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North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results August 1st and 2nd - and overall Summer Racing Series results

Some great sailing was witnessed during the final weekend of the Summer Racing Series. Saturday saw winds of 6-12kts with Dave Barker in his Laser Radial finishing in first position with a time of 0.50.53, in the Handicap 2 Saturday Spring Series. With less than a minutes difference, Amy Barker came a close second in her Laser 4.7. The overall series was won by Amy Barker, with Dave Barker in second position, David Stanning third and Philip Coles fourth. In Saturday's Handicap 1 Summer Race, Simon Fleet finished first in his Sprint 15 Sport with a time of 1.50.06. Dave Warren second, and Liam Bunclark third, both also sailing Sprint 15 Sports. The overall series in this category was won by Simon Fleet. Gary Jennings and Seb Jennings finished second in their Dart 18 with Hugh Kingdon taking third place in his Blaze. 

The Handicap 1 Sunday Summer Series saw winds from 8 to 25 knots in a South Easterly direction. Five boats took part. Matt Heath took first place in his Laser Radial with a time of 0.38.00. Terry Freeman finished second in a Contender and Hugh Kingdon third in his Blaze. Fifteen boats took part in the overall Handicap 1 Summer Series. Peter Smith with Howard Stone as crew, won the overall Series, with Eric Evans and Katy Evans finishing in second place and Paul Tatem in third. Sunday's Handicap 2 race was very close. Amy Barker finished in first position in her Laser 4.7 with a race time of 0.38.05. Less than two minutes later, Dave Barker finished in second place in his Laser Radial and Emma Cobby in third place only minute and a half after Dave. In the final results for the overall Handicap 2 Sunday Spring Series, Amy Barker finished in first position, Dave Barker second and Emma Cobby and Philip Coles joint third. 

The Sprint 15 race saw seven boats taking part. Sam Heaton won the race with a finishing time of 0.56.46. Sam was closely followed by Alex Raymont finishing in second place. Dave Warren, Simon Fleet, Jeremy Rowe and Liam Bunclark all finished with a couple of minutes between them. Nick Day took seventh position with a time of 1.26.32. The overall Series winner in the Sprint 15 was Alex Raymont. Jeremy Rowe and Wayne Silver took second and third place respectively.Fifteen boats competed. 

The Fast Cats saw Fraser Manning and Erica Knapp winning Sunday's race in a Dart 18. Nick Williams and Sera Williams came second. Four boats took part. Jonathan Miles and Karen Raymont won the overall Fast Cats Summer Series. Jon Farr and Hector Bunclark finished second and Steve Smith and Dawn Smith third. Ten boats took part in the overall series. In the Gaffer's category seven boats took to the water on Sunday with Angus Cook and his tea winning the race with a time of 0.34.13. A minute later Sir Richard Peek took second place with Reg Barker and Matt Smith Vincent in third. The over all Summer Series in the Gaffers saw joint first place being awarded to Sir Richard Peek and Mike Palmer-Head. Barry Vincent finished in second place and RegBaker with Matt Smith as crew in third. Fifteen boats took part in the race.

North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results July 18th & 19th - Summer Racing Series

Saturday racing saw winds of 7 to 9 knots in a westerly direction, with five boats taking to the water in the Handicap Summer Racing Series. In his Blaze, Hugh Kingdon won the race with a time of 1.00.11. Ernie Maud and Brian Tilke in their Homebuilt Tri took second place with a finishing time of 1.08.25. Garry Jennings and Sue Standford in their Dart 18 finished in third place with Dave Warren and Wayne Silver finishing in third and fourth positions respectively. In the Handicap 2 Summer Saturday Series, Amy Barker took first position in her Laser 4.7 with a finishing time of 0.59.47.

The Handicap 1 Sunday Summer Series saw winds of 3 to 4 knots in a south-westerly direction. Hugh Kingdon took first place in his Blaze with a race  time of 0.57.00. In their Redwing, Eric Evans and Katy Evans finished in second place with a time of 1.00.22 and sixteen seconds later, Paul Tatem took third place. Finishing the race closely behind them was Tom Lewis in his Laser and Howard Stone in his Blaze. The Handicap 2 category race saw Dave Barker winning the race in his Laser Radial with a race time of 1.00.06. Twenty one seconds later, Amy Barker finished in second place and Philip Coles secured third place with a finishing time of 1.05.01.

