Scorpion sailing ‘best so far’ at Sidmouth

Sailors are supposed to be good at weather forecasting and some may be but all I can say is the start to this sailing season seems to be almost the opposite of last year, writes Keith Brodie.

April 2011 was dry and warm with some good wind to give some excellent racing. In fact a perfect start to the sailing year for the sailors and start to spring for the landlubbers. This season started at Easter with hardly any wind and, as the month has continued, the wind has increased, accompanied by more and more rain. Not very pleasant! However, in 2011 the good start to the year deteriorated as the summer went on and so let us hope that the opposite will apply again and that the summer will be full of blue skies, sunshine and perfect sailing conditions.

In the meantime, we have to put up with what conditions are served up to us and that meant, on Saturday, heavy showers, hail and strong winds steadily increasing during the afternoon. It did not deter six intrepid sailors from going out for a blast about the bay. It would have been seven but John Jones had trouble even launching his Topper in the conditions and decided to give the first race a miss, coming out refreshed for the second after a hot cup of tea in the clubhouse.

Bob Vine, who I hope won’t mind when I say is one of our older members, had a tussle all afternoon with Connor Fitch, one of our youngest, in their Lasers. It is not often that casual observers get the chance to see Bob having a swim but he managed two capsizes which handed the advantage to Connor in the first race who won with room to spare.

Connor returned the favour to Bob in the second race by capsizing several times. Imogen Dinham-Price and her crew Josie Robb also had competition from Jack Dicks and Finn Dinham-Price, both competing in club RS Fevas. Both boats had their share of capsizes as the squalls came through, making conditions really difficult but each helm managed a win and so everyone seemed satisfied. That left the two Scorpions to fight it out in their own race. Nick Jennings had Barney Croft crewing and Simon Price took Simon Tutty as his crew.

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With the wind from the north-west the sea remained flat and the windy conditions suited the Scorpions and the crews had an excellent afternoon’s sailing. The rest of the club’s Scorpion sailors will be upset that they missed out.

?If there are club members who have yet to get their boats to club, they had better get a move on as the boat park is filling up and there seems to be plenty of enthusiasm for the new season. Thanks to Alice Rea for looking after the race management and the safety boat crews who had plenty to keep them busy all afternoon.

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