Upton wins Armed Forces Day event

PUBLISHED: 18:25 29 June 2011

Sailing - two J80s in full flight off the Exmouth Coast

Sailing - two J80s in full flight off the Exmouth Coast


Last year Exe Sailing Club held a charity auction in aid of Help for Heroes and the Royal Marines' C Group, writes Mike Rice.

Amongst the lots on offer, the owners of the club’s fleet of J80 sports boats had offered the opportunity for other club members to take the helm of their boats in a race against the others.

This raised around £300 out of the total of over £2,500 pledged during the evening.

Scheduling problems at the club and the availability of both boats and auction winners delayed the race until last Saturday; over a year after the auction but, fittingly, Armed Forces Day 2011.

The successful bidders, Fiona Cameron-Jones, Sue Spring, Frankie Upton, and Mark Martineau, lined up for their first race off the Exmouth seafront under blue skies and a frisky SW Force 4 to 5 breeze. This led to some exciting moments and speeds of over 16 knots being touched on the reaches, but the helms coped well, benefitting from the advice being given by their tacticians/owners.

The racing was close, with only 1.25 points separating the first three places. Race one went to Fiona Cameron-Jones with Sue Spring chasing hard for second. The second race had to be re-started after a general recall as the helms got a little too keen. Cameron-Jones won this race too, this time with former commodore Frankie Upton a close second.

Gear failure caused Cameron-Jones’ retirement from the last race, leaving Upton and Spring to battle for line honours and the overall win. Upton just pipped it on the line to win the race and event.

A meal and prize giving took place at the club afterwards and all competitors, crews and owners were thanked for their support for the event. The owners who kindly lent their boats were Richard Soper, Andrew McAusland, Steve Best, and Frank Rowsell/Nigel Hayman

It was a very enjoyable event and all participants came away with a smile on their faces and owners relieved that no major damage took place.

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