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Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn Series Race 6

by John Burn & David Greening 8 Oct 2023 21:38 PDT 1 October 2023

Fast Handicap Report (by John Burn)

The exceptional October weather set the perfect backdrop for the sixth race of the Fast Handicap Autumn series.

A mixture of eight teams arrived at the start to tackle the course 1-7-1-3 set by expert race team Graham and Fiona Cranford Smith.

The mixed fleet quickly settled into their natural running order up the first beat, with the faster 505 and RS400 taking the lead, rounding mark 1 first. Andrew and Sheila Squire in the Albacore followed next, with John and Frankie Burn in Y170 leading the Yawls out.

As the fleet hugged the Portlemouth shore on the long downwind leg to mark 7, Andrew and Elizabeth Savell in Y187 worked their way past John and Frankie and led the closely fought yawl contingent through the bag and again on the return leg.

As they reached Snapes, John and Frankie took a slightly higher line than Savell's, which resulted in them regaining the lead. The father-and-son team now appeared in the groove as they made their way through the main harbour and pulled clear of the chasing yawls.

John and Frankie continued to stretch their advantage for the remainder of the race, and once the handicaps had been applied, they emerged victorious, racking up their second win of the series.

Andrew and Sheila Squire claimed a comfortable second, with Andrew and Elizabeth Savell coming home third.

Solo Report (by David Greening)

A sunny Autumn afternoon, high tide and a light but shifty breeze out of the south westerly quadrant was enough to attract twenty one Solo sailors to the start line for the sixth race of the Salcombe Yacht Club Autumn series.

The fleet was pleased to welcome the return of Will Henderson to the fleet after a period away from the class, and our friend from the North John Evans.

There was a certain inevitability of a General Recall with the ebbing tide, and Race Officer Graham Cranford-Smith reached for the Black flag for the restart.

The form sailors were very much mixed up in the pack at the Blackstone windward mark, with Simon Dobson and Simon Yates leading around. With the fleet running out of air off Biddle Head, Will Henderson and Tim Law lead a breakaway group down the Town side, whilst they got away with it, some of the back markers, including your correspondent, were left languishing in Crab Pots as the breeze died (note to self never go into Crab Pots). For this reason the rest of the report is based on anecdotal evidence, hearsay and bar chat.

The leaders, Tim Law, Simon Yates and Will Henderson got clean away at Snapes point when entering the Bag, whist the ensuing pack got rafted up waiting for the fresh breeze, Tim Fells was first to pick up the breeze to break clear in fourth place.

There was place changing in the leading group with Will working into the lead on the final (shortened) run back from Blackstone. The fleet chose the Portlemouth shore, but the wind appeared to die in Mill Bay. Will led a breakaway to the Salcombe shore, but Tim Law persisted on the Portlemouth side to steal the win from Will followed home by Simon Yates.

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