SAMM Sailors Wow the Locals

SAMM was excited to book its place on Los Alcazares Beach on 12th October for the celebration of the Dia del España, known locally as the Dia del Caldero, the first time it had been held for three years due to the pandemic.

Apart from our normal marquee, barbecues, banner and dinghy anchored offshore (our beer supply vessel), we needed a novel idea to attract passers-by. Julian Pering, our Balaton Group leader and wife Jo suggested traditional English Morris Dancing. Christine, our Treasurer’s wife, choreographed some moves. After only four rehearsals we were ready! Our costumes and music made many local people stop, watch and enjoy while they had their photos taken with the dancers or asked about our sailing activities. We coordinated our hourly performances with a nearby Spanish group who sang and danced to a variety of music, including the viral tune Jerusalem A. Refreshments of burgers and frankfurters were cooked by chef John, a sailor and members of the local Reef Band. It was the great social event we all needed and ideas are already being suggested for next year.

Where Is The Wind?

It was another disappointing day for the competitors of the SAMM racing fleet with only very light winds. The lighter dinghies could race, but the two heavier day sailers really struggled.

Winners L to R, Julian Pering and Jurgen Reimann Sirocco, Diane Hardwick and Brian Murray Dos
Winners L to R, Julian Pering and Jurgen Reimann Sirocco, Diane Hardwick and Brian Murray Dos

The first race start was delayed for an hour and all the dinghies got away well. Ginetta managed to start, but 25 minutes late due to a problem with the foresail, but Sirocco failed to make it, so was a DNS. The Race Officer had set an Olympic course across the southerly wind and the dinghies battled it out for 5-6 laps with Omega finally triumphing with an average lap time of 516 seconds, only 18 seconds ahead of the second placed boat. This was a great result for new member Fiona McMahon in her first SAMM race. The two bigger boats did not even try to start the second race, so it was a close-fought contest between the dinghies again in a southerly wind, but a shift in wind direction to south east made having to decide the correct course to sail crucial. Laser Radial of John Down was declared the winner with an average lap time of 557 seconds.

An Excellent Day’s Racing

On October 30th the weather was kind to us with the wind at NE 6-7 knots.Five boats started the first race at 11.15am, all crossing the start line just over a minute after the gun. There was some excellent sailing by all crews playing the tactical race. It was so close at times with boats crossing the line after each lap only seconds apart that the race officers struggled to keep up.

Race two also got off to a good start, with the wind dropping 5-6 knots, but all boats managed to keep close together for some very tight racing. There were different tactics and lines around the course, but still coming together when completing laps.

SAMM run an Average Lap race result system and, after applying the handicaps, Shoestrings Dos won the first race, 6 seconds ahead of Balatons Sirocco. For the second race the positions were reversed with Sirocco beating Dos into second place by 23 seconds. All other boats timings were very close behind them. An excellent day on the water.

An Incident-Filled Day For SAMM Racers

Another morning of sunshine, but light wind, greeted SAMM sailors as they arrived at CTD for the 7th & 8th race of the autumn season, so the race officer chose to set a square but short lap course.

Race 1. A great start with all boats close to the line and over soon after the signal to go. In the steady westerly breeze of 4-5 knots, all boats sailed the course well until the first incident when Sirocco fouled the very long mooring line of a ferry boat. The SAMM Support Boat had to go to their aid, which forced retirement under the rules. The race officer did time them out of interest, but they would have finished last. The second incident was a calculation error resulting in the wrong boat being declared winner, but this was subsequently corrected.

Race 2. A great start with all boats close to the line at the signal. The wind had veered to the south and increased to 6.5 knots enabling faster lap times of around 7 minutes. An individual battle developed between the Laser Standard of John Down and Omega crewed by Steve Hall and Fiona McMahon and, by the 4th lap, Omega was closing in. Disaster hit as Omega’s forestay snapped and down came the mast. Steve managed to stay dry, but Fiona took a dip. The support boat towed them back to shore. Nothing injured but pride! It was a great finish in a very tight race with only 13 seconds separating average lap times of the winner and last placed boat as follows:

Balaton Sirocco 373secs, Shoestring Cuatro 376secs, Shoestring Dos 380secs, Laser Standard 386secs. A fantastic achievement by all the competitors.

Double Top for Vision

Visions crew Robert Hudson, left & Jurgen Reimann, right
Visions crew Robert Hudson, left & Jurgen Reimann, right

Vision, the new Sailfish 18 of the Balaton Group made her racing debut on November 13th and what a debut it was. A sunny day, small waves and a steady NNE breeze of 8-10 knots, good for the heavier day boats and not too strong for the dinghies. An excellent start for the first race at 11.30am with all five boats across the line within 18 seconds for their first circuit of the square course. Shoestring Dos took the lead completing the lap in 9mins 35 secs with the last boat, the much heavier Balaton Sirocco taking 13mins 21 secs with the rest of the fleet spaced out between them. This continued until lap 4 when Shoestring Omega had to retire when a shroud failed. Although Vision finished third in the hour long race, the application of the handicaps gave her the winning average lap time of 479secs.

At 12.50pm the wind had increased to 10-12 knots, but the start of the second race was a repeat of the first with Vision over the line bang on the start signal closely followed by the other four. This time Omega, having fixed the shroud problem, soon took the lead and held it until the finish. Dos and Cuatro, close behind, were having a real tussle. Dos had the edge. Cuatro seemed to lose concentration and the gap opened to 4 minutes over the last two laps. Vision kept up a great performance to again take first after handicaps; a brilliant performance by Robert and Jurgen to take the double in her first appearance.

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