Another fun day on Sunday when 5 boats took part in the 4th SAMM Pursuit Race; two Sailfish, Mistral and Sirocco from the Balaton Group; two Gambas, Uno and Quatro from the Shoestring Group and the welcome appearance of the RS Vareo.
The start sequence was calculated as the Sailfish first, the Gambas 3mins 15secs later, finally the Vario another 4mins later.
In the first race Sirocco started well but was soon pressured by Uno, followed by Quatro, Mistral and the Vareo. Sirocco was passed and it looked like clear sailing for Uno once the last buoy was rounded, however the wind veered and she was forced off the best course. The Vario saw the opportunity, powered up and managed to win by about 3 meters. All boats were over the line quite quickly after that which proved that the tried and tested handicaps worked out during the main race series are pretty accurate.
In the second race Mistral got a good start on a 30° tack towards the first buoy, as did Sirocco. However, in the 3mins before their start, the wind dropped and both Gambas were delayed by another 2mins until the wind kicked in from a different direction and both started closely followed by the Vario. With the wind in their favour they could sail straight for the buoy leaving both Sailfish way out on their original tack. Quatro got into combat with the Vareo, and there was some close quarter sailing between Uno and Mistral. On this occasion the Uno had the speed, even though “reefed”, to get home ahead of the competition.
The third race was real excitement and close because the handicaps were adjusted giving the Gambas and Vareo an extra 15secs delay. This spurred on Sirocco which took a different tack to the first buoy and came face to face with Mistral bearing down on him. A quick 180deg flick round the buoy and he should be ahead but was there enough room? No! And a very loud “thud” echoed over the Mar Menor . The Vario took the lead amongst the mayhem with Uno spotting his break and starting to chase. Round the last buoy and the Vario got headed off the sailing line. Uno quickly pulled tight round the buoy, got a higher and shorter course to the finish, and went into the lead but then the wind shifted again forcing her off course. The gust dropped leaving Uno with hardly any forward motion, the Vario found wind and started gliding up but Uno just managed to get moving when the Vario came up alongside, they sailed neck and neck for the last 20 meters with the Vario “pinching it ” by half a meter at the finish.