Salcombe Open 2005

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Sunshine and a fantastic F3 sailing breeze with a few meaty gusts greeted the 36 strong Merlin Rocket fleet for their annual open meeting at Salcombe on the weekend of 2/3rd April.

Following a course change prior to the 5 minute gun, Saturday’s race took the fleet through the “Bag” and down to Gerston twice, whilst a notable few (William Warren/Tom Perkins, Steve Tyler/Emma Jackson, Dave Lee/Ian Smith) continued to sail the originally published course, only to gain no placing at the end of the race. There were a variety of leaders throughout the race including Glen Truswell/Paul Davies, Judith Massey/Phil Dalby and Mike/Jane Calvert with the eventual winners of this race being Dan Alsop and Jennie King. The Calverts had pulled out a big lead down to Blackrock, but then short tacked against the tide up the Millbay side of the estuary, thinking that they were going to Crossways again, only to lose the lead to Alsop/King, who led the charge back to Gerston via the town side.


Sunday morning’s race was sailed in a fitful, mizzly, breeze on the end of a rising tide and ensured the usual game of snakes and ladders that is so strongly associated with sailing at Salcombe. With the tide still flooding and the wind now blowing up the estuary, everyone wanted to start right under the Watch-house (starters box) and when a fishing boat decided to come through what he thought was the Fairway (channel that normally allows space for other craft to come and go underneath the Watch-house during race starts but which doesn’t operate at this time of year), it made for some interesting manouveures and a bit of verbal!

That start was abandoned at 25 seconds to go and after a further general recall, the black flag was brought into play which caught out two unfortunates – Alsop/King and Warren/Perkins. Alsop/King sailed on and won on the water, only to cross the line to a deafening silence – they subsequently protested the race committee (and lost) for a late start gun by three seconds. This race also saw several different boats in the lead including John Bell/Graham Williamson, Richard Whitworth/Elena Bremer and the eventual winners, Rob Wilder and Liam Dempsey.

This was a high scoring event where consistency paid with Bell/Williamson taking the final honours with a 2nd and 4th to count.

Report: Judith Massey
Photos: Tom Gruitt - Fotoboat
See the full results.