Results :: Starcross Y.C. Open meeting
|10 visitors joined 11 boats from the Starcross fleet for a two day Silver Tiller open meeting on the beautiful Exe Estuary. Despite a Met Office weather warning for heavy rain, competitors arrived at Starcross to find it dry and overcast, but very warm with some distant rumbles of thunder. |
There was a light Northerly breeze for the first race and PRO Paul Kelley and his team set a classic SYC club racing course which gave a beat, two reaches and a run. Unfortunately the wind started to fade and, with many competitors struggling to reach the leeward mark against the tide, the course was shortened to one round. Olly Turner and Alex Warren (3656) made the best of the tricky conditions and were first across the line, followed by Fran Gifford and Sophie Mackley (3676) with Dan Alsop and Jennie King (3539) in third place.
There was a postponement due to a few hints of a sea breeze developing, but eventually a weak Northerly breeze reappeared so a second race was started. The wind again faded away so the PRO wisely abandoned the race and signalled another postponement, but with no sign of breeze this was followed by three hoots indicating beer o'clock. Given the better forecast for the Sunday, the decision was taken to bring the start time forward to fit in three races.
Sunday dawned with a somewhat clearer sky and a fairly light North Westerly breeze. Paul Kelley set another club racing type course to make best use of the river which provided plenty of mark rounding practice and two windward legs. There was a lot of place changing in the shifty conditions, with Dan and Jennie (3539) working their way through to take the win.
The second race was started in similar conditions, but mid race the Northerly started to fade away as a sea breeze tried to develop from the opposite direction. This led to some very tricky conditions towards the finish as the two winds fought it out, but Mike and Jane Calvert kept their boat moving well to win the race.
The sea breeze kept teasing but never filled in, so PRO Paul Kelley was forced to signal another postponement. After a short delay, the North Westerly returned and filled in to provide a force 2, building throughout the race to provide the best conditions of the weekend. Matt Biggs and John Hackett (3743) sailed an excellent first beat and went on to build a substantial lead, leaving astern a close battle for the minor places.
With the tricky conditions and the high standard at the front of the fleet, consistency was hard to find, resulting in a different winner in every race. However, Dan Alsop and Jennie King, sailing their beautiful wooden boat 3539 (also the oldest boat in the fleet), were always near the front and were the very popular winners.
The Silver Tiller series is sponsored by Craftinsure.
By Dave Lee