Back in the water at Sidmouth Sailing Club

Sailing is once again upon us at Sidmouth and the second week into the season saw some really exciting racing, writes James Salter.

Sailing is once again upon us at Sidmouth and the second week into the season saw some really exciting racing. There were two races completed on Saturday, with a morning of team racing on Easter Monday.Apparently the conditions on Saturday were good, a south westerly force 3, although I wasn't in attendance - instead putting in an average performance at 7 in the SRFC 2nd team victory away to Ivybridge (32-10). There was little overtaking during the racing, with the course set more for a southerly - so, whoever started first was going to be looking good for the win. In the first race Team Hayman (Alex and Amy) had the pick of the starts in the Scorpion fleet, and went on to win the race. Second place went to Oliver Salter and Heather Martin in their first outing of the season, followed by Nick Jennings with Scott Tobin, Simon Price and Imogen Dinham-Price. In the Lasers the results show that Bob Vine took the win over H Thompson, Ed Rhodes and, in an interesting turn of events Paul Wilson and Andy Swain took 4.5 points for the race; a dead heat for 4th, they were both retired for being too slow? (I don't know, I wasn't there, that's what is says on the published results). In the Toppers a new member, David Grundey, took the win in front of Paul Kennedy, pushing Barbara Grundey into third with Rory Kennedy fourth and Alice Rea fifth. There weren't any Mirrors outIn the second race it was all fairly close. Team Hayman once again took the win, although all the action was happening behind them. Nick and Scott had a real good performance, overtaking Ollie and Heather after they hit the home buoy with a circuit left - the new sails must be making the difference for Nick. Simon and Imogen finished up the Scorpion fleet. In the Lasers Bob was having a good day, taking the win, again followed by H in second, Ed in third. In the Toppers the Grundeys cleaned up, David Grundey first, Barbara Grundey second, with the Kennedys, Paul and Rory, in third and fourth respectively.Easter Monday turned out to be team racing, after some deliberation. The clue to team racing is in the name, its racing, but in teams, cunning I know. There are two teams, selected to be roughly even (on Monday it was two Scorpions, a Mirror and a Laser each team) and a team can win through a various predetermined combination of team results, 1,2,3,4 being the best combo but 1, 4, 5, 7, 8 can also win, it's a little complicated. All this means that there's some funny business involving rules going on, and actually getting overtaken on purpose, if an opposition boat can be stopped.To the racing... there were four races in a south westerly force threeish. The first race was won by Ollie Salter's team, the Dacron sails doing the job over the Laminates in the Scorpion fleet (a 1-2). This was the last race Ollie's team (O) won. The second was more like a normal race, getting away fairly cleanly, the team captains battling it out, Alex and Amy (A) covering Ollie and Heather (O) out of contention up the first beat. This left James Salter and Miles Hapgood (O) with Nick and Scott (A) to contend with. James and Miles went on to take the win, although Alex and Amy (A) did such a good job of pushing Ollie and Heather (O) out of it, the win wasn't enough to get a team victory. The third race was closely contested, tight tactical racing in the Mirror fleet with helms Phillipa Robb (O) and Graeme Robb (A) (with undisclosed crews) fighting all the way around the course. Amy and Alex (A) took the win, followed by James and Miles (O), Ollie and Heather (O), 'Alex's Team' (led from the front by Alex and Amy Hayman) took the win. In the fourth race it was much the same story. Alex and Amy got 'Team Alex' the win, with James and Miles (O) 2nd, Ollie and Heather (O) 3rd, Nick and Scott (A) 4th, followed by Paul Wilson (A) in his Laser, and Phillipa (O) beat Graeme (A) in the Mirrors, enough to secure the series for Alex's team with 20 points over Ollie's team's 201/2 points (lowest points win, it's a sailing thing). All in all it was a good day's sailing - or swimming mostly for Paul Kennedy, the conditions a little too much for him in a Laser. Thanks to all the rescue boat crews for the weekend, and the race officials for working out the point scoring for the team racing, and John Keast for making coffee for all afterwards. This week it's back to just Saturday racing for most of the fleet, or Tiverton away in the last rugby match of the season. Good luck to Alex and Amy Hayman representing Sidmouth at the Regional Challenge at the weekend. It is good to see some new members at the club. Not long until the Wednesday evening sailing kicks off now.Good Sailing

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