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Group News & Photos

Yacht Deck

SAMM (the Sailing Association Mar Menor) can be regarded as the sailing Centre of the Mar Menor and surrounding district. Members and friends come from as far away as Mazarrón to sail and socialise. Membership of one of the associated Groups is required to be able to sail one of their boats. The sailing groups are listed below by category, where you can find out all the latest news, race results, and social events.

After losing two race days due to events at CTD, plus a third due to a lack of members to run them, ten SAMM sailors again took to the water on November 12th, looking forward to great racing.

The NNW 11 knot wind as the boats launched soon gusted to 15/18 knots forcing the three dinghies to return to the beach to reef their sails. This left just the two Sailfish 18’s to start alone at 11.15. The Race Officer decided that this would not make for a good race, so abandoned it and rescheduled a 12.00 start.

Only two dinghies, Dos and Cuatro returned to race, one competitor deciding the conditions were not to his liking. Then disaster! One of the Sailfish was seen returning to it’s mooring with the mast laying on the deck, having collapsed when the fore-stay snapped leaving just Ginetta to race.

The start signal sounded at 12.00 and the two dinghies crossed within 20 seconds but the Sailfish was nearly 4 minutes late. The wind continued to deliver challenging conditions, first dropping to N 7/8 knots, then to 3 knots but then gusting to 12/15 knots. The Sailfish managed just two laps in the 45 minute race, both dinghies did four but all boats crossed the finish line within a minute.

Winning crew L to R,Steve Hall, Dianne Hardwick, Jack Moss

The second race started at 13.00, with Dos still reefed but Cuatro had shaken hers out. All boats crossed the line within a few seconds. The conditions were the same, winds of 8 knots but with sudden 15 knot or higher gusts. The two dinghies had a great battle the entire race. The lead changed frequently as the crews tried different tracks around the course to gain a permanent advantage. Neither did and, in a spectacular finish, they were neck and neck timed just 1 second apart.

SAMM use the Average Lap race system and after the handicaps were applied the two results gave the same order, First Cuatro, second Dos, third Ginetta.

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After a four week interruption due to other events being held at CAR, Los Alcazares, 12 SAMM sailors in 5 boats were racing again on October 22nd. In a good ENE wind of 11 to 13 knots the first race start was a bit of a shambles due to radio interference confusing the countdown.

Prior to the start the crew on Vision had to fit a new bracket to the end of the boom and attach the topping lift, outhaul and main sheet which took some time. As a result they forgot to lower the lifting keel and crewman Colin had to go below to do this. This was when the main-sheet jamming cleat broke and the mainsheet end went overboard. The skipper, Julian, managed to hold the mainsheet until Colin returned to the cockpit and control was re-established. She therefore started 6 minutes after the signal but her finish position showed an excellent performance to make up this deficit.

The rest of the race was then marred by incidents. After the start, Dos went to to mark 2 and had to return to round mark 1, losing the lead. Ginetta hit mark 2 and got tangled in it’s mooring line. Sirocco failed to pass through the gate on lap 3 and had to return, losing ground. All reflected in the widely spaced final lap times.

The second race was much better with Vision crossing the line 2 seconds after the signal and all boats across within 46 seconds. After they overhauled Vision, there was a fantastic battle for the whole of the race between the faster leading two boats, Dos and Cuatro, with the lead changing several times. Eventually Cuatro triumphed. Bringing up the rear, another close battle was fought between Sirocco and Ginetta. This resulted in a collision at the gate at the end of lap 2. No damage and only pride hurt. Then Sirocco lost out by again not going through the gate on lap 3 and then had another near collision at the gate with Vision at the end of lap 4. Not a good race for them.

The days honours were shared as Cuatro won the first race with Vision second only for the order to be reversed for the second race but with only 10 seconds between them. Dos was third in both races so a consistent performance from her crew.

Average lap times and results after handicaps applied First race: Cuatro 405 secs, Vision 456 secs, Dos 502 secs.

Second race: Vision 391 secs, Cuatro 401 secs, Dos 445 secs.

The crews from left to right. John and Jack Cuatro, Colin and Julian vision

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Updated: Oct 21

It was a sight to behold for the many Spanish passers by. A dozen people, some of advancing years, dressed in striped shirts, white pants and hats, prancing around in unison to a strange tune.

What on earth was it? Why the SAMM Flash Dance for 2023 of course, at the Caldero Day in Los Alcazares on October 12th, the Dia de la Hispanidad, national holiday where hundreds take to the beach to celebrate, with many clubs, groups, association and families reserving a pitch with the town hall.

SAMM, the Sailing Association Mar Menor, has participated for more than ten years, erecting a marquee and SAMM banner along with B-B-Q’s and tables.

In recent years a Flash Dance routine has been performed each hour to entertain and attract the crowds. For 2023 Christine, our Treasurer’s wife, suggested the Sailors Hornpipe, supplied the hats, organised the music and choreographed the moves which included swabbing decks, hauling on ropes, climbing rigging and drinking grog, all simulated of course. The performances made many people stop, watch and enjoy the spectacle while they had their photos taken with the dancers or asked about our sailing activities.

Between performances the performers socialised, partied and played the various beach games on offer with the many other SAMM members who were present.

Everybody agreed it was a great social event but now it’s time to get back to serious sailing and our Sunday race days.

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