Archive For 2019 Series

Rob Peck


The Easter Race Season was completed on May 26th and totaled 11 races, a number having been lost through bad weather.

It was an extremely close fought season with some great sailing from everybody who took part and the final scores reflected this. Using the “Low Score” system gave results of first 42.25 points, with second and third tied on 42.5 points.

Julian Singleton

However, as is normal, the three worse scores of each boat were dropped to give final scores and placing’s of first Mistral with 11.5 points, second Topaz with 22.25 points and third Cuatro with 23.5 points.

The Topaz is owned and sailed by Julian Singleton but Mistral is a Balaton Group boat and Cuatro a Shoestring Group boat so are sailed by different people most race days.


Jack Moss

The results were announced and the trophies presented at
SAMM meeting on June 12th. Rob Peck collected the winner’s
trophy on behalf of the various Mistral crews and Jack Moss did
the same for the Cuatro crews.

The Late Spring Season is now underway and continues every Sunday until July 14th.



THE EASTER SERIES FINISHED ON MAY 26th and all competitors should be very proud of their performances. Corrected times that are within seconds and fractions of a second of each other shows that the boats are all well set up and tuned for racing and the crews are performing at their very best.

A quite small change in a boats performance in a race by taking one more or one less tack to make the windward mark, or taking too wide a turn round a buoy, or getting the line from buoy to buoy slightly different or getting all tacks and jibes perfectly controlled could easily change any boats finishing position. So keep up the good work guys and gals, it makes for exciting racing.



With high winds forecast from about 1pm the SAMM Race Officer on June 9th again decided to try to get two races run back to back.

With numbers down slightly than of late as competitors started to leave Spain for the summer months 7 boats, with 12 crew members, came to the start promptly at 11.05am for the 1 hour race. Uno crossed right on the gun with the other close behind and Ginetta bring up the rear 11 seconds later.

Although only 5 to 7 knots the wind was very fluky, swinging from W to S and back constantly. This caught the Topaz out and she capsized at the first mark but was soon up and racing again. It also soon had the boats spread out all round the course as some competitors read the wind shifts better than others.

The last boat finished at 12.06 and the second race started at 11.20, in a 7-8 knot SSW wind, again with Uno fractionally in front and all over inside 10 seconds except the Radial which had returned to shore to adjust the rig and followed 1 minute later, by which time the wind had become S 9 – 12 knots.

This was a much better race with some close battles, especially between the Laser Standard and Uno just ahead of the Radial and Cuatro, that saw the Laser Standard and the Radial both pull ahead of their rival by a minute at the end of lap 5.

At the finish the wind had reached 12 – 13 knots and soon built to over 15 but, by then. Everybody was safe on shore but it was still A VERY CLOSE CALL by the Race Officer.

The popular winner of both races on corrected time was Uno, sailed by Vernon O’Byrne and Paulo Johnston. Great performance gentlemen.

Photo Vernon O’Byrne left, Paulo Johnston, right.



Drama and Excitement

With perfect conditions forecast everybody was anticipating two exciting races for the SAMM fleet on June 2nd. They were right but only 50% of the time.

Morning Race, the Drama. 10 boats crewed by 15 members came out for the start at 11.30 with the wind ENE 6.5 knots. All got a good start except Sirocco who was way off the line when the gun went and this was the start of several incidents during the morning that affected the race.


Sirocco had problems setting her foresail (which was eventually traced to a detached furling gear fixing line) drifted inside the reef and grounded. It was too shallow for the support boat to help and, in the attempt the engine warning light and horn activated, eventually diagnosed as over-heating due to a lack of cooling. Sirocco’s skipper eventually did his Humphrey Bogart in the African Queen impression (for those of you old enough to remember this) and got into the water to haul her off, luckily without being attacked by leaches.

The start line/gate had been set at a slight angle to the wind and was difficult for most boats to negotiate as they completed their laps. Ginetta got it completely wrong and snagged the port side mark’s mooring line on her keel, dragging the buoy way out of position. This caused total confusion for the following boats and most sailed way off their best course before their lap time could be recorded. At this point Ginetta decided to retire.

