The day was warm and sunny, winds force 2 - 3 from the South West.
The Race Officer was Clive COLLIER assisted by Jacqui LEE-HANSEN of Plymouth BCU. Also
assisting the committee were Hugh WEBB, Dai NOON and Mark HELYER.
For the third year running the Devon & Cornwall Constabulary Force Dinghy Championships was centred
on the Royal Navy Royal Marines Sail Training Centre.
A fleet of Bosun dinghies all one-design were made available to the competitors to take
part in the challenge. The morning started warm and dry, sea smooth and no wind.
Things weren't looking too good. However the competitors arrived, the equipment
was ready to go and all we were looking for was a little bit of wind.
At about 10.30 the scheduled time for the first race, the wind started to fill
from the South West. At this point the boats took to the water after a briefing
from the Race Officer and made their way to the start line off Millbay Docks. With the boats jostling for position on the start, the gun was
fired and the fleet made their way to the first mark which was a buoy at North
West Drakes Island to be followed by a port hand rounding to a wing mark off
Drakes Island to return to the line.
With the tide ebbing throughout the race, the tactics were interesting in such
light winds. The winner of race one were a surprise package from Plymouth BCU,
Kevin REID and Kevin SPARKS. Second place went to Liam and Sue McGRATH of South
and West Devon BCU and HQ, with third place being taken by Dave FORTY and Steve
PANTER from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly BCU.
Race two was scheduled to take place straight after Race one. However, issues
with the Val de Loire which will be explained later, complicated this so it was
decided to break for lunch.
With the competitors and the fleet ready to make their way out of the
race two, the start was delayed due to illegal immigrants jumping ship !! in Millbay Docks. However being aware that their colleagues were doing the right
thing and with the fleet and the rescue boats keen to assist in any rescue
attempts of any more passengers jumping of the Val de Loire the fleet waited
until the operation was complete before starting race two.
Race two had a similar course to race one, the wind having filled
in a little bit
more, raising to force 3 for the same course, raced over two
misdemeanours and mishaps were evidenced in this race which were the subject of
special note at the eventual prizegiving but the eventual winners of race two
were Liam and Sue McGRATH, second was Chris JELLISS and Keith HAWKSWORTH from Cornwall and West Devon BCU and third was
Chris BATTEN and Steve HUMPRHEYS from Cornwall and West Devon BCU.
Race 3 and 4 both followed on from race 2, with
conditions not varying much at all and the course remaining the same.
Races 3 and 4 were run back to back with race 3 being won again by Kevin
REID and Kevin SPARKS. In second place
were Liam and Sue McGRATH and
in third place, Tim WRIGHT and Jim WATSON from Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly BCU. Race 4 was again won by Liam
& Sue McGRATH, with
Kevin REID and Kevin SPARKS second; third place in
this race going to Dave FORTY and Steve PANTER.
That concluded the racing for the day. Competitors came ashore, tidied up their
kits and gathered for the prize giving.
There was an interesting situation with the points overall. One race was discarded so it
was the best of three races to count and the final positions in points ended up
with a tie between Liam and Sue McGRATH, Kevin REID and Kevin SPARKS. However,
as they were tied on three races, the fourth race was taken into consideration.
That moved the overall winning position to Liam and Sue McGRATH of South West
and Devon BCU & HQ to become the overall PAA Dinghy Championships for Devon &
Cornwall Constabulary for the year 2003, for which they are congratulated. Kevin
REID and Kevin SPARKS of Plymouth BCU were second overall and Chris JELLISS and Keith
HAWKSWORTH of Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly BCU finished third overall.
Thanks are expressed to the Royal Navy Royal Marines Sail Training Centre again
for the use of their fantastic facilities by Devon & Cornwall Constabulary
staff. The prize giving was conducted by the
D&C Constabulary Sailing Section Vice-Commodore, Chris JELLISS as
Ray LAWRY was unfortunately not available due to work commitments to attend that day.
The season has now drawn to a close for 2003 with planning well in hand
for the season 2004.
Anyone wishing to join the section please contact our
Section Secretary, DC 3679 Julie TURNER of Plymouth BCU.
Devon & Cornwall Constabulary