Thursday, June 19, 2014
Our big news this week was Sam Matson’s result for the Solitaire Race to Plymouth, writes Rex Frost.
In his first serious race as part of the Artemis Academy he was first Brit and first rookie and in a very strong fleet of professional sailors, eighth overall. His mother Liz was on the dock to welcome him in; wonderful for her, as husband Neil had just had to withdraw from the two-handed Round Britain and Ireland Race when his crew developed a seriously infected elbow joint.
Iain Horlock meanwhile borrowed a blaze dinghy and took it to Warsash on the hottest weekend of the year to race (yet another boat he is not used to).
In a fleet of 52 with very close competition he eventually came out eighth adding another good result to his tally.
His new employer Jimmy Green Marine ought to be very pleased with having a top level sailor on their staff.
The Two Rivers Junior Series had another well attended event at Exe, with 15 boats on the water and enough breeze to race happily at sea.
In the fast fleet, Greg Bartlett SYC, is leading narrowly from Charlie King ESC, with the others dropping behind.
The slow fleet has Sandy Bailey and Scott Acheson lying second after a first and a second, in a fleet dominated by TCYC.
There are also competitors from Torbay in the group; what river is that?
The dinghies had a very frustrating evening on Wednesday for their races. In the light breeze only three trios launched and Andrew and Caroline McAusland had no difficulty staying out in front.
The handicap fleet suffered greatly with the failing wind and while the RS400s zoomed around and finished quickly the smaller slower boats were left drifting.
The light was fading fast by the time competitors like George Melbourne, Chris James and Andy Douglas finally dragged their boats up the beach.
For the cruisers, conditions were better, with a good race on Tuesday and a better race than expected on Thursday.
Thursday was looking like turning into a mackerel fishing competition, but just before the start the wind stretched to five knots and the first starters got away.
It was very much a night for watching the wind and not sailing into ‘a hole’. Maybee and Nemesis went slowly towards the windward mark while Electra and Footloose found more breeze and caught them up near there.
With a strong tide across the buoy, plenty of room was needed to round it and as spinnakers went up Nemesis and Electra tussled for position, allowing Footloose to sneak through and take two places at once. Time ran out on the next windward leg, with Footloose well in front and Electra sitting on Maybees tail having out pointed them for much of the beat. The slow fleet finished well spaced apart, with Matthew Flinders out in front ‘by a mile’. For full results go to; www.exe-sailing-club.org