Next came the invasion of two canoes, one carrying two women and two young children and the other just three girls aged about 8. Despite warnings from the Race Officer and his Assistants they paddled into the race course forcing a number of boats to take avoiding action, losing time in the process. The three little girls did not have the skill or strength to battle the wind, which had built to 7/8 knots from the east, and just kept going round in circles. The adults were told to steer both craft to the leeward of the jetty to get sufficient shelter to reach the beach which they managed to do.

The support boat had re-positioned the wayward gate buoy and the race continued, with some very close racing, without incident until the Radial tacked too close and to windward of Dos, heeled quite a lot and caught the shroud on Dos with her mast top, precipitating a slight collision. This happened about 5 meters from the monitoring team who had a clear view of the incident. The Radial had to do a 720 penalty but Dos did the same, which probably put her one place lower in the finishing order.

The corrected average lap times were well spaced except the notable exception of the 3rd placed boat Cuatro at 469.02 secs and 4th Topaz at an incredibly close 469.06 secs.

Sirocco eventually started the race 68 minutes late but did manage to complete one lap before the finish.

Afternoon Race, the Excitement started at 2.30 in an E 6/7 knot wind which gradually built during the 75 minutes race to 8/9 knots. This is perfect for the SAMM fleet as it is not so strong to make the lighter dinghies struggle but of sufficient strength to get the heavier boats sailing well.

All boats crossed the start line in a bunch, most on the favored port tack but Mistral chose starboard and had right of way, which caused lots of shouting and deft maneuvering by those on port to keep out of her way. The same occurred at the first mark as almost the whole fleet tried to round together.

The leading three completed their first lap within 5 seconds of one another and then continued round the course with just inches between them and this very close sailing continued throughout the race.

The corrected times were equally close. The winner recording an average lap time of 333.86 seconds, 2nd 339.90, 3rd 346.33, 4th350.08 with the tail enders not far behind.

Exciting for the competitors and equally exciting for the spectators.

First race result 1st Radial, 2nd Omega, 3rd Cuatro.

Second race 1st Mistral, 2nd Radial, 3rd Cuatro.

Winners, left to right. Rob Peck and Ian Sinclair, Mistral. Norman Vener, Radial.


More Great Racing for SAMM


With strong winds forecast from lunchtime onwards on May 26th, the Race Officer, John Down, decided to change the day’s format and run a 60 minute race and a 75 minute race

back to back and this was agreed by the 13 competitors, sailing 8 boats. With some of the regulars away there was a chance for some new talent to shine.

Due to some much improved sailing during this series with all boats generally crossing the start line together, everybody was warned that the officials would be watching out for boats ‘jumping the gun’.  However, after this praise, in a very light wind, the start of the first race was a disaster and it took more than 11 minutes for everybody to cross the line. The race was very strung out and slow and the wind only lifted slowly during the last laps.

Mistral chases them down

Everybody was glad to see the back of this race and had their eyes on the second as the wind had increased to 11 knots and was to eventually rise to 13 knots, which certainly tested sailing abilities.

The course was reversed and the second race proved much more competitive, with all boats crossing the start line in one bunch.  Special mention should be made of Julian on his Topaz, who was out on his trapeze, and Norman on his Laser, both trying to keep their boats level in the gusts, also the Sailfish crews who had some new members and first time racers aboard.  It was also great to see Tug and Kerry, aboard the Omega, flying around the course lapping boats on numerous occasions.  However the good winds meant all the boats performed well and this was reflected in the results with Mistral first, 2 seconds ahead of Rosita, herself 4 seconds ahead of the Radial.

Timing Team

Mistrals win was memorable as Ian’s crew Nati, a Spanish lady, was a guest member and had never previously sailed on the boat.

A special thank you was given to all the volunteers who make sure the racing a success by taking the entries, manning the support boat, to the ‘Timing Team’ ladies who check the stop watches and record the lap times.


Winners photo
From left to right. Julian Singleton who won the first race on the Topaz.
Natividad Rua and Ian Sinclair who won the second race on Mistral.





