Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series Race 4
An early autumn day, with a force two to three southeasterly and bright sunshine encouraged the Salcombe Yacht Club dinghy sailors to enjoy the harbour, now almost clear of the summer RIBs and Boston Whalers.
Race Officer Andrew Wood set a course that maximised the upper reaches of the harbour, which were more perfectly aligned than the lower reaches; sadly in order to achieve a start to windward, it was necessary to negotiate the lower reach that is from the start line to Blackstone and the return, before the more level playing field of the Bag; regular visitors to Salcombe should appreciate the irony of this statement.
Five promising youngsters contested the Cadet Handicap race, and it was the Tera Pro of Evie Booth that made the best of the tricky conditions to finish ahead of the Topper sailed by Dom Holt-Wilson.
Peter Cook and Janet Exelby showed a clean varnished transom to the seven chasing boats in the Medium handicap fleet, finishing ahead on elapsed and corrected time from the Aero 7 of Claire Booth and the Laser Radial of Elodie Graham.
The arrival of Alistair Morley at the start line on time had competitors looking at their watches, which was good for him since he went on to win the race by a handsome margin. He enjoyed a close duel all of the way around with the RS400 of John and Annie McLaren, however the National 12 of Norman and Karen Brown split them on corrected time.
A competitive seventeen strong Solo fleet fought for pole position at the Portlemouth end of the start line, only to find that this was a no wind zone; the fleet proceeding up the first beat with some picking out the wind and shifts better than others, and Bill Jago, Chris Cleaves and Tristram Squire lead the fleet, on the return up the harbour, while others got left behind in Crab Pots and Biddle.
By Gerston there were six boats that had gained a substantial lead on their pursuers, with Bill rounding first, from Cleaves and Greening; but Simon Dobson and Robin Hodges found some windward speed to real in and overtake Greening.
After two loops of the Bag, this formation was maintained to the shortened course finish back in the harbour.
Last to start were the Salcombe Yawls, slightly depleted in numbers since several of the regulars were on Race Officer Duties. However Barney and Juanita Greenhill made the most of the conditions in their classic Stone boat to beat Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer Chapman on corrected time.
1st Tera Pro 2146 Evie Booth
2nd Topper 48168 Dom Holt-Wilson
3rd Tera Sport 2741 James Alexander
1st Firefly 3127 Peter Cook and Janet Exelby
2nd Aero 7 1517 Claire Booth
3rd Laser Radial 190864 Elodie Grenen
1st Phantom 1357 Alistair Morley
2nd National 12 3480 Norman and Karen Brown
3rd RS400 1421 John and Annie McLaren
1st Solo 5598 Bill Jago
2nd Solo 5573 Chris Cleaves
3rd Solo 5676 Simon Dobson
1st Salcombe Yawl 138 Barney and Juanita Greenhill
2nd Salcombe Yawl 170 Geoff Gilson and Chris Spencer Chapman