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Solo Open at Teign Corinthian Yacht Club from a Race Officer's Perspective

by Mike Commander, Race Officer 21 Nov 2021 22:23 PST 13 November 2021
Teign Corinthian Solo Open © Garnett Showell

Teign Corinthian Yacht Club hosted a late autumn Solo meeting at their new Coombe Cellars clubhouse on Saturday November 13th.

You can never tell what weather you're going to get in mid-November but as it happened the forecast light north westerly was just that, light 6-8 knots mainly from the NW with occasional flicks to the right and back again. Northerly's on the River Teign are are a nightmare for the sailors as they come over the hills, roll down into the river valley and disperse in all directions. They are also a Race Officers nightmare but fortunately there was enough west to keep it sane - to such an extent all 3 races were held without need for a course change but then that might just have been me being a lazy race officer. No complaints from the sailors though so guess we got something right.

Twenty eight Solos battled it out with 12 visitors coming down from the Cotswolds, Bristol, other parts of Devon and up from Cornwall. Knowing that Solo helms have a habit of pushing their luck on the start line it was emphasised at the briefing that either a black flag or flag U would be enforced. And with all 3 races to count you'd think they'd behave and hold back in the last minute before starting. How wrong can you be? Race 1 first start was under usual Blue Peter but sure enough half the fleet pushed up and over the line with about 5 seconds to go. General Recall and change to Flag U. This time they all behaved themselves perfectly with one exception who sailed down the line on port toward the committee boat and very neatly crossed in front of the committee boat with about 5 seconds to go. Well that was an easy spot for the race team and Rob Upton's Assistant Race Officer young daughter who recorded her first OCS victim. Everyone else got away cleanly and the windward mark saw two local sailors, Paul Craft and our very own Rear Commodore, Ben Miles round first and second. Ben had his 5 minutes of glory chasing down the leader but never quite got there. Paul Craft racing a Solo in a borrowed boat held the lead for nearly the whole race until the penultimate mark when he let Chew Valley visitor, Chris Meredith, through to claim his first win.

Race 2 was again under Flag U conditions and we felt confident in the race team that they'd all behave on the start line. With one minute to go and the fleet rolling down the line on starboard we spotted 5 OCS victims but then the half the fleet decided to push up and over with a few seconds to go. General Recall - and the 5 victims lived to fight another day. The second start got away cleanly for all but one sailor, our very own Ben Miles. Hooray for the bulk of the fleet. Sadness for Ben as he retired to sit the race out. Yet again Chris Meredith showed superb speed in the light weather going on to win the race in commanding style in a dying breeze. Three home club sailors, Paul Bartlett, Mark Philips and Andy Colyer were next to cross the line.

On the committee boat we had been considering calling it a day as the ebbing tide built and the breeze had been falling. However on the final reach of the second race the breeze suddenly filled again and held steady during the start sequence of Race 3. Once again Flag U was employed and all behaved with one exception. Sadly Gregg Bartlett, cruising down the line on starboard heeling to windward saw the top third of his mast on course side of the line. Feeling that would be a very tough OCS call the decision was made easier when Gregg hardened up and we saw his hull cross the line before the start. Unfortunate for Gregg as he was informed just after rounding the windward mark in first place. Regardless of this Chris Meredith continued on his imperious way to record his third win and clean sweep over the series. Paul Bartlett recorded second and Paul Craft third. Paul must be pondering "what if" having conceded the first race and then blowing his chances in the second race with a finish in the twenties.

Everyone then retired to our wonderful new clubhouse for hot pasties and a delicious spread of cakes before the first of what we hope will be many prize-givings. Congratulations to the top three sailors of Chris Meredith, Paul Bartlett and Mark Philips.

Classic/wooden boats that took part were:

  • Paul Bartlett 3915
  • Kim Furniss 4005
  • Sal Erskine-Furniss 4006
  • James Stevenson 3965
First Lady: Kim Furness 4005

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R3Pts
1st5353Chris MeredithChew Valley SC1113
2nd3915Paul BartletTCYC & SYC53210
3rd5323Mark PhilipsTCYC32813
4th5944Andy ColyerTCYC441119
5th5642Steve RobertsTorpoint Mosquito87621
6th5902Ian BartlettSouth Cerney SC612422
7th5462Paul CraftTCYC221326
8th5893Gary MoltonTCYC710926
9th5604Roger GibbTorpoint Mosquito1816539
10th5252Tim MartinTCYC13151240
11th5964Greg BartlettTCYC & SYC106DSQ41
12th4654Malcolm DaviesTCYC125DNF42
13th4402Richard BryantTCYC1591842
14th5731Vernon PerkinsSouth Cerney SC1981643
15th4005Kim FurnissTorpoint Mosquito9201443
16th4800James MainTCYC22131045
17th5157Sam WestcottDittisham SC14171546
18th5905Steve MitchelHooe Point S C2119747
19th5778Shaun WalshTorpoint Mosquito23111347
20th5549Peter HearneTCYC11182049
21st4964Paul FarmerTCYC17141950
22nd4006Sal Erskine‑FurnissTorpoint Mosquito24241765
23rd5422Dave NorthcottTCYC2022DNF67
24th4922Ben MilesTCYC16DSQDNC72
25th5565Sean BiggsTorpoint Mosquito2523DNF73
26th4350Charlie TolcherTCYCDSQDNFDNC85
27th5844Nick FisherTorpoint MosquitoDNFDNCDNC87
27th3965James StevensonTCYCDNFDNCDNC87

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