Scorpion Open at Sidmouth
With strong easterly winds forecast for the weekend, prior talk at Sidmouth Sailing Club was of possible launching problems and if the sea would stay calm enough to be able to sail on Sunday.
With strong easterly winds forecast for the weekend, prior talk at Sidmouth Sailing Club was of possible launching problems and if the sea would stay calm enough to be able to sail on Sunday. Saturday morning's preparations took place in a force 4+ with visitors arriving from as far afield as Nottingham and Tynemouth to take in the Mediterranean sun. The competitors launched for a 2pm start, only to be faced with a rapidly disappearing wind which caused the race control team a few headaches setting the course. Race one saw renowned pairing of John Mursell and crew Nick Keast, from Sidmouth, take early control and hold the position to the finish. Notts County's Nigel Potter took second with crew Simon Hibbert. Race two started with barely a breeze and this made for a different look to the normal front of the fleet, especially with only a short lap sailed.Janet and Alan Richie from Chipstead won from Steve Hall and Simon Haignton from Northampton, followed by the Sidmouth pair of Andy Hayman and lightweight crew Sam Gosling who I'm sure will have had a few words of encouragement for dad Kevin who failed to finish the race. Sunday's racing looked to continue with the same lack of breeze, but with the added complication of a changing direction. Just before the starting gun, however, the wind god was kind and supplied some, if not ideal, wind to enable the races to continue. Races 3 and 4 had the same first four boats with Mursell and Keast winning ahead of Hall and Haignton, Catherine Putt and Simon Maguire from Tynemouth and local helm Kevin Gosling and crew Andrea Fellows fourth. Race 5 went to Hall and Haignton with Matt Potter from Notts county second, crewed by local defector Alex Hayman. Putt and Maguire were third and Mursell and Keast fourth which was enough to just earn them the title taking account of the discarded race position to break the tie with Hall and Haignton. Putt and Maguire were third. Chris Clapp with crew Tom Francis in ninth position took the prize for the first all-Sidmouth boat. As well as the sailing on Saturday, the competitors and club members were all well looked after and took advantage of the glorious weather with a much appreciated hog roast. Thanks are due to all the club members, too numerous to mention, who all helped both on and off the water to make it a memorable weekend for everyone.l Tuesday evening saw the first of the six week beginners' course. Twenty one youngsters took the water and, as there was no wind whatsoever, short novelty races were the order of the day, culminating in a team building and balancing exercise with five people on each topper hand-paddling around a short course. Everyone appeared to enjoy the evening and food afterwards and were looking forward to some wind in the coming weeks.