Regatta celebrations for Sidmouth Sailing Club
- Credit: Sidmouth Sailing Club
After a summer series of wind, strong winds and no winds, the start of Sidmouth regatta brought sun and the forecast of wind that would suit a variety of sailors and dinghies.
The 2021 sailing season has been a very successful year, which has seen higher numbers of boats sailing regularly on both Saturdays and Wednesdays.
The sailing regatta is the highlight of our sailing year, with five races over two days; on both days there was a rainbow spectacle on the sea for Sidmouth, as up to 20 boats headed out to enjoy the waves. With a wide variety of dinghies, experienced and novice sailors heading out on both days, the two patrol boats were kept busy ensuring everyone reached shore safely.
The first race on Saturday, with an Easterly blowing and strong gusts, the waves were powered through and provided an exciting contest.
With all of the boats starting together, the start line in all of the races were closely fought over, with boats closely huddled together trying to get over the line first. The lead Scorpion, helmed by James Salter and crewed by Sophia Abrahams led the fleet, with the lead Laser, helmed by Alan Ritchie, following close behind.
After a short break for lunch, the sailors regrouped and headed out, the waves and wind both dropped a little, but the gust blew through at up to 16mph, which gave all of the sailors a challenge. In between the gusts.
The winds occasionally dropped to single figures, at times there were gusts over some parts of the courses, so whilst some boats flew, others found themselves idling in the water. For both of the afternoon races, the handicap class represented a variety of single and double-handers. The fleet was led by the Mirror, helmed by David Startup and crewed by Sammy Startup.
Sunday morning again brought sun and wind. The waves had dropped overnight, and the wind, which was initially north-easterly, kept shifting, leading to on-the-water course changes taking place for the two planned races.
With all boats safely stowed and sailors dry, the barbeque sizzling and the bar open, the prize giving for the weekend started by giving thanks to the hard work of everyone at the club who made the event possible, Simon White, Commodore of the club, Oliver Salter, the President, alongside Alastair Watson and Sacha Pickering.
In the Scorpion fleet, first prize went to James Salter and Sophia Abrahams, and the second prize to Janet Ritchie, who was ably crewed by a variety of members and visitors.
In the Laser fleet, Alan Ritchie came first, with Barny Croft coming second. In the Laser Radial class, Euan Buley, the youngest helm of the weekend came first, with Michelle Anning in second place.
The third set of awards were for the handicap class comprising Mirrors, Toppers, RS Qubas, RS Fevers and a beautiful wooden Lugger. In first place was the Mirror, helmed by David Startup and crewed by Sammy Startup; in second place was Kay Crook, in a Topper. The final prize was awarded to Sammy Startup for the best crew.
Commodore, Simon White summarised the weekend by saying: “It was great to see so many boats on the water along with some real competitive sailing. I would like to thank everyone involved for making it such a huge success both on and off the water.”
Racing at the club will continue until the middle of October, if anyone would like to find out any more information about joining the club, please contact us: www.sidmouthsailing.org.uk