Exe SC sailors battle gusty conditions

PUBLISHED: 21:30 23 April 2015 | UPDATED: 19:29 26 April 2015

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Last Wednesday the fog cleared but so did the wind, and dinghy sailing was abandoned early at Exe SC, writes Rex Frost.

On the Thursday evening there was again little wind, but 12 cruisers started racing at sea. In the very, light breeze about half retired having lost steerage way, but the others drifted on till the finish time, apparently happy with their time on the water.

On Saturday, race officer Rob Jones set a course along the seafront. In very gusty conditions several did not make to the line and others retired during the first race. Although things calmed a little after that, there were only eight competitors left by then and as usual Iain Horlock was at the front. Interestingly, on their first venture together Charlie King and Josh Geare sailing a Vision were very close behind in the second and third races. A great result for them and an indication to others that the Club Visions are competitive hulls.

The cruisers were out again on Tuesday, still in light conditions and battling a rolling easterly swell. The long leg to number four buoy tested the concentration and it was unclear as to whether the long leg off the start, or the short tack inshore was going to pay. In the end there was little in it and in the fast fleet, the big boats were catching up fast by the mark. Jenesis rolled through early on and left Nemesis trying to stay near the front.

Quickly Exehibitionist rounded close behind, followed by Exeat and Electra. Footloose went wide but having gybed and found the groove, quickly made ground towards number three buoy before the early finish of 8pm. As the first ‘proper’ race of the season, crew work was a little rusty, with Jenesis hoisting the spinnaker upside down and another failing to lock their halyard so their spinnaker slowly dropped. Lots to remember! The slow fleet struggled in the swell and were well spread out on the windward leg, but the Commodore worked his way to the front and was leading at the end with Stardust (Steve and Rachel Hughes), just astern.

This Wednesday the dinghy fleet started off the Wreck with race officer Symon Garrett setting an ambitious 5 lap course. Another cross tide line made the start tight and most of the Lasers were left behind. George Melbourne got his Vision off well, but after a short windward beat, lost his main halyard and retired. The 400s of Rhodes and Graham led early on, followed by Iain Horlock and Rob Jones, with the 200s on their tail.

The Trios were going well, but with a number of problems eventually had the Handicap fleet overtaking them. At the luckily, shortened finish, due to failing light, the Frosts overtook Jones and the Trio of Martin Luce, but only just held on as a gust brought Martin and Jen Miller planing up behind them. For full results go to; www.exe-sailing-club.org

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