A Day of Failures

First equipment failures on four of the five boats that registered for the SAMM Racing on April 16th and the 15 knot ENE wind failed to drop off to 10 knots as forecast, but fluctuated between 9-15 knots all day which was challenging. Luckily, at Los Narejos, it was coming partly from across the land so at least the 0.7 metre high waves did not materialise.


At the start of the first race, two of the boats competing did not hear the start signals because they had sailed too far from the line. Vision had an engine bolt, main halyard and another problem so did not start. Ginetta crossed after 5 minutes, closely followed by Uno, Cuatro and Sirocco. These four had a close battle, especially Uno and Ginetta, until Uno’s jib tore and Cuatro’s jib halyard snapped so she had to continue on reefed main alone.  On the 3rd lap, Sirocco’s upper rudder pintle screws sheared so she had to retire, so only three boats completed the race, all managing five laps in the hour.

Ginetta sailing hard
Ginetta and Uno

During the interval Ginetta, who’s crew confessed to narrowly avoiding T-boning the moored ferry before the start, changed helm, only for Julian to hit the jetty. Luckily it was a glancing blow so no major damage, except to Julian’s reputation. This left three boats to start the second race. Ginetta across first, closely followed by Cuatro. Uno had gone ashore to fix the sail and shake out the reef in the mainsail so started 10 minutes late. Her crew sailed well and she completed 6 laps to finish only 3 minutes behind Ginetta. The Cuatro crew mistook the ‘about to finish’ signal for their finish horn so did not complete the race, so a disappointing finish to a problem-filled day.

Results, as average time per lap.

First Race

1st Ginetta 386 secs

2nd Uno 426 secs

3rd Cuatro 453 secs

Second Race

1st Ginetta 352 secs

2nd Uno 433 secs 

An Added Day

As the racing on the previous two Sundays and then Wednesday had to be cancelled, the Race Committee added an extra day on Sunday May 7th. Unfortunately only seven competitors on three boats were entered. 

The competitors and organisers all arrived on time; a good start, but the weather was not looking good. It was overcast and, whilst everybody was getting ready, a storm broke with heavy rain, thunder and lightning. It was forecast to be fine after 11am so the Race Officer announced that the preparatory signal would be 11.15am. Because the briefing board was soaked he drew the course on a sheet of paper and showed all the competitors, while giving a full explanation of how the racing was to be run.

The 1st race started well, but the bigger Sailfish 18 struggled when the wind dropped from 5.5 knots to around 3 and went sideways and backwards. They found their way later, unfortunately too late to recover their place and finished last. The Laser crew had not set their mainsail correctly so used the interval to raise it fully.

A Guardia Civil boat arrived and were helped to moor. The very friendly crew were very interested in the SAMM Regatta. They appeared to be on a training day as they dropped some buoys and were practicing manoeuvres around them.

The 2nd race was better as the wind had increased to 6-7 knots. All three boats started and sailed well. By the penultimate lap, on the downwind leg, the Omega and Laser were both closing to lap the Sailfish. The Omega manoeuvred to take her wind and caught her at the mark. They were both goose-winged and the Sailfish had to jibe their boom to avoid a touch and give the Omega water as it was the overtaking boat. That proved not to be problem as the next leg was a beam reach to the start/finish gate. The average lap times showed a much closer result. The weather developed as forecast and became very sunny and a lovely day was had by all involved.


First Race

Omega 821 secs

Laser 963 secs

Sailfish 1250 secs

Second Race

Sailfish 493 secs

Laser 514 secs

Omega 521 secs

If you are interested in sailing join SAMM, go to sailingmarmenor.comfor details.