Team Yachting World have taken a chance on the British weather and headed to the West Country for a two-week cruise along the south coast

With the British summer seemingly well-established Team Yachting World have taken a chance and headed to the West Country for a two-week cruise along the south coast.

Thanks to Partway Marine in Torquay who supplied the Sunbeam 44 and Pastime who delivered a new tender and outboard, David Glenn and the first relay team from the office were all set up for the first leg from Torquay last Monday.

Before setting off, however, they took the opportunity to see if the ‘transformed’ Torquay lived up to the recent glowing reports. After 12 years of campaigning for improvements in the area it looks like the town is finally turning itself around in particular making life a lot easier for visiting yachtsmen. There’s now, as from last month, a moving sill in the old harbour to maintain a constant depth of 2.3m to allow yachts to remain afloat at all times. A new footbridge joining the main town with Beacon Quay is also a big improvement, so too is the new Harbour Master office. As a tip, however, it’s worth checking out the difference in price between the MDL Marina which will cost around £35 a night for a boat of our size, and Halden Pier where you’ll be charged just £15!

With the sun shining but very little wind, the team headed off round Berry Head up the River Dart to the marina where they met up with cruise photographer Richard Langdon. ‘It’s great here,’ said Glenn, ‘it’s quiet, peaceful and a really pleasant place to spend an afternoon. The only thing is you can’t book a berth at the marina beforehand. You can tell them you’re on your way and the chances are they’ll fit you in either at Dart Haven or on the visitors’ pontoon further upstream on the east side.’

From here they headed further upstream to Dittisham and picked up a buoy at Viper’s Quay looking forward to a much deserved meal at a local restaurant. But it wasn’t to be ‘Here we had our first disappointment,’ added Glenn, ‘when we tried to find somewhere to eat at 8.30. We headed to the Ferry Boat Inn but they basically refused to serve because it was too late! They did however, help us find another eating place, the Red Lion, which turned out to be just fine.’

Up bright and early on Wednesday morning the team had a cracking sail in a building south-south easterly breeze ’round the corner’ to Salcombe arriving mid afternoon in time for lunch on board. Here they picked up a fore and aft visitors’ mooring just off the beach and proceeded to make the most of the weather before the forecast low approached.

Naturally, with no time to waste it was out with the Love Potion cocktails (ably mixed by Fiona Scully from the IPC Marine Marketing Department) and the rest, as they say, was history. Apparently David Glenn, Clare Armstrong and Richard Langdon’s rendition Of Andy Williams’ songs could be heard from Bolt Head!