Scaled back Torbay Royal Regatta provides excellent weekend of sailing

Torbay Royal Regatta 2020. Photo: Jean Border

Torbay Royal Regatta 2020. Photo: Jean Border - Credit: Archant

Torbay Royal Regatta is one of the highlights in the summer and, while the event was slightly reduced due to the pandemic, this year was no different.

Held over two days at the end of August, rather than the normal three, organisers were able to once run again a superb weekend on the water.

“We decided to go for two days only,” said Bob Penfold, sailing secretary at Royal Torbay Yacht Club.

“Part of the purpose of this was to cut the number of volunteers we needed because three of our five race officers are currently shielding, and quite a lot of others who normally operate RIBs are not able to do so at the moment.

“By sticking to yachts and sports boats only, we could minimise the number of support people required out on the water. We had just two people mark-laying, distanced on the RIB and wearing face coverings, and they had to do just one tow-in.

“We also reduced the number of people on the committee boat to five, including one couple, and again, they were all distanced.”

The racing was competitive, especially in the sports boat classes. There were eight entries in the cruiser fleet, following the SWYTC handicap system, eight entries in the IRC yacht fleet, and 11 sports boats.

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Some were crewed by family bubbles, while others, being larger, were socially distanced and, where necessary, using mitigation such as masks according to the guidelines. Participants were largely club members, though there were a few boats from further afield.

The prestigious Addison Gold Cup was this year presented for the highest placed yacht with a predominantly female crew - to encourage more female participants - and from four entries in this category, the winning boat was ‘Hope’.

The Torbay Admiral’s Cup was for a team comprising a boat from each class, putting all their points together. Again, there were four entries and the winning team was ‘Fast and Furious’, made up of winning boats ‘New Moon II’, ‘Juno’ and ‘Excellent’.

Overall winners were Paul Craft ‘Mini Mayhem’ (IRC Class), Steve Birbeck ‘Mildly Moist’(sports boats), and John Pollard ‘Excellent’ (SB20s) and James Clapham ‘Crikey’ (cruiser class).