For the SAMM races on June 2nd, 10 boats crewed by 15 members came out for the morning race with the wind NEN 6.5 knots. All got a good start except Sirocco who was way off the line when the gun went and this was the start of several incidents that affected the race, The Drama.
Sirocco had problems setting her foresail and eventually started the race 68 minutes late but did manage to complete one lap before the finish.
The start line/gate had been set at a slight angle to the wind and was difficult for most boats to negotiate. Ginetta got it completely wrong, snagged the port mark’s mooring line and dragged the buoy out of position. This caused most of the following boats to sail way off their best course before their lap time could be recorded. At this point Ginetta decided to retire.
Next came the invasion of two canoes, carrying two women and five young girls aged about 8. They did not have the skill or strength to battle the wind, which had built to 7/8 knots from the east, and just kept going round in circles in the path of the boats. They were told to steer to the leeward of the jetty to get sufficient shelter to reach the beach.
The support boat re-positioned the gate buoy and the race continued, with some very close racing without incident until the Radial tacked too close and to windward of Dos, heeled a lot and caught the shroud on Dos with her mast top, precipitating a slight collision. The Radial had to do a 720 penalty but Dos did the same, which probably put her one place lower in the finishing order.
The corrected average lap times were well spaced except the notable exception of the 3rd placed boat Cuatro at 469.02 secs and 4th Topaz at an incredibly close 469.05 secs.
The afternoon race started in an E 6/7 knot wind which gradually built to 8/9 knots. This is perfect for the SAMM fleet as it is not so strong to make the lighter dinghies struggle but of sufficient strength to get the heavier day boats sailing well, leading to the The Excitement.
All boats crossed the start line in a bunch, most on the favoured port tack but Mistral chose starboard and had right of way, which caused lots of shouting and deft manoeuvring by those on port to keep out of her way. The same occurred at the first mark as almost the whole fleet tried to round together.
The leading three completed their first lap within 5 seconds of one another and then continued round the course with just inches between them and this very close racing continued throughout the race.
The corrected times were equally close. The winner recording an average lap time of 333.86 seconds, 2nd 339.90, 3rd 346.33, 4th350.08 with the tail enders not far behind.
Exciting for the competitors and equally exciting for the spectators.
First race result 1st Radial, 2nd Omega, 3rd Cuatro. Second race 1st Mistral, 2nd Radial, 3rd Cuatro.
For more information about SAMM’s sailing activities go to www.sailingmarmenor.com
Photo, left to right. Rob Peck and Ian Sinclair, Mistral. Norman Vener, Radial.