SAMM Sailors Help Gota Fria Victims

Some of the clean up team
Some of the clean up team

The majority of SAMM’s (Sailing Association Mar Menor), sailing activities are centred on the Spanish sports centre CTD in Los Narejos, which became home to 200 people evacuated from Los Alcazares after the disastrous Gota Fria.

Many SAMM members quickly answered the call for volunteers to help with the clean-up of flooded and mud-choked homes, wielding brooms, spades and other implements with gusto. Others donated furniture and food, or sent a donation directly to the disaster relief fund set up by Los Alcazares Town Hall. Others sent their donation to the SAMM Treasurer and, with the 200€ donated from club funds, over 600€ was raised.

Reports of the tragedy experienced by SAMM members are heart-breaking. One expat women they helped only managed to save her two dogs and a few items of clothing when the deluge struck.

SAMM regularly has a pitch at the Los Alcazares ‘Caldero Day’, which was re-located by the authorities to the area of Deportivo Los Alcazares. The SAMM Stompers performed a line dance routine hourly during the day on Saturday 12th October with the aim of raising more funds especially for the children affected by the Gota Fria. Full details will appear in a future issue of the Chronicle.

SAMM Racing Hit By Problems

The Autumn Series races for SAMM has not gone well so far due to circumstances beyond our control. The first Race Day was September 8th, but after trying to start, it had to be abandoned due to a children’s Fun Day taking place at CTD, which we were not told about. The terrible Gota Fria the following weekend meant we were not able to race for the next 3 weeks as members were helping with the clear-up and due to the poor state of the water in the Mar Menor.

On Sunday October 6th the forecast looked good, so racing was to go ahead, but when everybody arrived at CTD at 10am the Mar Menor was shrouded in thick fog and there was no wind at all.

At 12.30pm there was a breath of wind, 2.5 knots from the East, which cleared the fog and the first race started with six boats coming to the line. The five dinghies got away well, but the much heavier Sailfish 18 day boat Sirocco struggled as she needs at least 5 knots of wind to get her going well and crossed the start 3 minutes late. The wind gradually increased to 5 knots and there was some close racing between the Laser 2000, Omega and Laser Standard all through the race, but eventually the wind died again causing steering problems and the Omega hit two marks which forced penalty turns and put her out of contention. The dinghies were lapping at 13-15 minutes, but poor Sirocco took 40 minutes to complete one lap and retired.

The average lap result times on handicap were very close;

1st Laser 2000 in 694 secs

2nd Omega in 697 secs

3rd Gamba in 729 secs

4th Laser Standard in 735 secs

5th Laser Radial in 742 secs

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