River Exe Regatta a super success

11:50 26 June 2014

RS 400 at the River Exe Regatta

RS 400 at the River Exe Regatta

fotoboat/Mike Rice

The 14th running of the River Exe Regatta, sponsored by Exe Sails and Covers and Young Devon, took place last weeken, writes Mike Rice.

It was this year hosted by Topsham Sailing Club with the assistance of the other sailing clubs of the River Exe.

Ninety boats entered the regatta, mostly from the River Exe clubs, with a few entries from visitors.

The one thing guaranteed by the weather forecast was plenty of sunshine, but would there be any wind? As the appointed start time came and went, limp flags on shore, glassy water and drifting boats all suggested otherwise. But after a short postponement, someone found the sea breeze switch and a current of fresh air wafted up the river at a pleasant 5-8 knots.

First away on course A, off Powderham, were the catamarans. These faster craft were set a longer course than the rest of the fleet and they were soon a long way down the river. Next on the start line were the boats with asymmetric spinnakers, dominated by RS classes from 100 to 800, with a couple of B14s. The hornet class had a separate start, as the regatta incorporated an open event for the class. There were seven hornets from Starcross YC and four visitors, including three from Weston SC, on Southampton water. Last off were the other conventional spinnaker boats, which included nine merlin rockets, all from Starcross YC.

Further up river, Course B was the field of play for the junior fleet and the slower dinghies.

Twelve juniors took to the water in a variety of toppers and lasers and two RS Fevas. The ‘slow asymmetric’ fleet was made up mainly of Exe SC comet trios, with one visiting trio from Paignton.

The ‘slow conventionals’ included two wayfarers and three Devon yawls.

The breeze held up long enough for the three planned races to be run.

The fast asymmetric fleet winner was Russ Gibbs (RS 800), just one point ahead of Crispin Taylor’s B14.

Visitor Jon Williams, of Rutland SC was the first hornet ahead of the local boat sailed by Richard Garry and Matt McGrath.

Merlin rockets took the first two places in the fast conventional fleet.

Alistair and Moira Glen took the win, with David Lee and Juliet Pealing second. Iain Horlock steered his contender into third place.

Starcross YC’s Eleanor Poole dominated the junior fleet in her topper, winning all three races.

There was a close battle for second between the lasers of George Melbourne of Exe SC and Benjamin Flower of Teign Corinthian YC.

Both finished on five points, but Flower won on countback.

The battle of the trios was won narrowly by Alex Horlock and Harriet Melbourne, one point ahead of Andrew and Caroline McAusland.

Starcross YC wayfarers were first and second in the ‘slow conventionals’, with Liam and Sue McGrath finishing ahead of Robin and June Barker.

On the Saturday evening Topsham SC hosted the regatta party. It was a great way to round off an excellent day, in a beautiful location.

On the Sunday the sea breeze was already well established by start time. On the menu was a long(ish) distance race for the catamarans and a two-hour all-classes pursuit race for the rest.

This is where the slowest boats start first and the others follow at intervals determined by their handicap ratings. The finish comes two hours after the first start and, theoretically, by that time all the boats will be in the same place. Thankfully for the race officer, that never happens.

The catamaran race was won by Doug Smith and Jamie King ahead of Basil Strickland and Andy Carmichael. The difficulty of tacking across the tide off the Warren caused some changes of position.

First off in the pursuit race were the toppers and it was another forty two minutes before the last boat, Russ Gibbs’ RS800, started.

The two wayfarers from Starcross YC worked their way steadily to the front of the fleet, with the comet trios hot on their heels. In the closing minutes they were challenged by the trio of Alex Horlock and Harriet Melbourne and it looked for a time as if the merlin rocket of Hannah Stowell and Mark Elkington was going to close the gap.

But when the two hours ended, Liam and Sue McGrath’s wayfarer held the lead. Horlock and Melbourne came through into second place, followed by the second wayfarer, of Robin and June Barker.

This was not a day for the speed merchants, proving the point that handicaps do not work equally in all conditions. It is worthy of note that the first fast asymmetric boat, Richard Cain’s RS 400, finished just outside the top ten.

After Sunday’s racing Topsham SC laid on a magnificent tea party as a prelude to the prize giving and prize draw.

Regatta chairman Richard Stevens welcomed everyone and thanked the many people who had helped to make the regatta a success.

Assisted by Sam Woolner, of regatta sponsor Exe Sails and Covers, he then gave out the prizes.

This was followed by the famous regatta prize draw. Everyone’s name, competitors and helpers alike, went into the draw, but you had to be there to claim your prize.

Full results and photographs can be seen via the regatta website at www.river-exe-regatta.org.uk. Next year’s event is due to be hosted by Starcross YC.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Midweek Herald visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Midweek Herald staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Midweek Herald account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Other Sport Stories

Yesterday, 19:14
Devon and Somerset Gliding Club provide airtime for Volunteer Gliding Squadrons and this is the latest group to be looked after.

Devon and Somerset Gliding Club has been selected by the British Gliding Association to provide continuation training in the South West region as part of a nationwide grant scheme provided by Royal Air Force Charitable Trust, writes Jill Harmer.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:06
Honiton’s Scott Eveleigh receives the Devon County Indoor Bowling Association Under-21 title from Derek Viles, county secretary of the Devon County Indoor Bowls Association.

Honiton Bowling Club member Scott Eveleigh achieved his dream by winning the Devon County Indoor Bowling Association Under 21 title last weekend, writes Julie Grant.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:06
Sophie Keech

Devon Golfer Sophie Keech played in the Roehampton Open Gold Challenge Cup in London.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:38

Offwell Rangers suffered a big blow to their Fresha League Seven top four aspirations when they went down 7-1 at home to Tivvy Park Rangers.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:24

Another Exeter and District League season has come to an end and so how did local teams fare over the course of the eight month campaign?

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015
football generic picture

Upottery are just two wins away from securing the Fresha League Division Two title after they won their to-of-the-table clash with University 2-1.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015
A competitor in action at the Whindwhistle Motor Club meeting

A single venue classic car trial, organised by Windwhistle Motor Club (Chard) proved to be a huge success, writes Paul Bagnall.

Read more
Saturday, April 25, 2015

Feniton Under-14s completed their Exeter and District League campaign in style as they won 14-0 at Pinhoe Sharks.

Read more
Friday, April 24, 2015
mhsp week 17 rugby

Honiton Community College student Charlie Wright has just returned to East Devon having played for the England Under-16 rugby team who dealt Wales a heavy 34-0 defeat.

Read more
Friday, April 24, 2015
skittles generic picture

There were some good scores in the latest round of matches in the East Devon Hunt Skittles League.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 9°C

min temp: 3°C

Most Read Sport

Family notices
Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Submit a Story
Buy Photos
Competitions
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Midweek Herald e-edition today E-edition



Honiton's trusted business finder