Boxing Day 2017 race report

Racing on Boxing Day morning has long been the practice at Upper Tamar Lake, if the gods
of wind and weather permit. And when those capricious creatures send the Lake blasts too
icy for sailors, there are always mince pies and chocolate brownies to be consumed and
Christmas news to be swapped. But this year the waters were barely ruffled when the club
members assembled on the shore and a race was quickly devised. Brian and James Pollard
generously offered to man the safety boat and Mandy Pollard agreed to act as race official.
(What would the club do without that family?)

Steve Axford (Laser) slipped across the start line first and at the last moment Adam Hilton
(Solo) had to yield to Nathan Pollard (Laser) who thus started second but misjudged the
second tack of the short beat to Dam Green and allowed the yellow Solo to round the buoy
before him. It wasn’t until the next buoy that the Laser definitively overtook the Solo.
Meanwhile the RS200 helmed by Sue Murray and crewed by Bob Sampson, in theory the
quickest boat on the Lake, had started fifth and was having to make up ground. John Dabbs’
Gull was disposed of by the first buoy, bringing Sue Murray up to fourth. Robin Spiller’s
Streaker got past the Gull too. As usual the legs of the course were too short to get full benefit
from the RS’ spinnaker. After a lap and a half the Solo was put firmly behind but the Pollard
Laser remained out of reach and Steve Axford was serene out front, never challenged for the
The wind was highly variable and from time to time gusty. In particular the gybe at Pinkie
was very tricky. Several sailors took refuge in granny tacks, second placed Nathan Pollard
included. Unfortunately Cilla Gilbert, helming the club’s Bosun with Sally Wills as crew,
didn’t take the cautious route and was up-ended. John Dabbs and his Gull, pleased to have got
on the Boxing Day water but not wanting to deal with excessive wind, retired from the field,
still dry.


1. Steve Axford (Laser)
2. Nathan Pollard (Laser)
3. Sue Murray and Bob Sampson (RS 200)
4. Adam Hilton (Solo)
5. Robin Spiller (Streaker)
John Dabbs (Gull), Cilla Gilbert and Sally Wills (Bosun) rtd

Grateful thanks were given to Brian and James Pollard for manning the safety boat,
particularly in mid-winter when the water is so cold for any capsized sailors. In the end,
Mandy Pollard, Rosy Hilton and Nicky Buckett shared the OOD duties, whilst Mandy also
found time to take the photographs; thanks to them all.

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