Torbay delivered another challenging day today, the second day of the Navigators & General Mirror European Championships. Brixham Yacht Club’s race committee dealt with the conditions well to complete three good races in the shifty north-westerly wind.
It was a case of third time lucky in race one with a big right shift causing a general recall in the first start, a left shift in the second. The third start got away with an individual recall. Tash & Sarah Ewart-Smith reached the windward mark first closely followed by Tiernan Dickson & Luke Groake Donagh. The leaders managed to pull away downwind which allowed them to defend a shifty second beat with the Irish pairing choosing the correct final left shift to pull ahead of the British sisters. Gemma Keers & Imogen Bellfield sailed a safe race to finish third. The Judges' yellow flags were getting some action with Angus & Fraser Hemmings getting peanalised twice for illegal propulsion resulting in a DSQ.
Race two was a more stable affair, with the wind building to 9-14knots but a difficult chop. Scarlett Shepherd & Harvey Martin made the most of an excellent start to lead Rachel Grayson & Gemma Francis Burnett and the rest of the fleet. The top two boats had a good tussle up the second beat however Scarlett & Harvey extended at the top of the beat to win the race from Rachel & Gemma, with Harriet & Helena Watkins securing third. For Angus & Fraser it was déjà vu with another two yellow flags and a DSQ.
Race three delivered more of the same shifty conditions, with the fleet becoming more accustomed to the offshore breeze coming from the Devon hills. Rachel Grayson & Gemma Burnett played the shifts perfectly to round the top mark with a convincing lead which they extended along the first reaches. Eleanor Keers & Izzy Pugh worked extremely hard, as one of the smallest crews in the fleet, to consolidate a strong pin end start with a safe second place. There were changes in position in the rest of the fleet up the second beat, with a significant left shift, Tiernan Dickson & Luke Groake Donagh continued to string together a strong set of results with a third place finish.
The sailors will be pleased to have got three races in, with light winds forecast for tomorrow.
A small seclection of photos from day 2 - photos © Gareth Fudge used with permission