Starcross Open 2009

Day 2 of the West Country weekend - May 2009
Silver Tiller series
sponsored by:
Speed Sails
Open meeting
sponsored by:
Following on from the racing out at sea from Exmouth on the Saturday, Starcross hosted a second day of racing on the much flatter waters of the Exe Estuary, to the relief of many competitors. A few more travellers and local boats joined the racing, bringing the fleet up to 29 boats. All the ingredients for a great day’s racing appeared to be there and with wall-to-wall sunshine and fairly low sea temperature, the locals confidently predicted the usual decent sea breeze to fill in by late morning. The wind however had other ideas, so racing had to get underway in a very shifty and patchy Easterly.

Due to the difficult wind direction and tidal state, Race Officers Tony Avery and Paul Kelley opted for a simple windward / leeward course for the first race. The fleet got away after just one general recall and enjoyed some very close racing with lots of place-changing. Alex Jackson and Ben Hollis sailing 3707 made the best of the conditions to win the race, but Matt Biggs and Rob Kennaugh (3705) and Glen Truswell and Olly Turner (3626) kept the pressure on until the end.

Thumbnail Thumbnail Thumbnail

After a short break for lunch, the second race was started using a traditional triangle / sausage course. The wind still refused to settle down to a sea breeze, but the Easterly now provided some exciting planing gusts on the reaches, although there were also some frustrating dead patches. Steve and Gill Leney (3639) showed the fleet the way around the course to begin with, but in a repeat of Saturday’s second race were eventually hunted down by Mike Calvert and Chris Downham (3691).

The third race was started using the same course, but a minute after the start the sea breeze finally decided to kick in. Mike Calvert was in just the right position to catch the new breeze and was able to set his spinnaker and plane towards the windward mark, leaving most of the fleet sat in a dead spot. However, to (almost!!) everyone’s relief, the Race Committee recalled the fleet in order to change the course. Due to the fact the tide was now ebbing fast, the Committee again opted for a windward / leeward course, but this time the steady sea breeze provided probably the best race of the weekend. Glen and Olly fought their way to the front and then led to the finish, this time closely followed by Dave Winder and Pippa Taylor (3662).

Thumbnail Thumbnail

With three different race winners and all the bookies favourites posting at least one weaker result, the overall result was difficult to predict. However, once the discard had been applied, Glen Truswell and Olly Turner won the event, an especially pleasing result for Olly at his home club.

Thanks again to P&B for sponsoring this event.

Report: Dave Lee
Photos: Tom Gruitt

See also:
    Full results
    Report from Exe (the day before)
    More photos
    Silver Tiller positions so far