[from the TCYC Newsletter Issue 2]

by Mike Commander

Coombe Cellars hosted the New Year Dinghy Regatta over the weekend of January 6th & 7th. This year’s regatta was sponsored by Teignworthy Brewery who kindly donated a keg of Reel Ale. 2018 will see many such regattas which are being treated as fundraising events in support of the proposed new dinghy clubhouse.

With an early race start time of 9am sailors started arriving to rig their boats at 8am only to find that they first had to de-ice their boat covers and tie-down ropes that were frozen solid. The air temperature was 2C but it felt much colder. Several cadets put in an appearance and were far keener than the adults to get on the water. Race Officer, Ray Potter set a relatively short course for a beat diagonally across the river into a shifty NE’ly breeze of around 10knots. It was a case of single file launching due to the very high tide.

Race 1 got underway with a clean start and K1 sailor, Mike Commander got away and led the fleet from start to finish only to find that Owen Martin in his Laser had closed down sufficiently to take the line honours.

With the cold conditions it was pleasing to see the races were kept short and each race start was turned around really quickly. As the morning progressed the wind steadily built and tracked left to a NNE’ly. Race 2 again got away cleanly and with the outgoing tide flowing quickly it often paid to cross the river early. Again, Commander’s K1 led the fleet and this time did enough to claim first place with the Solo of Tim Martin taking second. The 3rd race of the morning saw Paul Craft and Simon Jones in one of two double handers, an RS200, take an early lead closely followed by Commander and Rob Upton in his Finn dinghy. When Craft decided to gybe off downstream the closely following K1 took advantage and goose-winged straight to the leeward mark to take the lead which was never relinquished.
On getting ashore and de-rigging the dinghy sailors were joined by several cruiser members for a warming mulled wine and BBQ. Once feeling had been regained in the fingers the annual Boules Match got underway. This is always a hardly fought contest which the cruiser members have won for the last two years, although it came to light this year that they have been known to use ‘magnetic’ boules. The rotating team that the dinghy section put forward was determined to see off the domination of the cruisers and their ‘sticky’ boules seemed to do the trick as they won 5 games to 4 and hence regained the splendid cannon trophy.

Sunday January 7 dawned a little warmer than Saturday – well, there was no ice on the boat covers! But it certainly didn’t feel warmer and with a bitingly cold NE’ly blowing a good 20 knots the wind chill was down to -2C. The Race Officer wisely judged the feelings of the sailors and decided to call it a day. So with no Sunday sailing the results from the day before stood and the final results are shown below: