Costa Blanca, Spain

Crewing a TOM in the 5 Clubs Regatta Calpe on Sunday 19 May

The Rumbo Solidario and 5 Clubs Regatta took place at the Real Club Náutico Calpe (RCNC) on Saturday 18 & Sunday 19 May 2019.

Due to the shortage of CBYA member-owned yachts, and CBYA crew positions, we again entered a TOM 28 in the 5 Clubs Regatta on the Sunday. The crew comprised Paul Smithard, Andy Symons, Mike Cross and “yours truly” on the helm.

The TOM 28 rating puts us in ORC-B, which means that we have to sail the longer 16 km course down to the Albir fish-farm, back up to Calpe bay, then out to sea before rounding the final mark and returning to the finish line.

Jim Mack crewed on another TOM 28 entered by Angie Roper for RCNC. We decided that, since our rating was unlikely to allow us to get a podium result, we would concentrate on racing Angie and Jim!

Since all three classes (26 yachts) started at once, we hung back at the gun, and let most of the big boats go first. The other TOM did the same, starting at the pin end. We then raced to the turning mark, before turning south for the long spinnaker run to the Albir fish farm. We were pleased to beat Jim to the first mark. However, we had a slight problem in hoisting the kite on rounding the mark, as the spinnaker pole cable snapped, the delay in setting the kite allowing the other TOM to sail past us. Paul quickly jury-rigged the pole, and we managed to fly the spinnaker on one long run all the way to the Albir fish farm. Unlike the rest of the fleet we took the inner route, closer to the shore, which paid off as we rounded the fish farm ahead of the other TOM, just after S/Y Blade.

The wind turned to the south as predicted, resulting in another spinnaker run back to Calpe, but gradually weakened allowing us to pass Blade. The fleet closed up as the wind died, but then slowly filled in from the south, allowing the other TOM to sail back to us. Both Blade and the TOM then eased past us, sailing closer to the shore, as we struggled to catch enough wind to keep up with them.

The course was shortened for ORC-B, so we did not have to sail out to sea before finishing behind the other TOM. See ORC-B results by clicking HERE. Not our best performance sailing a TOM in the 5 Clubs Calpe, but a good learning experience for the crew!


We managed to get the yacht safely back into the marina, and de-rigged in time for a buffet-style lunch.

Surprisingly, although there were a couple of larger CBYA yachts in the event, we are again the only CBYA TOM entry in this event – it would be good to see more CBYA-crewed TOMs in future 5 Clubs Regattas at Calpe.

Hugh Epsom


Comments (2)

Considering there are supposed to be over 300 members of what is after all a sailing group, it is surprising that there are not more Toms taking part in an event like this. It would be interesting to know why !

would be there if in Spain but racing our Sigma in the UK for the summer-

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