The Climax Is Fast Approaching
With only four races left, the competitors were all keen to do well in the SAMM races on November 11th, but some non-resident members had already returned to their main homes so the entry was down to only six boats. The weather was also not conducive to exciting competition with less than2 knots of wind as the normal start time approached, so the race officer delayed the start until 12 noon and reduced the race time to 60 minutes.
At the start, the wind had increased to SE 3 knots, just sufficient to move the only big and heavier boat, the Balaton Groups Lavanter and all crossed the line in less than a minute of the start signal, except Rosita who did not start until 16 minutes later.
The wind was very patchy with holes in it as it increased and died and the boats that started to pull ahead were those whose crews saw this and adjusted their course accordingly. At the end of lap 1 three boats, Shoestrings Omega and Dos and Topaz, were neck and neck. By lap 3 the wind had increased to 4-5 knots and to ESE 6 knots by lap 5. This spread out the fleet and helped them sail faster, so most completed 5 to 7 laps in the hour except Rosita who only managed 2 laps.
After handicaps were applied the winner was the Omega, John Down and Andrew Walten, with Topaz, Julian Singleton, second.
Everybody was hoping that the wind would increase a little more for the afternoon race, but this was not to be and it had dropped to E 2.5 knots for the second race start at 2.15pm. It was a good start with all boats crossing the line within 45 seconds of the signal, except Rosita again, but this time only 1 minute 41 seconds behind. The wind became very fickle, varying from SSE to S, then back again and never exceeding 3.5 knots, so once again those who read the changes did better, but still only Topaz managed 4 laps and all the others only 3, except Rosita who had retired.
This extra lap made it a clear win by Topaz with Lavanter, Robert Hudson, Nik Novak and Shelly Ryves-Lugger, second, 97 seconds a lap slower, but still a great result, in the conditions, for such a heavy boat.
For the third week running the SAMM support boat, Martin, Dave and Graeme, went to the aid of a non-SAMM vessel; a large Spanish-owned power boat that had experienced engine failure. Great job guys!
Generous Gift to Thank Ex-Commodore
Earlier this year, Paul Shard the SAMM Commodore, was forced to stand down due to health reasons. His replacement, George Noden, organised the collection of donations from the various groups and individuals that make up the SAMM family. They all gave generously to show their gratitude for Paul’s hard work and dedication during his time in the role.
It was agreed that it would be best to give the cash to Paul as he was due to go on a trip with his wife Cynthia to celebrate their wedding anniversary. During the monthly SAMM meeting held in the Las Claras Social Centre in Los Narejos in November, George reminded everyone present of Paul’s achievements and contribution to SAMM and presented him with the gift. Cynthia received a lovely bouquet in recognition of her support for Paul during his tenure. Both were extremely surprised and grateful to receive these tributes.
Not Drake, SAMM Sailors
History tells us that Francis Drake played bowls before setting off to battle the Armada. Now the sailors of SAMM are following in his footsteps.
Each month the Social Committee, led by Jill Chorley, organise a fun Bowls Competition at the new Pinatar Bowling Alley. On December 5th, 26 members attended, but only 21 actually played. The remaining 5 were enthusiastic cheerers-on. After a very hard fought competition Mick Burgess was declared the Overall Winner.
Proud Winners Receive Their Trophies
The SAMM Autumn Series racing finished with the races on November 11th. Of the planned 22 races, only 11 were completed; the others having been cancelled due mainly to adverse weather conditions.
Fixed Lap Races (normally 4 laps) were the norm at the beginning of the season, but the Race Committee switched to Average Lap racing for the final 6 races to make it a closer competition between the very wide range of boats in the fleet; the smallest being the little 3 metre Seahopper of Mick Burgess, through the privately owned dinghies, the Shoestring Group owned Lasers and Gambas to the 6 metre Balaton Group owned Sailfish and Arraez Arabel.
The group boats were sailed by many different members as the season progressed because not all members live permanently in Spain. A total of 28 SAMM members took part at some time during the season. The races are scored using the ‘low score’ and the 3 worst scores for each boat were dropped to calculate the final scores and positions.
1st with just 13 points (4 firsts, 2 seconds, 2 thirds and 1 fifth) was the Balaton Arraez Arabel ‘Lavanter’ mainly skippered by Robert Hudson, but with various crew.
2nd with 23.5 points, the Topaz Duo sailed by Julian Singleton
3rd with 33 points, the Shoestring Laser 2000 ‘Dos’ sailed by Dianne Hardwick and Brian Murray.
The results were announced and the trophies presented at the SAMM meeting on December 12th. Robert and Dianne collected theirs, but Julian was unable to attend because he is one of those people who still have to do something called work!
The Spring 2019 Series will start sometime in March. You can find out all about SAMM and the 2019 race dates at www.sailingmarmenor.com