With south westerly winds of 3 to 5 knots, the Fast Cats in the Sunday Summer Series Racing was won by Jonathan Miles and Robert Temple in their Dart 18 with a race time of 1.23.52. The Sprint 15 class saw Wayne Silver take first position in his Sprint 15 Sport with a finishing time of 1.28.18. Closely behind taking second place was Nick Day with a time of 1.32.14.   

In the Gaffer's Sunday Race, nine boats took to the water all finishing within six minutes of the first one across the winning line. Angus Cook in his Cornish Shrimper 19 took first place with a race time of 0.36.11. Less than a minute later, Reg Baker and Matt Smith finished in second place with a time of 0.34.38. Mike Palmer-Head closely followed in third place.  third position was Matt Smith and Reg Baker, also in their Cornish Shrimper 19 with a finishing time of 1.14.36. Ruth Watson and David Price, Chris Evans and Adam Campbell-Garnett took fourth and fifth positions respectively both pairs sailing in their Tela's. Barry Vincent finished with a time of 0.36.18, followed two seconds later by Richard Newing and Hilary Newing in their Drascombe Lugger Sport. Mike Hick in his Tela and Dave Dawson in his Cornish Shrimper 19 finished the race with times of 0.39.22 and 0.40.09 respectively.

North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results July 11th & 12th - Summer Racing Series

Another great weekend of sailing. Saturday saw winds of 12-20knts, with seven boats taking to the water in the Handicap Series. In his Sprint 15 Sport, Fraser Manning won the race with a time of 1.03.53. Also in Sprint 15 Sport's, Simon Fleet, Roger Bone and Wayne Silver took second, third and forth positions respectively, finishing two minutes behind Fraser with just over a minute between their finishing times.  Gareth Walkley, Pat Smith, and Eric Evans all completed the race in good time. In the Handicap 2 Sumer Saturday Series, David Stanning took first position in his Hartley 12.2  with a finishing time of 0.50.22.

The Handicap 1 Sunday Summer Series saw winds from 10 to 25 knots in a south-westerly direction. Eric Evans took first place in his Redwing with a time of 0.40.01. Dave Barker and Jacquie Willoughby finished joint second with a time of 0.40.02. Finishing the race closely bend them was Paul Tatam in his Blaze and Steve Willoughby in his Laser.

With wind of 10-25knts in a westerly direction, the Fast Cats in the Sunday Summer Series Racing was a very close race. With a finishing time of 1.09.03, Jonathan Miles and Karen Raymont secured first position for the second weekend running in their Dart 18. Steve Smith and Dawn Smith finished in second place with a time of 1.09.42. and Jon Farr took third place in his Dart 18 with a finishing time of 1.11.31. The Sprint 15 class saw five boats taking to the water. Roger Bone won the race with a finishing time of 0.53.03. Following Roger and within only a range four minutes between them, Sam Heaton, Wayne Silver, Alex Raymont and Jeremy Rowe completed the race.

In the Gaffer's Sunday race, Sir Richard Peek and Michael Peek in their Cornish Shrimper 19 took first place with a race time of 1.11.36. Less than a minute behind was Barry Vincent and Mike Palmer-Head with a race time of 1.12.00 and in third position was Matt Smith and Reg Baker, also in their Cornish Shrimper 19 with a finishing time of 1.14.36.

North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results July 4th & 5th - Summer Racing Series 

Many boats took to the water last weekend, with some wonderful sailing on display. Saturday saw winds of 6-12knts, with seven boats taking to the water in the Handicap Series. Gary Jennings and Seb Jennings in their Dart 18 secured first place with a finishing time of 1.21.13. With only a minute between them, Ian Mounce and Nick Day finished in second and third place respectively, both sailing Sprint 15 Sports. Peter Smith, Pat Smith, Dave Warren and Wayne Silver all completed the race in good time. In the Handicap 2 Sumer Saturday Series, Amy Barker secured first place in her Laser 4.7 with a time of 0.55.41. Closely behind her, Dave Barker finished in second place with a time of 1.03.39.

