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Merlin Salcombe Week Days 5 & 6
By Rooster Sailing
For Simon to win the week meant he had to win the next 2 races, a bit like 2 match match points. Going into race 5 on a glorious sunny day, and with our race in the afternoon, we had plenty of time to formulate a plan. We decided that match racing tactics would not help (as we needed the win and take Simon out seemed a bit beyond us, but a first and a second for us was enough to be going on with). So a straight forward go for the win was needed. I'm not sure we could have started better, out the blocks first tack could cross the fleet. Tides flooding and we are going towards mark 0 beyond Black Rock. Simon & Alex are well down Hurrah! By the time we've got to Mill Bay we close tacking with Monkey Business, by the time we are out of Mill Bay we are second. Thankfully Simon misjudged the tide, and we have an opportunity to tack inside at the mark. However, remembering the outcome at Lyme and (in this case the closeness we're gonna have to tack in front of him) we bear off round them, tack, get headed, hit the mark and do the turn the worst 360 turn imaginable. Lucky us, get a puff and sit on Simon all the way down to Snape point.
We pass them (more wind) and cross our fingers when we enter the Bag to go to Girsten. with the flooding tide there are no issues and we come back to near mark 5 and go along the North shore (Frogmore side). Simon goes along the South shore and looks really good. We can see the back eddie at the houseboats, but can we make it? One of the joys of the week was watching Simon & Alex in a lull against the tide while we are in a lift in a back eddie, we were on the same tack but pointing almost 90 degree above them. Happy days! Then we got to Snape Point and all that nasty tacking. First they catch us up. Now we watched Whitworth sail past Biggs that morning because Biggs went too close in to the shore and lost the wind, presumable because the wind went up to get over the land. Do you think we learnt. We sulked all the way home. Whats wrong with second? I'll tell you whats wrong with second...
With the Series win not available to us, we went out and had a great night, one of the few things I remember is a lot of chanting late in the evening "Toby! Toby! I looked up to see him get to the top of the flag pole. I think we both feel we still have something to prove.
The first race was the clincher, Will Warren led initially with Richard Whitworth/Sally Townend in second. The clinching moment finally came, they tried to cross Will on port, there was a starboard call and Simon & Alex called out protest forcing Richard to do some turns. This dropped him down to sixth and gave Simon the lift he needed to get himself up to first.
Last race we led for a bit, but Tom Stewart did that North shore thing through the Bag and guess what. Still we were very happy with a top 3 result. OK I lied and we need to learn how to tack.
Congratulations to Simon and Alex. Well done and Thank You to Salcombe Yacht club for running such a marvellous week, the race management was flawless, and the off the water stuff was, as ever, fantastic.