Great weather but not much good for sailing

Hardwork getting the most out of gusts

THERE was more settled weather last week, which, while lovely, isn’t much good for sailing - again there was barely any wind all week.

The sailing week was kicked off on Tuesday with the last of the beginners’ evenings. After completing the six-week course successfully all 26 can now just about sail, so congratulations are in order.

Regular club racing continued on Wednesday evening, the race starting under very light conditions before filling in mid race and making things a little more interesting.

The first few legs were slow, to say the least, although Alex Hayman took an early overall lead, closely followed by Chris Clapp and Laura Mitchell (who were over the start line and therefore disqualified) in their Scorpion. Chris and Laura’s Scorpion lead didn’t last much distance (but still quite a long time)as James Salter and Hope Brodie successfully completed the slowest overtake ever seen to take the lead.

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On the second leg, Simon and Imogen Price drifted into the Scorpion lead, with Alex still holding the overall lead. Then the breeze filled in from the front of the fleet and James and Hope immediately regained the lead. After maintaining a good lead over the fleet, Alex Hayman was eventually caught by James and Hope one lap from the end.

Alex went on to take the overall Handicap win in his Solo, overtaking James and Hope on the final lap. James and Hope won the Scorpion fleet by a comfortable margin, helped by Chris and Laura’s navigation/distraction strategy. Pretty much Chris and Laura had a goose neck related issue and had to stay on starboard tack, sending them in mostly the wrong direction and the muppets behind followed him - Simon and Imogen, along with Nick Jennings and Scott Tobin going the wrong way for quite a while – the above crews finishing in their respective order.

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I didn’t see much of the Laser race, I was too far ahead, but once again Bob Vine took the win, ahead of Gerald Woodley and then H Thompson. John Jones took the win in the Topper fleet.

Club racing continued on Saturday afternoon, but I wasn’t there (instead attending Dan and Michele Retter’s wedding - congratulations). All I know is that I didn’t miss much, there was no wind and all struggled to get round the course, but it was lovely and sunny.

In The Scorpion fleet, Tim and Liz Venner won the first race, which, if my stats are correct, is their first ever win, with Craig and Ryan Cabot finishing second and Nick and Sam Dicks coming in third. The second Scorpion race was won by Nick and Sam Dicks, also their first series win, I think. Second place was claimed by the Venners, third by the Cabots.

In the Laser fleet, regular Scorpion sailor Chris Clapp won the first race, followed by Gerald Woodley then Bob Vine, in a nine strong fleet. The second race saw the first two places reversed, Bob remained in third. The Topper fleet also had a good turn out of five boats, predominantly made up of this year’s crop of beginners. Angus Eaton took the first win, Saphire Smith second, Jack Dicks third, Aaron and Archie Bagwell fourth, Jake Allen and Doug fifth. Saphire Smith took the second race, Jack Dicks second, the Bagwells took the final podium positions, with Angus Eaton fourth. It’s great that so many of the beginners were out racing. I am also told that the sailing club were pleased to assist Sidmouth Inshore Rescue training on Sunday by supplying a Topper, and Saphire, to practise recovering a capsized dinghy and towing a dinghy.

l There’s a national ‘mobilise your Mirror dinghy day’ on the July 17, the idea being to get people to get old Mirrors on the water again. For more information come down to the club on Saturday afternoon and talk to Keith Brodie.

Good Sailing.

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