The Handicap 1 Sunday Summer Series saw winds from 6 to 18 knots in a south-westerly direction. Peter Smith took first place in his Scorpion with a time of 1.09.21. Peter was closely followed by James Hardiman in his RS Aero 7 securing second place.

With wind of 6-18knts in a south-westerly direction, the Fast Cats in the Sunday Summer Series Racing saw Jonathan Miles and Karen Raymont securing first place in their Dart 18 with a time of 1.06.247. Simon Thompson and Joe Thompson finished in second place and T Marston and S Fleet in third. The Sprint 15 class saw Alex Raymont finish in first place with a race time of 1.13.24. Taking second place, just over two minutes behind Alex was Ian Mounce.

In the Gaffer's Sunday race, six boats took to the water. Mike Palmer-Head secured first place in his Cornish Shrimper 19 with a time of 0.43.21. Only seconds behind, was Chris Evans and Adam Campbell-Garnett in their Tela taking second position and Jonathan Rhind and Jeremy Holtom taking third. Barry Vincent, Reg Baker with Matt Smith as crew and Dave Dawson all completed the race, with only five minutes between the first and last in.  

North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results June 27th & 28th - Summer Racing Series 

Some great sailing was enjoyed by all those taking part in the racing this weekend. Saturday saw winds of only 2-4knts, with seven boats taking to the water in the Handicap Series with two being disqualified. John Ironmonger secured first place in his Blaze with a finishing time of 1.19.19. Just over a minute later finished Peter Smith in his RS Aero 7, with Jonathan Miles and Robert Temple finishing third. In the Handicap 2 Sumer Saturday Series, Amy Barker secured first place in her Laser 4.7 with a time of 0.45.10. Winds for the race were 8-17knts. 

The Handicap 1 Sunday Summer Series saw winds from 6 to 24 knots in a westerly direction. Four boats took part. Gareth Walkley took first place in his Contender with a time of 1.25.26. Paul Tatem finished in second place with Peter Smith and Howard Stone as crew, coming third only two minutes later in their Scorpion. Taking fourth position was Eric Evans and Katy Evan with a finishing time of 1.39.18.

With wind 6-23knts in a Westerly direction, four Fast Cats took to the water with Nick Williams and Sara Williams taking first place in their Dart 18 with a time of 1.50.20. Just over a minute later, John Farr and Helen Farr finished in second place. Steve Smith and Dawn Smith in third and Garry Jennings and Claire Wilcox in fourth. In the Gaffer's Sunday race, ten boats took part. Mike Palmer-Head and Dave Parkin took first place in their Cornish Shrimper 19 with a time of 1.04.46. Close behind was Ben Armstrong and Gill Armstrong in second position and seconds later Sir Richard Peek and Thom Flaxman. All ten boats finished the race with only nine minutes between the first and last in.  

North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results June 20th & 21st - Summer Racing Series results

Last weekend saw some lovely sailing conditions for the start of the Summer Racing Series. Saturday saw winds of 5-12knts with Hugh Kingdon in his Blaze gaining first position in the Handicap Saturday Summer Series finishing with a time of 1.14.31. Colin Steinlechner also in a Blaze finished in second place with a race time of 1.19.33 and seconds behind him came Fraser Manning in his Sprint 15 Sport. Nine boats took to the water all completing the race. With only five minutes between them, the finishing order was: Peter Smith, Simon Fleet, Wayne Silver, Howard Stone, Jeremy Rowe and Dave Warren.  

The Handicap 1 Sunday Summer Series saw winds from 10 to 24 knots in a westerly direction. Four boats took part. Harry Cobby took first place in his Laser with a time of 1.11.56 with Peter Smith and Howard Stone as crew, coming second two minutes later in their Scorpion. Taking third and fourth positions respectively was Colin Steinlechner and Eric Evans and Katy Evan.

In the Handicap 2 Summer Sunday Race Series, the Sprint 15 race saw Fraser Manning win the race with a finishing time of 1.17.20. Fraser was followed by Alex Raymont and Anthony Gray finishing 3 minutes behind Fraser and with only second between them. Completing the race in fourth to seventh position was Ian Mounce, Keith Heason, Jeremy Rowe and Liam Bunclark. The Fast Cats race had three boats taking to the water with Jon Farr and Hector Bunclark taking first place with a time of 1.33.22. Garry Jennings and Karen Raymont came in second and Tim Cobby and Emma Cobby third. In the Gaffer's race nine boats took part, eight completing the course and one disqualification. Barry Vincent in his Cornish Shrimper 19 won the race with a time of 0.59.38. Close behind was Sir Richard Peek and John Anderson and tking third place was Matt Smith. They were also sailing Cornish Shrimper 19's. 

