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

16:13
Pete and Jill Harmer who flew their Duo Discus glider along the rising air past Bridgwater and back for 118kms at a fast speed of 88kph.

The last week was rather a quiet one at Devon and Somerset Gliding Club with some Trial lessons and evening flying cancelled due to the weather, writes Jill Harmer.

Read more
16:09
Honiton runners at the Charmouth Challenge

The final Sunday in June saw four Honiton Running Club members take part in the Torbay Half Marathon at Paignton, writes Jusy Davey.

Read more
16:09
AVR runners at the Charmouth Challenge

The eight-mile Charmouth Challenge includes a traverse of Golden Cap, the highest point on the south coast is quite often held under sultry conditions, writes Dave Mutter.

Read more
11:48

Seaton bowlers had a good week with some excellent results recorded, writes Maria Johnson.

Read more
09:54
Petanque

In a needle three-way petanque match against Kernow and Great Western regions, held at the Isca Pétanque club at Whipton in Exeter, Devon’s players recorded a resounding victory, writes Alasdair Paterson.

Read more
09:54
Golf generic picture

Axe Cliff men played the Grainger Prior with the format being medal play with a maximum handicap allowance of 24.

Read more
09:54
Golf generic picture

A former Exeter City striker is looking to hit the back of the net and secure a place in the Lombard Trophy final at Gleneagles.

Read more
09:41
Harry Tincknell in action at the Red Bull Ring

Harry Tincknell returns to LM P2 sportscar action when the Nissan NISMO “factory” driver races for JOTA Sport in the third round of the European Le Mans Series this coming Sunday (July 12).

Read more
09:40

It’s been a busy week for friendlies after a week off during the Lyme Regis Tournament, writes Paul Moffitt.

Read more
09:40

There was delight for Honiton bowler Kieran Daniels as he has won through to play in the Nationals at Leamington next month, writes Julie Grant.

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read Sport

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



Honiton's trusted business finder