Jennings hat-trick opens win account at Sidmouth

Nick Jennings wins! This week at Sidmouth Sailing Club Nick Jennings, with crews of Scott Tobin (Wednesday) and Imogen Dinham-Price (Saturday), took his first, second and third race wins ever after three years of trying.

Nick Jennings wins! This week at Sidmouth Sailing Club Nick Jennings, with crews of Scott Tobin (Wednesday) and Imogen Dinham-Price (Saturday), took his first, second and third race wins ever after three years of trying.

Wednesday evening's race was held in a fairly light, south westerly breeze over a flat calm sea. Racing got under way from a river end start line with a variety of tactics, some starting on the outside whilst others favoured the inside of the line.

By the first time around the windward mark, Mike Holmes and Jayne Clancy had come out of nowhere to take an early lead, followed closely by James Salter with Tom Bignell and Ollie Salter with Heather Martin. Mike and Jayne looked to be sailing well, making a return to Sidmouth after sailing in Lyme Regis Regatta the previous weekend.

As the first lap went on the whole fleet remained tight, it was not until the third lap that places started to change.

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This was when Nick, with Scott, made his first move, simply sailing faster than James and Tom upwind and catching Ollie and Heather when they made a rare mistake at the windward mark. With the whole fleet pushing hard, positions were still tight on the final lap.

Just past the windward mark Mike and Jayne had some sort of issue when hoisting their spinnaker, after looking so good for the win from early on, this let Nick and Scott through and into the lead. With only one and a half legs remaining it was no trouble for Nick and Scott (must be friends again now after Scott bailing out last week) to hold the lead, sailing fast and mistake-free to take their first win, which was duly celebrated ashore.

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In the Laser fleet Chris Clapp took another win, he must be looking good for a series lead now after sailing in the class in the old club boats so many times now. Alex Hayman was in the lead right up until he snapped his mast going up wind, it just broke in half, very funny. Ed Rhodes took a good second place, pushing Bob Vine into third.

On Saturday there was finally a sunny enough day to produce a strong sea breeze, blowing around a force 3 (southerly) at its strongest.

The sunny weather also inspired a good turnout on the water, a strong Laser fleet, quite a few youngsters in Toppers and three Scorpions.

Racing was really tight throughout the afternoon, across all fleets. Nick Jennings and crew Imogen Dinham-Price were locked in a scrap with Ollie and Elisha Salter for first place in the Scorpions, Ollie and Elisha had the speed and tactics upwind to overtake, but every time they were caught by Nick and Imogen downwind, the spinnaker making all the difference. In the end this told, Nick and Imogen again sailing consistently to win the race.

The Laser fleet also saw some close racing, in the end Chris Clapp took a fleet win, with Alex Hayman in second and Bob Vine in third.

Gerald Woodley sailed away from the fleet in the second race after getting a solid first lap in and, in short, he was untouchable winning the Lasers in a rare appearance down at the club - seemingly only ever present on a sunny day! The best racing of the day was between Alex Hayman and Chris Clapp for second place in the Laser fleet.

The pair of them ended up making it into a match race, with Alex ending up on top, sailing Chris out of contention.

In the Scorpion fleet it was much the same story, as Ollie said 'they had a spinnaker, we didn't...'.

Nick once again sailed well, taking the clean sweep in the Scorpion fleet this week, and celebrated this time by going out to dinner! Also of note on Saturday was the abundance of Toppers out with recently trained youngsters sailing, all managing the conditions.

This week the majority of the Scorpion fleet will disembark to the National Championships, this year being held at Lyme Regis.

Despite this, club racing will continue. Thanks again to the race management and rescue boat crews - who actually had a little bit of action at the start of Wednesday evening.

Good Sailing

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