In the days building up to the 2019 NDYC Wrecker, the wind was uncharacteristically light, very light. With an easterly wind offshore it was looking like a difficult day.
The start line was kept close to the Instow shore giving the slower boats a chance to get out of the tide close in but there was more breeze further out. The course took the fleet of 26 round a Rowing Gig race and out into the main Taw Torridge estuary. Soon spinnakers were set down wind and the fleet was away, some even trapeze reaching under asymmetric spinnakers.
The lasers lead the way with a 4.7, radials and standards in chase but very soon the Laser 3000 crewed by Jono Pank and local Angus Cook hit the front. This looked like theirs to lose, but then the Blazes, and international Canoe were yet to get going.
As the race unfolded the breeze held F2-3 moving slightly North catching some out. The Blaze fleet including one Halo sailed by Nick Ripley. They were having a good battle with Ben Flower in his Laser. Dave Stockton and Trisha Chang in a RS400, and Eric Evans in a Redwing crewed by Stan Pyle both had their moments with David and Ros Downs from Wales in their Merlin chasing.
With 30 minutes to go, the Int. Canoe sailed by Chris Hampe was racing through the fleet and the writing was on the cards. Chris hit the front with 10 minutes to go and no one. would catch him. The cats failed to feature in the race, with too little wind for them to fly. Top was Chris with local man Hugh Kingdon in a Blaze in second. The Halo fought through to 3rd and Blazes of Paul Tatum, and Mike Bell took 4th and 5th, with Ben Flower in 6th.
As the wind died and the tide turned the fleet had a long, slow trip back to base, but a great days racing was had by all.
The team event for the club with the best 3 sailors from 2 or more different classes was taken by home club NDYC, with Brixham in second place.
Overall in the winter series after 3 round Simon Hawkes remains in first place 1 point clear of Chris Hampe, and Colin Stephens in his Enterprise in third. In the team event Penzance SC are currently leading with North Devon YC in second place and Mounts Bay 3rd with Brixham YC in 4th. It is all to play for as we go into Round 4 at Paignton for the Christmas Cracker on 1st December.