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Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series Race 5

by John Burn & David Greening 2 Oct 2023 02:19 PDT 30 September 2023

Handicap Fleet (by John Burn)

A very low spring tide coinciding with the race start left few options available to Race Officer John Burn on Saturday.

Mark 7 and Mark 5, though probably not completely dry, wouldn't allow much rounding room.

A course utilising the main stretch of the now very quiet harbour was set, and with some big shifts around, spotting them, would be the key to success.

The nine teams that arrived on the line were sent on their way, and with the tide only just on the turn, it appeared that they preferred hunting for the best breeze rather than concerning themselves with the now flooding tide.

Peter Colclough and Alister Morley in the 505 rapidly made progress around the course in the gentle southerly breeze but were unable to gain enough of an advantage to secure a top-three finish.

Olly Turner and Chris Skelhorn maintained their great run of results in Y68. They kept ahead of the two red fleet boats from start to finish and maintained a close enough gap to the Squires in their Albacore to claim their first win of the series.

Andrew and Tristan Squire in the Albacore finished up second, with Andrew Wood and Tim Petitt topping off the podium in a close third sailing Y150.

Yawl Fleet (by David Greening)

Seventeen Solo sailors turned up at the starting line for the fifth race of the Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series. With the lowest of Spring tides the Race Officer John Burn set a course within the harbour which ensured that there was sufficient water around the turning marks.

In a light F2 to F3 southerly breeze and heading for Blackstone, those who started on the line at the Portlemouth end benefited most, and drove across the building tide to Woodcot then crossing back to Biddle Head to get the lift out of Sunny Cove. This resulted in Tim Law leading at the windward mark from David Greening, Roger Guess and Tim Fells. This group pulled clear from the rest of the fleet by the downwind "X" mark.

When the leading group chose the to head for the Fisherman's shore, Chris Cleaves led a small group through the moorings along the Town side and emerged in the lead followed by those who managed to bail out of the Portlemouth side earliest, Law, Greening and Guess.

With the leading group having good windward speed together with the knowledge that the Town side was beneficial, there were few passing opportunities on the final laps, and despite a bit of luffing action between Cleaves and Law, and a tacking battle between Greening and Guess, the formation was maintained to the shortened finish, with Cleaves taking the win from Law, and Greening holding onto third from Guess, with the series leader Tim Fells closing out in fifth place.

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