Torbay Tornado Race Report
Following rough weather forecasts and yet another Amber Weather Warning for the region, 18 competitors assembled on a blustery Easter Monday in Torbay. The event was scheduled to have a 90 min pursuit race followed by a couple of 15-minute sprint races. Unfortunately with 4, gusting 5 winds from the South meant the sprints were abandoned to allow the rescue facilities to concentrate on the job in hand rather than laying marks after the pursuit.
So, off we went with a scheduled 11.00 start. The Laser radial of Ben Hawkes lead the fleet away with James Ripley in a Europe not far behind. One lap in, Ben still held the lead with a Laser 2000 sailed by Ronnie Carter and Alex Smerdon in second place. As the lap progressed the RS Aero 7s, Finn, a pair of RS200s and the series leaders, Tim and Sarah Parsons in their Scorpion were all in the hunt.
The faster boats, including a Contender sailed by Ed Presley, and Nick Ripley in a Blaze, soon made their presence felt along with Sam Thompson and Theo Harris in the Merlin Rocket.
The gusty conditions took a toll on the fleet with James Ripley and the International Canoe of Chris Hampe forced back to base for an early shower. Greg Bartlett in an RS Aero 9 found the going tough as he took a plenty of swims, but he managed to continue on to the finish.
Ed Presley clearly enjoyed the conditions, taking the Contender home by a margin. In second also revelling in the stronger winds on familiar water was Nick Ripley in his Blaze, with Sam Thompson & Theo Harris taking 3rd in their Merlin Rocket, leaving Sam second overall in the series. Tim and Sarah Parsons delivered 4th place to guarantee a series win for the Scorpion from Lyme Regis, while Ben Hawkes toughed it out to take 5th in his Laser.