One very good race

Another great turnout of 17 competitors sailing 10 boats for the SAMM races on May 19th.

There was a dead calm when everybody arrived but, as forecast, the wind picked up to 4.5 to 5 knots at the start then built quickly to 6 to 8 knots where it remained for the whole 75 minute (4500 seconds) race.

Everybody made a good start and the fastest boat in the fleet, Topaz Duo, soon pulled ahead hotly pursued by two groups, the Laser Radial, Laser 1, Omega and Laser 2000 then a few minutes later the two Sailfish 18’s and the two Gamba’s with the diminutive Sea Hopper bringing up the rear.

These two groups had some exciting and tight racing among themselves, lapping within seconds of the rest of the group and with boats constantly changing position, as the individual crews tried different tacks to gain the advantage.



This continued for a few laps but eventually a couple of mishaps soon had the fleet spread out all around the course. The about to finish signal was sounded at 4230 seconds and the boats finished in between 4252 and 4619 seconds.

The corrected times gave the honours to the Sailfish ‘Mistral’ (Julian Pering and Steve Rocks) with the other Sailfish ‘Ginetta’ (Ian Sinclair and Peter Beck) second just 3 seconds behind. A brilliant performance by the two largest boats in the fleet.

By the time the 5 minute warning signal was sounded for the second race the wind had increased to 12 gusting 15 knots the maximum for safe sailing for SAMM members, most of who are between 60 and 75 years old. Within four minutes it had increase further to 15 gusting 18 so the Race officer was forced to cancel.


The Best Day This Season

 With 20 competitors sailing 11 boats this was the best turnout of 2019 for the Race Day on May 12th and this was matched by good weather again.

The morning race started in E 4.5 to 6 knot winds and the boats straggled crossing the start line with Ginetta 8 minutes late because of a jammed furling line so she soon retired. The race progressed without incident but often with close battles rounding marks. It was great to see some boats employing tactics within the rules to gain the advantage. The corrected times showed Shoestring Cuatro the winner just 2.35 seconds in front of the Shoestring Omega.


The wind had veered to ESE 5 to 7 knots for the second race start which was fiercely contest by the whole fleet. With the wind gradually increasing to 11 knots, this highly competitive spirit continued throughout the whole 75 minutes of the race. At one point 8 boats rounded a mark within 6 seconds of each other. Although the Balaton Mistral was a clear winner by 16.15 seconds, only 32.27 seconds separated the first five boats and only 0.24 seconds separated the third and forth places.

Excellent, tight and competitive racing by all boats to confirm this as “The Best Day This Season”.

Winners, left to right. First race Shoestring Cuatro, Vernon O’Byrne, Paulo Johnstone, Colin Craven.

Second race Balaton Mistral, Sue Marlow, Ian Sinclair.


Great Weather – at last

After so many cancelled races this season, on Sunday 28th April our sailors at last were blessed with great racing weather. This resulted in the best turnout this year, 18 competitors sailing in 10 boats.

First race: All 10 boats got off to a fine start with 8 vying for a place on the start line. One of the Gambas wrongly calling for water against the Laser Radial. Good nature won over and the Radial did give way. With a light 8 knot wind the boats soon spread out and the race was without incident, except for the support boat getting in the way on the finish line, preventing the race control getting a clear sight when one of the Gambas was finishing.

Second race: With the wind now at 13-14 knots the start was quite dramatic a lot of starboard calling, the Omega flying over the line with Topaz in hot pursuit and Cuatro, with a damaged rudder, struggling to catch up. The racing was complicated by the presence of swimmers in the water and another sailing school using the buoys for practice, at one instance, forcing the Sea Hopper to miss the mark. With the Radial calling starboard on the Gamba Uno and being ignored, the Race Officer was expecting a protest but once again good will prevailed. On every lap there were at least two boats vying for the

L to R Ian Sinclair, Julian Singleton, Derek Howe

finish line with only seconds between them, thus keeping the intrepid race control officers on their toes.  Again, no incidents during a fiercely contested but friendly and close race.

