SAMM Racing Season Starts
Both officials and competitors were keen to enjoy the first race day of the new SAMM season, so arrived early, got everything ready for a prompt start, but were then delayed because laying the course proved a problem. A net, several hundred metres long, had been laid parallel to the shore which squeezed the available water to a long, narrow slot.
The wind was SW, very moderate and five boats started the first race, which was of ‘Average Lao’ format, but by the first mark the wind had become ESE. Sirocco struggled, could get little forward movement and retired after the first mark; the cause needs to be investigated. Julian soon took the lead in his Topaz, lapping Ginetta during lap 3 and both Uno and Cuatro on lap 4. Cuatro pulled away from Uno and the finishing order was Topaz, Ginetta, Cuatro and then Uno. On corrected time this changed to Julian Singleton on the Topaz, Ginetta, Cuatro, Uno.
For the second race, the course was changed to a triangular so the boats sailed anti-clockwise from the start inside the nets, then port around the first buoy and then a longish leg to windward towards the SE around the second buoy with a return to the gate passing between the end of fishing net markers and a moored ferry before a tight turn back through the gate. The wind kept swinging between SE and ESE which meant that sometimes the first buoy was windward then the second buoy was windward which made good racing with boat taking different tacks.
Julian on the Topaz was using his trapeze which helped him gradually open up a good lead. Uno and Cuatro were only 2 seconds apart at the end of their first lap with Ginetta keeping up with them despite being a slower boat. Cuatro and Ginetta had a very close encounter at the start of their third lap and a little later Ginetta was forced over the net, luckily without getting caught up. The wind continued to increase, causing Julian a problem on his last lap. He seemed unable to make the course between nets and ferry and sailed a long way off before capsizing as he tried to jibe. He righted the Topaz about a minute away from the gate just as the ‘about to finish’ signal sounded, with Ginetta only 50 metres further off. Both Gambas had about 3/4 of a lap to do before finish, but all got around without any more incidents. The result on corrected time was Jack Moss, Robert Hudson and Bob Lagden on Cuatro, Topaz, Ginetta, Uno with only 8 seconds separating the Topaz and Ginetta. That’s close racing.