Results :: Salcombe Y.C. Salcombe Week (Day 1)
256 Merlin Rocket sailors woke to a glorious summer morning for the first day of the much anticipated Sharps Doom Bar Salcombe Merlin Rocket Week. With a gradient WNW blowing over the town there was expectation of a shifty race track on the first legs through the town.
Race 1 – Red v Green flights. WNW Force 2-4. Course 1,7,1,4,1,3
A large group of spectators crowded the Yacht Club veranda and gardens to watch the first start under the ‘no fairway, black flag’ rules with the whole width of the harbour available for the fleet. The bulk of the fleet opted to start towards the Portlemouth shore where there was good breeze. Simon Blake and Chris Dodds got the best start and managed to hold a long starboard across Mill Bay to look like the clear leader at Blackstone.
However, Dave Hayes and Oli Wells who had taken the town side found great pressure to come flying in on starboard to just round in first position. Dan Alsop and Jenny King who had a great start off Smalls beach rounded third. The leading pack of five boats escaped down the run. On the beat back through the town there was a split in strategy with Mike Calvert and Ian Garwood taking the town side and grabbing the lead from Jon Gorringe and Nicki Bass who had got the best of the Portlemouth side.
These two fought it out all the way to the line where Mike and Ian had the upper hand from Jon and Nicki with Dan and Jenny coming in a strong third. Best climbers of the race were Sam Pascoe and Alex Adams who climbed from the teens through to fourth ahead of Simon Potts and Anabell Ransome-Williams.
Race 2 – Blue v Black flights. WSW Force 3-5. Course 1,4,1,7,13
With more breeze and a weather going ebb tide, there was a strong prospect of a general recall. However the black flag kept everyone under control and the fleet executed a perfect start, spread across the estuary. First to the windward mark despite a poor start were Richard Whitworth and Nick Copsey but they were to fall foul of a gust on the run down to Yalton. Rounding third behind Matt Biggs and Jon Hackett and soon taking the lead were Olly Turner and Alex Warren, who then proceeded to inexorably extend their lead. Showing remarkable powers of recovery, Tom Stewart and Phil Dalby came through from the late teens to take second by midway, battling with Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor, Matt and John and Taxi and Ellie Bremmer.
While Olly and Alex sailed further and further into the distance, there was plenty of action behind them. On the final run down to Crossways, both Taxi and Ellie and then Matt and John hit the tide in a gnarly gust. Tom and Phil, who were maintaining a tight cover on Dave and Pippa, then split tacks 100m from the line and lost their hard earned second place. Steve Crooks and Joanna Marlow kept it all together to come home fourth.
This was a great result for Olly and Alex who have steadily been climbing the Merlin fleet – their first Salcombe win which was celebrated in fist pumping style.
See Salcombe YC website for results