North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results June 13th & 14th - and overall Spring Racing Series results

Some great sailing was witnessed during the final weekend of the Spring Racing Series. Saturday saw winds of 5-10knts with Amy Barker in her Laser 4.7 gaining first position in the Handicap 2 Saturday Spring Series. Dave Barker came a close second in his Laser Radial. Ten boats took park in the series with Amy Barker winning the overall competition, again with Dave Barker in second position. In Saturday's Handicap 1 Spring Race, Hugh Kingdon finished first in his Blaze with a time of 1.12.45. Paul Tatem second, also in a Blaze and Gareth Walkley third in a Contender. The overall series in this category was won by Peter Smith. Paul Tatem and Colin Steinlechner finished second and third. Eleven boats took part in the series.

The Handicap 1 Sunday Spring Series saw winds from 10 to 15 knots. Three boats took part. Hugh Kingdon took first place in his Blaze with a time of 1.14.04 with Peter Smith coming second in a Scorpion. WIth just over a minutes difference, John Ironmonger took third place finishing with a time of 1.23.28. Eleven boats took part in the overall Handicap 1 Spring Series. Peter Smith won the overall Series, with Paul Tatem and Colin Steinlechner finishing second and third respectively.

In the final results for the overall Handicap 2 Sunday Spring Series, Tim Cobby finished in first position in his Laser Radial with Amy Barker, Dave Barker and Philip Coles finishing second, third and fourth respectively. Ten boats competed in the series. The Sprint 15 race saw eight boats taking part. Sam Heaton won the race with a finishing time of 1.33.38. Sam was followed by Anthony Gray and Keith Heason. With only seconds between them, next in was Pat Smith, Ian Mounce and Liam Bunclark. Taking 7th and 8th position was Dave Warren and Alex Raymont.  The overall Series winner in the Sprint 15 was Anthony Gray. Keith Heason and Alex Raymont took second and third position. Fifteen boats competed. The Fast Cats saw Jon Farr and Hector Bunclark winning Sunday's race in a Dart 18. Nick Williams and Sera Williams came second. Five boats took part. Jon Farr and Hector Bunclark won the overall Fast Cats spring series. Jonathan Miles and Robert Temple finished second and Nick Williams and Sera Williams third. Nine boats took part in the overall series. In the Gaffer's category seven boats took to the water on Sunday with Angus Cook winning the race with a time of 0.58.59. Close behind came Mike Palmer-Head in second position and Barry Vincent and Liylia Vincent in third. Eight boats competed in the race. The over all Spring Series in the Gaffers was won by Angus Cook. Mike Palmer-Head second and Reg Baker third. Eleven boats competed. 

North Devon Yacht Club - Race Results w/c June 1st

An active week on the water this week with a range of testing weather conditions from failing wind and spring tides to gusts reaching 30knots. In the Handicap Midweek races Dave Barker took first position with Jeremy Rowe second and Wayne Silver third. Saturday saw a blustery day with the Karen Raymont in her Laser Pico gaining first position in the Handicap 2 Saturday Spring Series and Dave Barker coming a close second in his Laser Radial. Several boats retired due to the wind. 

The Handicap 1 Sunday Series saw winds from 5 to 10 knots creating a challenge from the start with the ebb and flow of the tide being relied upon for the majority if the race. Eight boats in total took place, with two not finishing. Colin Steinlechner took first place in his Blaze with a time of 1.39.28 with Peter Smith coming second in an RS Aero 9. In order, and with only a couple of minutes between them, Howard Stone, Philip Coles and Tom Lewis crossed the finishing line in their Lasers. Paul Tatem in his Blaze took sixth position in the race. 

