Salcombe Gin SYC Regatta 2017

Salcombe Yacht Club welcomed one hundred and sixty boats to its week long regatta, an increase on the previous year.  Winds were generally from the southern quadrant and tides were neapy, making for most enjoyable racing.

With Salcombe Gin coming on board as headline sponsors, competitors were able to enjoy cocktails on the terrace after racing, a Gin and Jazz Party on Thursday night and Gin based prizes throughout the week.

Racing is divided into morning and afternoon fleets thereby ensuring that half the day can be spent watching others race or enjoying the beaches, cliff walks or hostelries of Salcombe.

The morning race officer, John Wyllie had to contend with both very light and very windy conditions as the week progressed.

The Junior handicap and Topper fleet had some outstanding young sailors who in particular revelled in the windy conditions at the end of the week where they demonstrated great boat skills showing that the youth wing of the Regatta sailing was in very good shape.  Etan Gerrell and Tom Barnes from Queen Mary Sailing Club dominated the junior handicap fleet in their Feva dinghy and Constantin Gerber (Tamesis Sailing Club) dominated the Toppers.

Amongst the Medium and Fast Handicap fleets were a strong presence by the RS400’s, which were won by Peter and Sue Colclough, Merlin Rockets, won by Jon Gorringe and Nicki Bass and a very welcome return of a Firefly fleet, most of whom came from Plymouth University and was won by Michael Calvert and Sophie Harris.

The Salcombe Yawl Gold fleet racing is a reasonably laid back affair, and allows Yawls of all ages, and sailors of all abilities to compete over shorter courses without the pressure of the afternoon fleets.  This year saw an increased turnout and was dominated by Nigel Austin sailing the legend that is Taylor Maid to clock up another five wins to her esteemed history.

Race officer Geoff Gilson made the most of the conditions in the afternoons which started with sea breezes in the early part of the week, had a wobble on Monday, when the wind died at Widegates, before returning with a vengeance for the last two days, concluding with winds in excess of 30 knots at the close of play on Friday.

The National Twelve fleet had a good entry of fifteen boats using the regatta as a warm up for their championships; Tom and Robert Stewart (RHYC) won overall in a closely contested battle from Graham and Zoe Camm, (Burghfield Sailing Club) and John and Ollie Meadowcroft (SYC).

Amongst the 32 strong competing Solo Class sailors, Godfrey Clarke (Fishers Green Sailing Club) is very well known for his light airs expertise and he dominated the first two days of racing.  From day three onwards, however, Tim Law (SYC) showed his mastery in the ever increasing winds winning the next three days races by very large margins thereby enabling him to watch, rather than compete in the final day’s very windy race. Strong performances by two other SYC sailors, Phil King and Iain McGregor secured second and third overall places overall with Chris Mayhew from Royal Harwich Yacht Club (RHYC) fourth and also the victor of a windy Friday race.

23 Modern Salcombe Yawls competed for the Paris Points Cup, in what was to prove an extremely competitive fleet, and though the eventual winners were the ubiquitous Will Henderson and Jim Stone sailing Black Tern, there were five different race winners including Merlin and RS400 sailors Jon Gorringe and Nicki Bass and XOD stalwart John Tremlett sailing with Rob Adams.  The Auburn Cup, the Salcombe Yawl sailors POW was won on an extremely windy Friday by Simon Gibbens and Andrew Reed.

The Salcombe Yawl Blue fleet aka Classic fleet saw Mike Knowles and Mark Waterhouse open up an early lead at the beginning of the week, but John Smithers and Pete Hughes got into their stride on Tuesday and Wednesday to control the series, with a late start by Anthony Lofts putting paid to his chances of stealing the series from Smithers and Hughes.

A highlight of the regatta was the “Salcombe Gin Endeavour Trophy” which was a raced in Fireflies with representatives from each of the different classes being sailed at the Regatta competing against each other to find out who was the “Champion of Champions”. Competition was intense; however it was no surprise to many that the “legendary duo” of Will and Mandy Henderson (SYC) representing the Yawl Fleet secured a memorable victory for this new and generously sponsored Salcombe Gin event.

The date for the next SYC Regatta is 5th – 10th August 2018

The full results can be obtained on


Fast Handicap

1st Merlin Rocket 3754   Jon Gorringe and Nicola Bass

2nd Phantom 1357            Allister Morley

3rd RS200 1331                   Tom Ballantine and Maddy Anderson


RS 400

1st RS 400 1329                 Peter and Susan Colclough

2nd RS 400 922                   Steve Conroy and Patsy Vice

3rd RS 400 1421                  John and Annie McLaren


Medium Handicap

1st Streaker 1846               Mike Eggleston

2nd Enterprise 22756        Tim Brettell and crew

3rd Enterprise 20234        David Beaney and Alison White



1st Firefly 3799                  Michael Calvert and Sophie Harris

2nd Firefly 3798                 Andy Stickland and Becky Pearson

3rd Firefly 3800                   Mike Jacot and Becky Allen


Junior Handicap

1st RS Feva 6199                Etan Gerrell

2nd Laser Pico 6                  Devon Perry

3rd Laser 4.7                        Emily Janzen



1st 37597                              Constantine Gerber

2nd 48167                             Thomas Lawson

3rd 47792                              Oliver Randall-May


Laser Standard

1st 209265                           Mike Hicks

2nd 195250                          Edward Benz

3rd 161391                            Torrin Blazeby


Laser Radial

1st 159343                            Thomas Walker

2nd 172161                           Kathryn Ball

3rd 181876                            Esther McLarty



1st 5743                                 Tim Law

2nd 5568                                Phil King

3rd 5744                                Iain McGregor


Salcombe Yawl Red Fleet

1st Y183                                Will Henderson and Jim Stone

2nd Y167                               Simon Gibbens and Andrew Reed

3rd Y173                                Malcolm Squire and Jonathan Britton


Salcombe Yawl Blue Fleet

1st Y19                                   John Smithers and Pete Hughes

2nd Y132                                Anthony and Allyson Lofts

3rd Y15                                   Mike Knowles and Mark Waterhouse


Salcombe Yawl Gold Fleet

1st Y61                                   Nigel Austin and crew

2nd Y62                                  Stephen and Samuel Cooper

3rd Y152                                Jane and Darius Panahy

By Salcombe Yacht Club Regatta