. The rivalry between the fleets of Devon Yawls from on the rivers Yealm and Exe ensured there was always going to be close racing and so it proved to be.

In the first race, after having taken the initial lead, Ed Williams-Hawkes (DY351 - Topsham SC) lost out to Tim Petitt (DY186 - Yealm YC) at the last windward mark to take first honours with Ed slipping to third place, losing out to Andrew Hattersley (DY184 -Topsham SC) for second place. In the second race, Andrew Hudson (DY250 - Yealm YC) took and held the lead at the first gybe mark to eventually win leaving brothers Paul and Dan Jacobs (DY343 – TopshamSC) to fight out second and third places with Andrew Hattersley. With the wind increasing by the third race the sailing became more lively with Paul and Dan Jacobs taking and holding the lead after the first mark to win convincingly but with much changing of places occurring in the rest of the field on each leg.

Although the forecast for Sunday held the promise of stronger winds, the first race was held in a light fickle force 2 mainly from the north. Although the lead was taken by Paul Jacobs, Steve Best (DY368 - Exe SC) came through but lost it back to Paul in the shifting winds at the last mark.

Entering the last race, with series discards, the championship was level between Paul Jacobs DY343 (Topsham) and Andrew Hudson DY250 (Yealm), both drawn on five points each.

For the deciding race, the wind picked up rapidly at the start with the change of the tide to a force 4 gusting 5 from the north-west. Ed Williams-Hawkes in DY351 took the lead and retained it throughout holding off Tim Petitt in DY186.

A series tie breaker was needed to be applied to separate out the first and second, and third and fourth places, the total difference being only one point between them showing how close the racing had been. On the tie break, the overall winner was Paul and Dan Jacobs in DY343 from Topsham SC.

The Devon Yawl Association wish to thank Poole Yacht Club, it’s officers and staff for the warm hospitality shown to competitors and also to thank Alan Laing, PYC Sailing Secretary and race officer Pete Harlow and his team for their efficient organisation and management of the racing.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubPts
1st DY343 Jack Pot Paul Jacobs Dan Jacobs Topsham SC 10 
2nd DY250 Fassfern Andrew Hudson Mike Roberts Yealm YC 10 
3rd DY186 Mistletoe Tim Petitt Andrew Wood Yealm YC 11 
4th DY184 Amadeus Andrew Hattersley Willie Hamilton Topsham SC 11 
5th DY351 Y'All White Ed Williams-Hawkes 'Strangler' Topsham SC 14 
6th DY35 Pink Dolphin Kate Hattersley Emily Hamilton Topsham SC 25 
7th DY9 Winnie Alan Winton James Winton Yealm YC 26 
8th DY105 Hedwig Andrew McAusland caroline McAusland Exe SC 27 
9th DY368 Jess Steve Best Tony Exe SC 30 
10th DY100A Shuna Andrew MatthewsRodney Carter Yealm YC 35