In the Handicap 2 Sunday Series, Dave Barker came in first position in his Laser Radial with a time of 0.56.23 and was closely followed by Fraya Hunt in her Laser Pico. The Sprint 15 race saw five boats taking part. Anthony Gray won the race with a finishing time of 1.39.28. Anthony was followed by Jeremy Rowe and Keith Heason who finished within a minute of each other. Shortly after that Wayne Silver and Liam Bunclark completed the race with only eight seconds difference between them. The Fast Cats saw Jon Farr and Keith Heason taking first place, with Jonathan Miles and Robert Temple second. Both teams were sailing Dart 18's. In the Gaffer's category seven boats took to the water with Barry Vincent together with Liylia Vincent, and Dave Dawson coming joint first in the race with a time of 1.05.39. Seconds behind them came Angus Cook, shortly followed by Richard Newing with Hilary Newing. Mike Palmer-Head was next in with Tony Pratt and Geoff Mitchell finishing in sixth position and Gordon Smith and Corrine Smith in seventh. 

2014 Racing Photos Gallery

BANK HOLIDAY SAILING

Sun 4th May had with light winds forecast and a 0900hrs start….  a Sunday Bank Holiday weekend? Only the keen, the mad, or those without a better offer turned up to sail! With 19 boats on the water, a shambolic start saw many launching late and some getting to the start line 5 minutes after the gun!  Wayne Silver took the lead in the Sprint 15 Fleet half way through the race and didn’t look back, finishing first of the 15s. Fraser Maning and Jonathon Miles fought for the Dart 18 points with Fraser and his crew, Karen Raymont, finishing first and in the Gaffer fleet Richard Newing, in Kalimera, came across the line in first place.

Fraser Manning ably crewed by Emily Williams

A far more interesting Force 3-4 wind greeted 14 boats on Monday morning. Racing was close as always, with places changing as frequently as the wind and many opportunities for crews to hike out on their trapezes. In the Handicap 1 race, Fraser Manning and Emily Williams in a Dart 18 took line honours and won the race on handicap, followed closely by Jim Gray and Steve Smith also in a Dart 18 and third place going to Alex Raymont, winner of the Sprint 15s. In Handicap 2, Amy Barker, sailing a Laser 4.7 beat her father, Dave Barker, sailing a Laser radial.

For further information about the weekend’s racing, please see: www.ndyc.org/racing/race-reports

Midweek Race - Monday 5 May 2014

Mon 5th May was forecast a F3 gusting 5 SSE.  The course was an upwind start from IH to Woodeye (off the shipyard), to Club, to Skern, to Crow, to OH and then 2 triangles of Puttermouth, Skern, Crow, OH - finishing on IH.  Being a Bank Holiday the race was classed as a mid week event and therefore a handicap race with a mass start.  Seeing it was a 0930 start, three more intrepid S15 sailors joined the previous days 3, so 6 of us started (Alex, Dave W, Wayne, Nick, Keith and Simon).  SSE winds are notoriously fickle in direction and speed and that together with a mix fleet of Dart 18s standard rig, Dart 18s unirig and a smattering of monohulls (including the Red Wing!) made for a challenging time in terms of fate and dirty air.

The "fates" looked kindly on the author initially and who made it round Woodeye first and then headed for the favourite eddy current.  By the time the fleet had got into the open estuary it had started to string out, but Alec closed rapidly on Simon, got an overlap at Club and took off on the trapeze towards Skern never to be seriously threatened for first place again.  And he tells us he weighs 15 stone!!!

The close reach/upwind leg to Skern was characterised by the Appledore wind shadow and the still incoming tide.  Simon was effectively masked by a unirig 18 all the way to Skern with Keith, Dave and Wayne closing in rapidly.  Three abreast at the mark, Simon on the inside and the unirig Dart 18 in the middle both went into a mutual irons, which enabled Keith, then Dave, then Wayne to pass and Nick to catch up.  Skern to Crow was its usual mix of gusts and wind shadows before clean air was hit just before Crow.  We now tacked up to OH with Wayne now in the lead with Keith, Dave and Simon close behind.  Keith and Simon headed for the Appledore eddy and managed to pass Dave and bear down on Wayne and the 3 of us rounded Puttermouth within seconds of each other in a freshening wind.  The close reach to Skern was now very fast, with Wayne sailing on the edge and pitch-poling but just managing to keep upright.  Keith pulled out a narrow lead on Simon, but was still overlapped as we approached Skern, where the unirig 18 was in irons again!!!! just a S15s width off the buoy.  Keith squeezed into the gap and executed a fluid tack.  Simon had to bear off and overrun the unirig wind shadow before tacking, by which time Keith had pulled out a several hundred metre lead, again! 

