Dizzy Duck is just kid’s stuff!

AFTER several years of not running the Dizzy Duck race due to too few junior sailing members we very nearly had to cancel again on Sunday despite having a sizable entry from the now healthy junior section in the Club.

This time it was the weather that looked as though it was going to spoil the event with winds in excess of 20 mph forecast and some very heavy showers.

Fortunately, the rock groynes at Clifton provided some calmer conditions on the water and with the wind off the land the sailors embarked upon what has always been an annual ritual of mayhem on the water.

Teams of three, four or five are given various tasks to perform both on and off the water sailing between specified points.

So far so good, but made more difficult as each team has to get their whole team on to one small single handed Topper dinghy and carry out the tasks while being soaked by the safety boat crews armed with buckets, water pistols and water bombs.

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It is all a bit of fun that builds confidence and lets the kids show what they have learnt at the training nights.

This year the winning team was the Jimbobs team made up of Alex Mitchell, Aimee Keast, Aaron Bagwell and Jake Allen.

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Last Wednesday the Club racing saw our new Club Feva dinghies on the water.

These latest acquisitions are proving to be very popular and as the sailors get used to them we expect to see some really competitive sailing.

Imogen Dinham Price and her crew Josie Robb certainly were enjoying themselves and even though the conditions were lively they hoisted the asymmetrical spinnaker and the boat really took off down wind.

This resulted in a win for the girls over Kyle Fitch and Matt Collett in second place and Graeme Robb sailing single handed in third. Three Scorpions took to the water and Andy Hayman and Oliver Salter gave crewing opportunities to a couple of our younger members Jake Allen and James Rea with Andy and Jake beating off the competition from Nick Jennings and Scott Tobin in second place and Oliver and James in third.

The Laser Fleet produced some good racing although Chris Clapp ran away with the lead and it was the rest of the fleet that contested the remaining places. H Thompson, back from his holiday may have suggested that he was a bit stiff after the travelling but still managed second from Paul Wilson in third. A special mention goes to Karl Webb who recently completed a RYA training course for adults with us and has joined the Club and put to sea in a Topper and joined the fleet for his first taste of racing. He did very well sailing the whole of the course and growing in confidence.

Saturday’s weather forecast was for strong winds and it was anticipated that we may have had to cancel the Club racing but, in the event, we were able to get two races completed although it has to be said the conditions were not for the faint hearted. Even Chris Clapp in a Laser and Andy Hayman with Sam Gosling in a Scorpion managed to capsize much to the pleasure of the rest of the fleet.

The capsize meant that Andy and Sam lost their first place coming home in third behind Nick Jennings with a well deserved first and James Salter and Josie Robb in second. In the second race the wind increased significantly leading to a shortened race with Andy and Sam finding their winning ways ahead of James and Josie again in second and Simon Price with his guest crew of Simon Tuffs in third, one better than in the first race where they finished fourth. Nick Jennings failed to finish as did Nick Dicks and his guest crew Rob Davidson who in the previous race had at least completed the course!

The Laser boys had plenty of capsizes to contend with; Connor Fitch seemed pleased that he had capsized 13 times! H Thompson followed Chris Clapp home in both races and while Connor, Andy Swain and Richard Paterson finished the first race in that order none of them finished in the second race when the wind piped up.

This week sees the Club provide three days sailing for 20 students from Sidmouth College as part of their activity week. Hopefully by the end of the course they will all be able to sail a simple triangular course on their own and learnt what enjoyable sport sailing is.

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