Racing in sunshine against backdrop of cruise ships in Bay

Two yachts in Paignton Sailing Club's Christmas Cracker Pursuit Race

Paignton Sailing Club's annual Christmas Cracker Pursuit Race - Credit: Submitted

Paignton Sailing Club ran its annual Christmas Cracker Pursuit Race on Sunday, December 6.

Until a few weeks before, the club didn’t even know whether they would be able to run the event due to the uncertainty around the Covid-19 restrictions.

However, in the end, thanks to the strict policies and procedures they were able to safely run the regatta.

The conditions were quite light but it was warmer than expected and crews raced the fleet in sunshine against the backdrop of cruise ships in the Bay.

Thirty-nine boats started the race with eight RS Aeros forming the largest class.

Two of Paignton Sailing Club’s juniors, Iona Flett and Isabel Williscroft, led for the first hour in a Tera and a Topper respectively before slowly being reeled in by the chasing pack.

In the end it was a very close battle for the win and the whole fleet were similarly close.

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Richard Cain and Barney Dearsly won in their RS400. Bob Warren and Charlie Ellse made it a 400 1-2 with the Osprey of Terry Curtis and Peter Greig taking the final podium spot.

Ben Flower was first single hander in his Laser in fourth, beating the Merlin Rocket of Dave Lee and Kirsten Glen in fifth. 

First in a strong Blaze fleet was Andrew Chorlton, who was also first Paignton SC boat and sixth overall.

Congratulations were due to all of the competitors who took part and a big thank you to all of the volunteers who made the event happen. Thanks also to series organisers Sailing Southwest, and sponsors Allen Sailing who kindly provided some prizes.