Winners: First race, Julian Singleton in the Topaz. Second race, Derek Howe and Ian Sinclair in Mistral.




SAMM, Racing Again at Last

After three Sundays when we had to cancel the planned race day due to bad weather, racing was at last possible on April 14th and 7 boats and their eager crews came to the start line for the first race at 11am.

The wind was a light SSW 3/4 knots and it remained at this for the first 40 minutes but increased to 5 knots for the last 20 minutes of the race. Five boats got a good start but Shoestring Dos was 4 minutes and Ginetta 7 minutes late crossing the line. There were no incidents and the race was unexciting to watch.

Mistral well heeled

The race format was “Average Lap” and after handicaps were applied Mistral with Robert Hudson and Ian Sinclair aboard, was declared the winner with and average lap time of 604.11 seconds.

The wind had backed to SSE 4/5 knots for the second race start at 1pm and all boats got away within 1 minutes of the gun. There was a good battle to the first mark and then the fleet started to spread out as the faster boats pulled away from the slowest. There was some close racing throughout as boats jostled for supremacy. The wind swung back to SSW and gradually increased to 7/8 knots after 25 minutes, then 8 gusting 11 at 32 minutes and 9 gusting 12 at 42 minutes. Some of the faster dinghies started to find the wind challenging but all held on to finish without problems.

The results were extremely close and showed just how well all crews had performed. The winner was again Mistral with an average lap time of 320.64 seconds. Second was Ginetta in 350.02, third Shoestring Cuatro in 351.99, forth Shoestring Dos 352.62, fifth Sea Hopper 355.21, sixth RS Quba 360.29 and seventh Topaz Duo 377.97.

These are probably the closest set of results for many years and, with just 2 to 5 seconds separating the second to sixth placed boats, just a small adjustment to the course or a better reading of the wind shift by any of them could have changed their finishing position. Well done everybody!

Next race day is Easter Sunday April 21st

Photo: Winning crew both races,
Robert Hudson left, Ian Sinclair right


2019 Racing Season Starts

Both officials and competitors were keen to enjoy the first race day of the new  season so arrived early, got everything ready for a prompt start but were then delayed because laying the course proved a problem. A net, several hundred meters long, had been laid parallel to the shore which squeezed the available water to a long, narrow slot.

The wind was SW, very moderate and five boats started the first race, which was of “Average Lao” format, but by the first mark the wind had become ESE. Sirocco struggled, could get little forward movement and retied after the first mark; the cause needs to be investigated. Julian soon took the lead in his Topaz, lapping Ginetta during lap 3 and both Uno and Cuatro on lap 4. Cuatro pulled away from Uno and the finishing order was Julian Singleton on the Topaz, Ginetta, Cuatro and Uno. On corrected time this was un-changed.

For the second race the course was changed to a triangular so the boats sailed anti-clockwise from the start inside the nets, then port around first buoy and then a longish leg to windward towards the SE around second buoy with a return to the gate passing between the end of fishing net markers and a moored ferry before a tight turn back through the gate. The wind kept swinging between SE and ESE which meant that sometimes the first buoy was windward then the second buoy was windward which made good racing with boat taking different tacks.

Julian on the Topaz was using his trapeze which helped him gradually open up a good lead. Uno and Cuatro were only 2 seconds apart at the end of their first lap with Ginetta keeping up with them despite being a slower boat. Cuatro and Ginetta had a very close encounter at the start of their third lap and a little later Ginetta was forced over the net, luckily without getting caught up. The wind continued to increase causing Julian a problem on his last lap. He seemed unable to make the course between nets and ferry and sailed a long way off before capsizing as he tried to jibe. He righted the Topaz about a minute away from gate just as the “about to finish” signal sounded, with Ginetta only 50 meters further off. Both Gambas had about 3/4 of a lap to do before finish but all got around without any more incidents.

The result on corrected time was Jack Moss, Robert Hudson and Bob Lagden on Cuatro, Topaz, Ginetta, Uno with only 8 seconds separating the Topaz and Ginetta, that’s close racing.

Photo shows the winners from left to right Jack Moss, Julian Singleton, Robert Hudson