Keast dominates laser fleet once more at Sidmouth.
SINCE the period of good weather in the spring came to an end it has been difficult to hold consistent sailing races and there have been times when it simply has not been possible to sail at all, writes Keith Brodie
This has proven to be the case at times over the last two weekends. A week ago the Saturday provided mixed conditions all day which affected the whole sailing programme for the day.
The weekend was the start of a sail training course for adults. A four day course held over two weekends and that hopefully will lead to each of the students earning a RYA certificate to show that they can sail competently in controlled conditions. As a RYA recognised training centre these courses allow us to teach sailing to a set syllabus and encourage more participants in our sport.
An early start was made to get the students on the water and they had a full days sailing tuition.
Usually the day would have been split to include some shore based theory but we had seen the forecast for Sunday’s weather and knew in advance that we would not be putting to sea.
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The students seemed to get to grips with the boats and having an instructor aboard with each trainee meant that they were in good hands.
Saturday morning provided some gusty winds that provided the odd capsize but annoyingly the wind died down in the afternoon for the Club racing that went on side by side with the training.
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In the Scorpion fleet Alex Hayman with his crew Sam Gosling won both races following on from their success at the Lyme Regis Scorpion Open the previous weekend when they finished sixth out a fleet of 29 boats and were the highest placed Sidmouth boat.
It is not unusual to see Chris Clapp at the front of the Scorpion Fleet but on Saturday with his crew, Sarah Weekes, he managed an uncharacteristic fourth place and retired from the second race when the wind died completely.
Simon Price and his crew for the day Jo kinder took a well deserved second place in the first race and a third in the next race swapping places with Nick Jennings and Imogen Dinham Price.
The Laser Fleet was again dominated by Mark Keast who has returned to Sidmouth Club sailing this year after a gap of several years. He hasn’t lost the skill to win in our waters taking two first places and relegating Bob Vine to two second berth positions. Andy Swain came home in third followed by John Jones in both races. Alice Rea sailed the only Topper and without competition enjoyed a pleasant sail in the sunshine.
Sunday dawned very wet and very windy as promised by the forecasters. When we arrived at the club at about 8.30am several boats were already lifting off their launch trollies and would have been damaged but were able to be tied down and no harm was done. The second day of the RYA training was all in doors out of the weather but the theory part of the syllabus was largely completed and we are hoping that the second weekend of the course in July is much better behaved to enable us to complete the sailing tuition.
This last weekend saw the Club racing cancelled on Saturday due partly to the weather conditions again but on Sunday the conditions relented and allowed a full days sailing in the Club’s Topper Open Championship. We had 39 boats enter including a good number from our own club giving valuable experience to some of our youngest sailors. The event winner was Olly Guest from Bristol Corinthians SC who beat our own Alex Hayman into second place. The first place female helm was Emma Phillips representing Star Cross YC. The next placed Sidmouth helm was Connor Fitch who was 26th.
Let us hope that the weather soon settles down so that we can all enjoy some summer sun and better sailing conditions