It was a busy weekend for Salcombe Yacht Club, running the 4th race if the Spring Series alongside a 60 boat Merlin Rocket fleet with was attending the Salcombe Silver Tiller event, supported by Sharps Doom Bar and the Salcombe Gin Company.
Despite the forecasted light North Easterly winds, Race Officer David Greening and his team were able to set a classic Blackstone to Gerston, Blackstone to Crossways course when a Force 4 Southerly breeze set it.
With several of the Solo contenders tied up with managing the Merlin Rocket event only 8 Solos lined up for their start, nevertheless the fleet enjoyed some very tight and competitive racing throughout the fleet. Robin Hodges made the best start and led at the windward mark, pursued by Simon Dobson and Ed Stephens.
On the long downwind leg to Gerston Hodges and Dobson swapped the lead a couple of times with Hodges clear ahead on the way back to the harbour. Unfortunately, he slipped into a hole in the wind near Snapes, allowing Dobson to take over the lead and Stephens to close up.
Positions stayed the same up the beat and on the last downwind leg the race looked all but over until Dobson rolled his boat into windward, allowing Stephens to close the gap. These two then fought a close battle to the finish where Stephens prevailed by a second to take the race and thus the Spring Series with a race to spare.
Five of the burgeoning Phantom fleet joined the handicap racing for the second start, with Alistair Morley, having leant his slow watch to Simon Yates, taking control from the start; with Paul Ellis retiring early with a broken rudder, Morley took control of the race and built up a solid lead from Chris Cleaves, with Ian Stewart following them home to complete the Phantom lock out.
In the Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller event, Christian Birrell and Ian Dobson of Herne Bay put together the most consistent series of results over a four race high scoring series, to take the win from Mike and Jane Calvert and Andy Davis and Alex Warren.
Race 4 Results:
1st 5769, Ed Stephens
2nd 5676, Simon Dobson
3rd 5096, Robin Hodges
1st Phantom 1459, Alistair Morley
2nd Phantom 1306, Chris Cleaves
3rd Phantom 1452, Ian Stewart
Merlin Rocket Silver Tiller (full report to follow)
1st 3788, Christian Birrell and Ian Dobson
2nd 3691, Mike and Jane Calvert
3rd 3691, Andy Davis and Alex Warren
by David Greening