The freshening wind saw us all take to the trapezes past Crow and up to OH and Simon caught up with Keith.  Wayne, having a great sail on the edge just went over it and capsized and then executed capsize drills off the shore from the Beaver and The Royal George, did the pubs have anything to do with this?.  At this point, the author - of questionable sanity at the best of times, had it in mind that it was OH to IH for the finish and tacked accordingly and only realised his mistake when looking over his shoulder to check on the competition realised that they were all heading the other way to Puttermouth.  Having now lost out 400 metres on Keith for the third time in the race, the author set about trying to catch him, but somewhere in all the excitement of leaping around the cat he had managed to undo and lose the centre compartment lid of the port hull which was slowly filling with water from heeling and spray.  So it was a retirement.
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Alex won having sailed extremely well, Keith finished second, Dave was third, Nick was fourth and, Wayne, having received assistance from the Safety Boat as his mast stuck in the mud, retired.  But, due to administrative and technical issues!! associated with entry, Keith was not counted, so Dave actually came second and Nick third.  So 6 started, 3 completed (Alex, Dave and Nick), a good blow at the end, many changes of place, a good course, a good mornings racing, more S15s would have made it more fun.

Frozen Candlestick race.

Sixteen boats competed in the North Devon Yacht Club Candlestick race series, the first of 2014. Unfortunately Saturday’s race was cancelled due to ferocious winds gusting up to force 7. Three boats did venture out for a play and were supported by one of the club rescue boats. However Sunday proved to be a better day and the race was well supported by 16 boats, comprising seven Dart18 catamarans, seven Sprint 15 catamarans and two mono hulls. The course was two triangles comprising an upwind start from Inner Home to Puttermouth, to Inner Pulley, to Outer Home, to Puttermouth, to Skern, to OH, to Puttermouth and an OH finish with a 4 pm start. The light northerly force 2 winds and a heavy incoming tide resulted in a sluggish start for the windward mark at Puttermouth. A tack out towards the bar took the boats through very heavy 6 foot breaking waves off crow rock and north shore. The big surf made for an exhilarating rollercoaster ride and one Dart18 was caught unawares resulting in a capsize in the surf.  Fortunately the waves at the Inner Pulley buoy were less severe and a quick gybe and run to the Outer Home mark completed the first lap of the two lap race. For the final leg of the second lap the wind increased and rounding the Skern mark enabled the boats to enjoy a final blast in a strong force 5 breeze as they close reached to Appledore and straight to OH for the finish.  The winner of the Frozen Candlestick race was Hugh Kingdom sailing his Blaze, with Terry Freeman second in his Contender and Jon Farr and Dave Cole sailing a Dart18 coming third. This race was well attended by sailors and was a great start to the sailing season at North Devon Yacht Club.

Garry Jennings

SPRINT 15 RACE REPORT SUN 27 APR 14

Todays race was the final and only race of the Frozen Candlestick handicap series, yesterdays race having been cancelled due to adverse weather.

We had a good turnout of S15s (Anthony, Sam, Wayne, Dave, Roger, newcomer Nick and Simon) considering the challenging space issues!!.  There were also a similar number of Dart 18s, a group of monohulls (including the Dyson Red Wing of 2013 winter series fame!!) and a couple of gaffers.

The wind was forecast as a NNE F3 gusting F5 and it was a spring tide.

The course was two outer triangles and an inner triangle and comprised upwind start from IH to Puttermouth, to Inner Pulley, to OH, to Puttermouth, to Skern, to OH, to Puttermouth, to Crow and in IH finish with a 1600 hrs start.

