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.
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