It turned out all right in the end for SAAM

Photo: The winners, Robert Hudson left, Rob Peck, right

Depending on whose forecast you looked at, for Sunday October 7th, the weather was either going to be perfect for the SAMM racing or totally unsuitable! Which do you think they got?

Whilst the course was being laid and boats prepared the wind was measured at SW 5-6 knots, OK but opposite that forecast and a bit light for exciting sailing. By the time of the start of the morning race at 11.30am it had died to almost nothing.

The closest dinghy, Shoestrings Omega with Tug and Kerry on board, was only about 2 meters from the line at the gun but did not cross it until two minutes later. She was closely followed by Shoestrings Dos (Dianne and Brian), then the Radial (Norman) after 4 minutes and the Topaz (Julian) after 5 minutes. Rosita (Mick) and the three larger boats and were becalmed, the later being too heavy for the wind to move.

At 11.40am the wind started to come up from the NE, the completely opposite direction, reaching the becalmed boats first and all had started by 11.42. They caught the dinghies half way down the first leg and it was a tussle at the first mark but, as usual, the dinghies slowly pulled away and were neck and neck down the second leg.

At the end of the first lap the leading boat, the Topaz, was timed at 20 mins 30 secs and the wind had increased to NE 5-6. The Omega, Radial and Dos took 21 to 22 minutes, then Rosita, 33 minutes, Lavanter (the terrible twins Rob and Rob) and Mistral (Peter and Justine) 25 minutes with Sirocco (George and Shelly) bringing up the rear in 34 minutes.

The wind continued to increase so the Topaz completed her second lap in just 121/2 minutes (lapping Sirocco and Rosita at the third mark) and the four lap race in just over 54 minutes, by which time the wind was at 8-9 knots.

This was an advantage for the back markers as the last lap for Lavanter, Mistral and Sirocco only took 11 to 12 minutes. It balanced out their disadvantage in the light wind of the first lap. Rosita had retired.

After applying the handicaps some of the placings were very close, separated by between only 12 to 30 seconds. Lavanter (Rob and Rob) was declared the winner, Mistral (Peter and Justine) second and the Radial (Norman) third.

So, as was said at the beginning “It turned out all right in the end”.