Torbay Week Regatta was held from 19th to 24th August 2011 and incorporated the Torbay Junior Championship and Torbay Admiral’s Cup.
The regatta started off on Friday with perfect sailing conditions in glorious English Riviera evening sunshine. Over 30 dinghies raced off Paignton in a 90 minute pursuit race in which boats start at different times according to their handicaps such that after 90 minutes they should all be level. It was not quite like that, with the Tasers benefiting from the conditions the most, although a late starting 12 foot Skiff would have taken second place had its long bowsprit been even a little longer.
Winners Tim and Mayumi Knight (Tasar) from Royal Lymington YC had a clear lead over Malcolm and Fiona Davies (Tasar) from Teign Corinthian YC who just kept ahead of Bob Clements and Alan Atterbury in third place (12’ Skiff).
The weather could not have been more of a contrast on Saturday when all five sailing circuits were initially subjected to a downpour and then to wind changes that caused a few starts to be abandoned. Nevertheless the race officers managed to get all the scheduled races completed, though it was a long day for all but the juniors, who had just a couple of qualifying races off Torquay Harbour. The dinghies, based at Paignton Sailing Club had two circuits; one for the Buzz and ISO Class Nationals and the other for the 42 mixed handicap boats. The two circuits for the 56 keelboats were further out to sea, with the IRC fleet sailing to the southern end of Tor Bay.
Light winds were still in effect on Sunday, though it kept dry and sunny – certainly a lovely spectacle for all visitors seeing the Bay filled with boats! The dinghies completed six of their eight race schedule and already clear favourites were emerging. In the Asymmetric class the 12’ Skiff of Bob Clements and Alan Atterbury was just maintaining a one point advantage over Daryl and Rachel Geary of Royal Torquay YC in their RS400, while in the Fast Handicap, Paul Proctor of Paignton SC in his RS 600 had a four point lead. In the largest class of the Medium Handicap dinghies, Malcolm and Fiona Davies had established a seemingly unassailable lead of 12 points.
In the five races completed by the IRC keelboats, only John and Kate Pollard of Royal Torquay YC had established a clear lead in their IRC2 class, winning all their races, with A Bancroft (Brixham YC) in the IRC 3 class having a four point lead over her nearest rivals; winning three races. In the other classes of keelboats, Mike Ellis and Graham Jenkins or RTYC won all their races in their Folkboat (Dayboat class) as did Daniel Pedrick of BYC in their Sonata class. The PY Cruiser class was dominated by Kelvin and Shirley Hull of RTYC with three wins out of four but other classes were still quite open for a late challenger to come through. The juniors, now divided into Gold and Silver and 29’er classes started their 10 race series with two races in the afternoon.
Monday was the last day of senior dinghy racing and the lack of wind forced a postponement until the on-shore breeze picked up at lunchtime. Bob Clemments maintained his lead in the Asymmetric Class to win the series, with Grant Blake and Andy Kerr, also in a 12’ skiff picking up second place from Daryl and Rachael Geary.
The Fast Handicap class was dominated by Paignton SC competitors, who picked up all three trophies; Paul Proctor sailing a near-perfect series in his RS600 from Nigel Williams and Amy Giles in a Fireball, with Dale Giles and Tony Proctor, also in a Fireball, coming a close third. The Medium handicap class, the largest fleet in the Regatta, had a significant number of Tasars entering in preparation for their World Championships which will be held in the Tor Bay in September. Between them they managed a first (Malcolm and Fiona Davies from Teign Corinthian) and third (Tim and Mayumi Knight from Royal Lymington) with the Albacore of Jean and Derek Simmonds from South Cerney sqeezing into second place by a point.
In the dinghy National events, only one local boat had been entered; the Buzz of Philip and Sarah Harrison of Babbacombe Corinthian SC, who came fifth in their first competitive regatta! The Buzz National Champions of 2011 are Ian andidget Staples and the ISO National Champions are John Gill and Juliet Daniels.
Tuesday was the last day for the keelboat championships with the Sonatas and PY Cruisers sailing a coastal race (won by Chris Clarance) and the other keelboats completing their eight race series. All the Sonatas were Brixham boats with Daniel Pedrick marinating a perfect series of first places to win ahead of Stephen Linley-Shaw and with Tom Savage just beating off a close challenge for third place from Katina Read. The Folkboat of RTYC Commodore Mike Ellis won the Dayboat class and Neil Harris and Caroline Aisher won the Sports Boat class – all but one of these fleets of 13 boats coming from Torquay.
The PY Cruiser winners are also all local boats; Kelvin and Shirley Hull from RTYC (first); Edward McMullan from BYC (2nd) and Tim Jones from RTYC (third), with Chris Clarance on equal points just edged out of a trophy position due to Tim having a win as one of his scores.
The IRC3 class was also dominated by BYC boats, although Neil Trathen from Saltash gained first place from the two local boats of A Bancroft and Chris Clyburn. In the IRC2 class, John and Kate Pollard of RTYC maintained their perfect series with six points over the two boats on 16 points in second (Rick Adams of Royal Western YC) and third (Martin Pound of Hornet SC) places. The IRC1 class had Nick and Annie Haigh in first place from Andy Williams and John McLaren in second and third places respectively.
The IRC results meant that the prestigious Addison Gold Cup is awarded to John and Kate Pollard from RTYC with Neil Trethan second and A Bancroft from BYC third.
The Admiral’s cup for the best place team of three IRC boats goes to the Plymouth clubs, with the Torbay Commodore’s Cup to the 'Fishtown Flyers' (Brixham boats!) and the Royal Torbay Regatta Cup – appropriately to Royal Torquay YC.
On Wednesday the juniors will complete their championship series and the keelboats will have a short pursuit race ahead of many of them setting off on the Dartmouth Passage Race – to compete all over again in 'Dartmouth Week'.
At the Prizegiving ceremonies at Paignton and Brixham, competitors commented on the very high standard of race management and the three judges, including two International Judges had just two protests to oversee all week; a tribute to the spirit in which the racing was conducted. Next year Torbay Week will be held from Friday 24th to Wednesday 29th August which includes the Bank Holiday Monday and already interest has been shown by a large dinghy fleet to include their Nationals as part of the event. Full Results Torbay Week website