A frustrated Dartmouth Regatta fleet was left becalmed a few miles from the finish line on Saturday
After an exciting first few day’s sailing at Dartmouth, conditions changed dramatically on Saturday when a rain squall swept along the South Devon coast, leaving a frustrated Dartmouth Regatta fleet on the Marchand Petit Coastal Race becalmed miles from the finish line.
The squall swept through about one hour into the race in Start Bay, at just about the same time that the majority of the fleet had reached the furthest mark off Torcross. The faster boats were able to round the mark ahead of the squall and begin the run back up to the finish line, led by Rennie Miller in Dignity. However, the slower craft were left to kedge against a foul tide, and could only sit and wait off Slapton Sands until they were out of time to complete the race.
Most of the IRC 1 category did eventually make it back within the time limit, with Mustang Sally returning runner-up and retaining the series lead from Bare Knuckles. Tim Harrington again came out top IRC 2 in Capitalism after another close race with Xcellent – only nine boats finishing in time in this category.
In IRC 3 things were worse, only Eric Alston in Avrio managing to get across the line in time whilst Andrew Maunder in Xtrovert was the only boat from the 59 strong PY1 and PY2 fleet to record a finish!
Fortunately, all the other craft sailed on a shorter course closer to the Dart and therefore were less affected by the loss of wind. In PY3 Martin Claymore in Red Sky took his first Regatta win whilst the J/80s had a close and exciting race. The previous day’s winner Oceans Eleven led for the whole race from the pursuing pack until a crewman fell overboard at the final mark allowing Jack (Simon Unwin) to slip through to win from Stephen Hills in JSM.
The keelboats too had good racing with veteran Trevor Reed reading the wind shift better to take his first Scimitar win in Saladin, David Wines cleaning up again in the Squibs in White Magic, John Skeltion taking the increasingly popular Devon Yawls in Bumble B and Ian Fraser finally sailing the correct course to win the Dragons in Hummingbird.
The Junior Topper racing is turning into real nailbiter with Henry Bomby recording his first win the previous day to put him level on points with brother Ross.