Exe Sailing Club latest - Push the boat out and then pull it back!

PUBLISHED: 14:59 22 May 2013 | UPDATED: 14:59 22 May 2013

A Course

A Course

fotoboat/Mike Rice

Last Sunday was national ‘Push the Boat Out’ day, writes Mike Rice

The RYA inaugurated the event in 2102 as part of the run-up to the Olympics, and decided to keep it going for at least another year.

The idea is to encourage people all over the country to get afloat.

Exe Sailing Club’s response was to organise a second running of the Centenary Chase pursuit race for dinghies and cruisers, held last year to celebrate 100 years of sailing at Exe SC.

This year’s event was kindly sponsored by Graham Sykes, of Graham Sykes Insurance Ltd.

Fourteen dinghies launched and six cruisers left their moorings under a dull sky, with light winds and an increasing drizzle.

After the fleet had struggled for over an hour to reach the race area at sea against an incoming tide with a fading breeze, race officer Graham Sykes had little option but to abandon the race and send the competitors back to shore.

Needless to say, shortly after the decision to abandon the breeze swung around the compass and increased slightly. This had the benefit of allowing most of the boats to sail home, but in truth would not have provided much of a race, let alone a chase.

Graham Sykes said: “I would like to thank everyone involved in taking the time and effort to try and make the race a success. However, no matter how much planning and preparation is done we are all dependant on the weather and this year it did not work. We are discussing with Exe Sailing Club to see if we can re-schedule this event, if not let us hope the weather is kinder to us next year.”

The next big event in Exe Sailing Club’s busy programme is the River Exe Regatta, taking place over the weekend of June 15 and 16, sponsored by Exeter College and Fulfords Estate Agents.

The regatta is run jointly by the four sailing clubs on the Exe: Starcross Yacht Club, Exe Sailing Club, Lympstone Sailing Club, and Topsham Sailing Club. Each year one of the clubs takes the lead in organising the event and hosting the social events.

Around 100 boats are expected. There will be racing on both Saturday and Sunday for cruisers, dinghies, Devon Yawls and multihulls. Weather permitting, the cruisers, faster dinghies and multihulls will race at sea and there will be a race course in the river for the slower dinghies and junior sailors. There will also be an event for the younger sailors on Saturday, based around Exe Sailing Club and involving the safe transport of some corn, a few chickens and a fox from mainland Exmouth to the wilds of Dawlish Warren. (Note for conservationists – no real animals/birds will be involved in the execution of this adventure).

On the Saturday evening there will be a party at Exe SC with dancing to Jinx, the club’s own party band. After racing on Sunday there will be the legendary regatta tea and free prize draw. There will be many valuable prizes but you have to be there in person to collect a prize!

Online entry and full race documentation are available from the Regatta website at www.river-exe-regatta.org.uk

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