Farrant triumph in dinghy class at Exe Sailing Club

10:52 08 May 2014

Yacht training last weekend was a tough one for the competent crew yachting course. The instructor wisely kept the boat in the river most of the time, but the crew could be seen out working in the gusts and showers, with the orange storm jib set. They all survived to tell tall tales later, writes Rex Frost.

By Tuesday the weather was so quiet that the cruisers had only just enough breeze to cross the start line. A longish course was set for both fleets and the faster boats did well, with all reaching the first mark. There was a split, with half going down tide at the beginning and the others going up tide towards Dawlish. Without doubt that was the right way to go and big gains were made, especially by those who allowed a large margin for the up channel tide. The 31.7s of Rex Frost and Rick Newcombe picked their way through the early starters, leaving Martin Minter and Neil Matson behind, but ever so slowly. Rex Frost stayed ahead until they met the faster group of Chris Rhodes, Steve Best and Stuart Hills who squeezed round the windward mark ahead and spinnaker reached down tide to the mark off Straight Point. As they rounded, the wind died and the last few moments of racing were completed with the boats at a standstill or going backwards in the tide. In the slow fleet, Wavelet picked their way to the front and coming in second was Dave Ashman in his newly arrived ‘Sun Trapper’.

For the dinghies on Wednesday, race officer Steve Best set off in pouring race followed by an unenthusiastic bunch of sailors.The rain however, stopped and the wind held so that the windward-leeward course toward Dawlish Warren provided some interesting tactical situations.With a long start line to minimise the effect of the tide, the Trio fleet split, with half going off to Cockwood and the others across Cockle bank. At the windward mark it was obvious that the Cockle bank approach had paid off as Tony Brewster and Andrew McAusland rounded ahead. On the second lap there were no such big gains and Guy Farrant going up the Cockwood side took the lead with Andrew and Bob Horlock close behind. In the Handicap fleet, nearly all stayed on the Cockle bank side with the fleet slowly stretching out. Chris Rhodes followed by Iain Horlock and then with Rob Jones, Josh Geare and Malcolm Lynn swapping places. A good race with lots happening to keep the concentration going.

The Juniors on Thursday nights are getting a good turnout with Charlie King leading the results board so far and Josh Geare and James Nicholson close behind. After their first evening they made a presentation of a framed, signed photo to Bob Horlock in recognition of his work as Training Principal and his ongoing work with the Junior race night and eXesquad. Greatly deserved. For full results go to; www.exe-sailing-club.org

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