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Gusty plus problems 12.11.23

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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