Glorious weather but where’s the wind?
For the fifth week running no wind and a flat calm Mar Menor greeted our competitors as they arrived for the racing on October 8th, so yet again the morning race did not start until 12 noon.
In only 3-4 knots of wind seven boats started, and Julian Singleton, Topaz Duo, was soon in the lead which he gradually increased as the race progressed. The rest of the fleet followed and soon it was a procession of with only two changes of position when Di Hardwick/ Jack Moss, Gamba, passed Norman Vener, Laser Radial, during lap 2 and then Tim Wills/Tug Wilson, Laser 2000, also passed Norman during lap 3. Mick Burgess, Sea Hopper, retired after lap 2 as he was so far behind. The Race Officer shortened the race from 4 to 3 laps due to the time it was taking with Julian the only boat finishing in under an hour.
The afternoon race started at 2.30 pm by which time the wind had increased to a perfect 8 to 10 knots. This time it was Tug and Tim who took the lead closely followed by Julian and, although the lead changed from time to time, Tug and Tim always completed each lap a few seconds ahead. It was a great tussle to watch. A similar battle was taking place further down the field between the Gambas of Vernon O’Byrne/ John Down and Jack/Di, where again just seconds separated them as each lap was completed. In this race 4 boats finished 4 laps in just under the hour.
Results after applying the handicaps were:-
Morning race; Julian Singleton, Topaz Duo; Di Hardwick/Jack Moss, Gamba; Julian Pering/Nick Novak, Sailfish 18. A great performance by the heavy Sailfish in such light winds.
Next race day October 15th, Pursuit racing.
Current Series Position table shown left.
EXTRA RACING, DIFFERENT FORMAT
October is the month that many non-resident members of SAMM and those that were away during the heat of the summer arrive back in Spain. So the race Committee decided to organise racing every Sunday during the month and, by popular agreement, make the extra three dates Pursuit Racing.
For those of you who don’t know, a Pursuit Race has a time limit; 90 minutes in this case, starting the slowest boat first, followed by the remaining boats at irregular intervals calculated using their handicaps.
Due to the lack of early wind, the first race started at 12.10pm, in about 4 knots, with 9 boats competing around a triangular course. The little “Rosita” was away first, followed by the rest over a 26 minute period. Unfortunately “Rosita” struggled badly in the light wind and could not make the start line for over 10 minutes, so retired.
A good race ensued with “Sirocco”, who was one of the second boats away, gradually being caught by Shoestrings “Dos” and “Tres”, the last boats away and racing neck and neck. “Sirocco” finally being overtaken just minutes from the finish after completing just over two laps of the course.
By 2.40pm the wind had increased to 8 knots and this time “Mistral” and “Sirocco”, were the first boats away. The Skipper was second away, 6 minutes later, but had to retire when her mainsail split.
“Mistral” led the field for 3 laps as “Dos” and “Tres”, again racing hard against each other and just seconds apart, chased her down. They both finally passed her during the 4th lap, with 30 minutes of the race remaining and then continued to battle each other for the lead. At times only 10 seconds separated them but eventually “Tres” won by a margin of 36 seconds. The Laser Radial also managed to pass “Mistral” with just 5 minutes to go to secure third place.
Everybody enjoyed the change from the normal race format and are looking forward to trying pursuit racing again in two weeks time.
Morning race First: Dos, John Down/Tim Wills. Second: Tres, Jack Moss/Vernon O’Byrne. Third: Sirocco, Julian Pering/Steve Rocks.
Afternoon race First: Tres, Tug Wilson/Vernon O’Byrne. Second: Dos, John Down/Kerry Marlow. Third: The Laser Radial of Norman Vener.
Photo: Shoestring Dos and Tres battle it out
Great Second Race Day for SAMM Sailors
Sunday 24th September, 10am at CTD and the competitors and officials arrive for the second race day of SAMM’s Autumn Season Handicap Series, pity the wind did not decide join them till much later so the first race start had to be delayed until 12.15pm.
With more members back in Spain after their summer away, 8 boats containing 12 crew total got away with only a little shouting of Starboard, get out of the b++++y way, etc. With the gentle 4 knot breeze, for the first time in a good few years, the race officer had set a short, figure of eight course which called for some careful manoeuvring and adhesion to the rules where the route crossed.
The single hander’s of Tug Wilson and Julian Singleton were soon battling for the lead as they drew away from the rest of the fleet and they completed the first three laps 5, 1 and 2 seconds apart but, Tug opened the lead slightly on the last lap to cross the line 14 seconds ahead. Great, tight, racing by two good sailors. All the other boats completed the race within 50 minutes as the wind had increased to 8 knots at the end.
Seven boats started the second race in winds that had increased to 12 to 15 knots. Unfortunately ‘Mistral’ had its’ fore stay snap at the first mark and was forced to retire. All the other boats completed the first lap within a minute of each other and the 7 dinghies remained in close contention throughout the race until the Topaz retired after capsizing following a collision during lap 5.
The larger, slower ‘Sirocco’ gradually dropped back but still performed extremely well, as can be seen from the result.
Tug again crossed the line first followed 50 seconds later by the next three boats which finished just 1 second apart, again really exciting and close racing.
The results after applying the handicaps:-
Race 1, Topaz Duo- Julian Singleton; Laser 2000-Tug Wilson; RS Quba,-John Down.
Race 2, RS Quba- John Down; Gamba,-Di Hardwick/Vernon O’Byrne;
Sailfish 18,-Robert Hudson/Steve Rocks.
Next race day October 1st, Pursuit racing, then every Sunday in October.
SAMM’S AUTUMN SERIES RACING STARTS – Sunday Sept 10th
Saturdays forecast promised strong and gusty conditions but, as the forecast is not always accurate the Race Committee decided to turn up and see. Guess what, at 10am Sunday Sept 10th at CTD in Los Alcazares when everybody arrived, the forecast was spot on with winds of 15 knots gusting 25, luckily from the NW, so off the land and the Mar Menor in the racing area was flat.
It was decided to postpone the first race until the wind eased but, it was not until 1.15pm that a slight reduction was evident and the first race was started at 1.45pm with a second race run back to back. Possibly due to the forecast and the fact that many non-resident members had not returned to Spain, only 4 boats, containing between them 10 crew, took to the water.
The two Gambas, Shoestring Uno and Cuatro crossed the line neck and neck closely followed by the Balaton Groups Sirocco. A new boat to the fleet, the Balaton Groups Lavanter, crewed by people who had never sailed her before, struggled with rigging problems and did not follow until 12 minutes later.
The two Gambas raced as though they were joined together and were only separated by 11, 20, 9 and 10 seconds as they completed the four laps. Sirocco, a slower boat was gradually dropped further and further behind, while Lavanter, who couldn’t get her sails set properly, retired after 3 laps to avoid delaying the start of the next race.
The second race started at 3.05 and again the Gambas dominated and fought each other all the way round the four laps. A great performance by two well matched crews.
Final results on corrected times were. First race Shoestring Uno by 8 seconds over Cuatra with Sirocco third. Second race the positions were identical but this time Uno was 63 seconds ahead.
The next race day is September 24th. 10 am at CTD for registration. Guests’ boats welcome.