Sidmouth Sailing Club launches new season


- Credit: Archant

As many in Sidmouth will know, early season sailing can be problematic, and so it proved last Saturday when Sidmouth Sailing Club got their season underway, writes Alastair Watson.

Mother Nature combined the effects of thundery showers, variable winds and a very low tide to make life rather testing.

Beach watchers will recognise that more sand has accumulated at the Port Royal beach and this makes life very exciting for both launch and recovery of boats due to the pronounced swell that can be experienced. So it proved!

Seven sailors in five boats got an early season wake-up in the roller-coaster surf. Unfortunately, the wind was mostly light in the designated sailing area and the handicap fleet only managed one race.

Sailing club members got a shock to see John Keast, the Commodore and Principle Race Officer, take to the water.

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We don’t normally see him go afloat until the height of the Summer, when the sea temperature is nearer 20C rather than the 10C on Saturday. Members were worried that his brain would be numb and he would forget what to do. He set a perfect course for a north westerly breeze, however the wind was not north westerly!

Despite all his complaints about being cold and wet all was well and he had a smile on his face when he got ashore.

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Mark Welland sailed a tidy first windward leg arrive at the windward mark in first place and held onto his lead for the rest of the race, he was chased by Adrian Moreton and Steve Beard sailing their Laser 2000 in testing conditions as they were somewhat underpowered in the light breeze. It was good to see Alex Hammond sailing well in the club’s RS Cuba, with Richard Davis also underpowered in a club topper.

Ollie Moore-Jones, very ably crewed by Lisa Craig got off to a cautious start and deciding they were slightly off the pace went to see if they could be caught on camera by the director and cameraman who are producing the up-coming SeaFest film. Mark Wearing helmed a RIB in order that Jo and Simon could get good vantage points for footage of the sailing, a gig and the surf lifesavers. Everyone in the combined clubs is now looking forward to seeing the final product.

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