Getting to the start line was tricky, the wind kept on dying away and the incoming tide swept the boats upriver, resulting in many starting at a mid point between IH and the tower and in the fast current.  As we started the wind steadily picked up and good progress was made to Puttermouth with the fleet well grouped.  As we left the mouth of the Torridge and went into the estuary we started to encounter a surprisingly large swell which grew progressively to Puttermouth.  Within 200 metres of the mark the wind shifted further east and sent the fleet into the shallows and the surf line as everyone attempted to avoid putting in an additional tack.  On rounding the mark we headed out to Inner Pulley and into the swell, which now included breaking waves.  The wind picked up and Sam leapt on to the trapeze and bore away into mid channel.  A number of us stayed close to the north shore, everyone manoeuvring as best as they could to avoid the breaking waves.  In front of us, some Dart 18s were picking up speed but only the top half of the sail was visible for most of the time and then one went over in the breaking waves.  This concentrated the mind as the waves were now reaching 2 metres.  Those of us on the north shore started to experience fickle winds whilst Sam, having made the right tactical decision blasted up to Inner Pulley and pulled out a lead of 400m + on Anthony who was 200m + in front of Simon with the rest close behind. 

At this stage the wind reduced and everyone did their utmost to find the incoming tide in the deep channel near the lifeboat.  The downwind leg to OH was uneventful, but on rounding OH, both Sam and Anthony, realising the detrimental effect that their prowess was having on the morale of the rest of the S15 fleet of "Victor Meldrews", in their first race of the season, with great compassion and charity placed themselves in the middle of the still incoming tide to allow the "Victors" to catch up, to the extent that they lost their 1st and 2nd positions!!!!  Or was it a case of "relative" Age and Treachery beats "relative" Youth and Enthusiasm?

So upwind to Puttermouth, followed by a reach to Skern, with the 2m waves having virtually disappeared as we reached high tide.  Rounding Skern a strong F5 breeze blew for 5 minutes as we close reached to Appledore where the Safety Boat informed us that the course was being shortened and it was straight to OH for the finish, with your reporter coming first!!!!!, Anthony second, Sam third, then Wayne, Dave and Nick, with Roger technically retiring but "undertaking pre season race condition testing tuning experimentation, assessment and analysis" !!!!!

So quite a technical race with a wide range of conditions to cope with on our first outing of the season and good to see Nick, as a newcomer to the S15 and racing, having a go in difficult conditions and completing the course.  The swell and breaking waves was surprising given that the direction of the wind over the last week has been anything other than SW or W and would appear to indicate that the winter storms and the washing away of some of the dunes on the north shore has changed the estuary sea bed profile. 

Old Instow proverb.  "When the wind North to South through East quadrants, older man in back eddy current off Appledore Quay beat younger men off Instow Beach". 

Next races: Sun 4 May 0900 start!!!!!, Mon 5 May 0930 start. Ian Atkinson and Gary Jennings, both cat sailors, are OODs respectively, so if the wind is right should have some good courses - no pressure Ian and Gary!!

Simon
1936

SPRINT 15 - 25 APR 14 SOCIAL REPORT

First report of the season, got to start with a bang.

Cruised down to NDYC (North Devon Yacht Cruisers) for the Cat Social organised by Sam.  We reflected on the season past and the challenge of the season to come.  It stared us in the face as we looked out of the windows.  Where to park the cats, let alone try and rig them and launch them.  From perimeter to perimeter all the eye could see was Cruisers and their equally bulky support vehicles parked in boat slots or on the access tracks, with the odd dinghy and cat jammed in between them like forlorn flotsam that would hopefully be washed away. 

"Admiral Beattie had less Cruisers at the Battle of Jutland than are stuck in this boat park" said a cat owner.  An appropriate comment given the centenary of the conflict.  "At least they moved" said another. "And they got where they needed to be on time".

"My cats been spray painted blue and moved so many times am thinking of calling  Blue Wanderer" said another.  At this point the assembled group gave a rendition of the old Status Quo number "Yes she's the Wanderer, I'm very fond of her, she wanders round and round and round - the boat park".  Didn't quite rhyme - but it made us feel good, and, Status Quo is a good Baby Boomer group that the Cruisers would appreciate.

Sam served up a really nice pizza.  It was reasonably priced, it had been prepared in time and with thought and consideration given to his fellow cat sailors.   Well done Sam.  A good time was had by all and much discussion on the lot of the cat sailors, with great interest shown in the recent announcement of Cornwall being granted special minority status and consideration as to whether we should apply likewise.

Don't think there will be a Race Report for Saturday as I have been unable to find a place to park my cat, but if anyone does race let us know what happened.  Hope to start on Sunday, if we can get a work party together to man handle a cruiser or two out of the way.

Simon
1936