by David Allan
New Tamar Valley Classic - Talk of a river race often came up over a few drinks in yachting circles. All would agree we need a river race though only a few were willing to carry it through to solid actions. This year PDYC Vice Commodore Piers Findlay invited together some interested people and the threads of a race began to grow.
Shaw Contacting, have won the Tamar Valley Classic before - New Tamar Valley Classic
The group arrived at the idea of presenting a simple and achievable yacht race, so that at the very least, a river race would go ahead in 2011. 'A number of race scenarios were examined, says Piers, 'with a two day, mixed discipline, whole of valley event being the goal in perfect world. '
'The reality is the tides and times offered Saturday October 29th, and we began the process of sorting what would be fun, challenging and possible for that day.'
John Claridge brought a wealth of running and cycling experience to the discussions and the race began to take on a further dimension, now incorporating a challenging run and a tough cycling leg.
The New Tamar Valley Classic will have divisional sailing starts, with athletes aboard at PDYC, Beauty Point. A brief push north, then sailing with the tide and following the channel, south into Long Reach. Yachts then round the corner into the often less predictable Moriarty Reach, sailing west and down to finish the first sailing leg at Devils Elbow.
The team runners disembark, to begin a 13.2km run to Gravelly Beach.
While athletes tackle the run, teams will have to sail through a time re-start gate before sailing beneath the Batman Bridge, South past Deviot, Hillwood, round Swan point into Swan bay, to complete the second sailing leg at Gravelly Beach pontoon.
Cyclists disembark for a 28.5km ride from Gravelly Beach to Exeter, along Long plains road, down through Bridgenorth, left to Rosevears drive and finish outside the Rosevears tavern.
Meanwhile runners are re-united with sailing teams, for a Gravelly Beach mass starts and the sailing final leg, finishing a 20NM plus total sail, at the Rosvears Tavern.
The race has already attracted interest from local sailing teams, Relentless, Obsession, Rigmarol, Lawless, Devine Madness, Pipe Dream, Pogue Mahone and Plastered with more to come. 'We hope to see some sportsboats as well.' says Piers 'it is exciting to see a river race once again on our calendars!'