Sidmouth sailors enjoying the current ideal conditions

There were great conditions for sailing races at Sidmouth on Saturday. Ref shsp 30-16SH 2158. Pictur

There were great conditions for sailing races at Sidmouth on Saturday. Ref shsp 30-16SH 2158. Picture: Simon Horn. - Credit: Archant

Sailors are continuing to enjoy the warm sunny weather which has remained unusually breezy, writes John Keast.

Last Wednesday, the commodore crewed for president Oliver Salter and together have almost 100 years of sailing experience, and also quite a lot of extra weight in the boat than when they started sailing 45 years ago!

Fortunately, there was a strong northerly wind which did not disadvantage them too much!

There was a short delay with the start as Andy Michell helming one of the safety boats spotted a capsized kayak and helped the owner safely back to the beach. James Frances in the other safety boat set a short start line out to sea, this favoured the more experienced sailors as it reduced the amount of room to manoeuvre and is exciting for the competitors, with Oliver and John flying off the line.

They held onto a good lead for just one lap when they were overtaken by Miles Hapgood and Steve Smith, with similar combined sailing experience but much larger life experience who tacked cleverly up the windward leg to get into the lead and extended their lead for a convincing win.

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Nick Jennings was in contention in third place until hit by a strong gust on the second reach, lost control and tipped in which took him a few minutes to sort himself out but losing contact with the front of the fleet.

In the lasers Mike Taylor and Bob Vine had a close race, with Bob eventually winning by just four seconds.

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Last Saturday, the wind was much softer and in the south, ideal conditions for some of the newer members to get involved.

Vice-commodore Alistair Watson has been leading a new and successful training programme for beginners, which has included support from the Keith Owen fund to purchase new club boats.

Joe Kent was able to take his children Seamus and Beth in one of the club boats who took part and had a lot of fun and at one point were doing so well over took James Salter and David Johnson sailing in the much faster international 14 boat, but were more focused on making a you-tube video of their sailing.

Simon Pryce and Emma McFadyen won the race and continued their unbeaten record with the Saturday series.

Next weekend (August 27 and 28), it is Sidmouth Regatta, and the club has a full sailing programme with the first race starting at 10.30 on the Saturday.

If conditions permit racing will be closer to the beach to improve viewing for the spectators, the club will be gearing up for racing from 9am with the newer members getting involved in what will be for several their first regatta.

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