Race report

Sunday 26th April 2015

Race 1

While many of our readers may not remember the following quote from a very popular film “ practically perfect in every way” it actually sums up accurately our Sunday sailing sessions out on the sea in the jewel of the Pembrokeshire coast and is known as Saundersfoot. Crystal clear waters, sunny skies, and a fresh f4 / f5 can make an old sea dog very happy. It certainly made a fleet of 11 sailors in 7 different class sailing boats slightly nervous with anticipation as they made it through the harbour entrance and out into the bay. Gone was last weeks copy of The People’s Friend and in came some expected military precision by the name of Tom with co pilot Bodil to make sure the sailing strategy lived up to expectations. No knitting pattern this week just good old get out to sea, round a few buoys and if you are lucky to stay upright you are in for the spoils.

I need to digress slightly as just for the record, last weeks report was made with tongue in cheek and a little editor’s digression, so for anyone else asking about finding a partner and love in Wales out on the sea we are not actually a dating agency, it’s a bit of fun. ( well in most cases )

Back to the race, 1 minute can make all the difference but that’s all I am going to say about the start, precision course laying, hooters and flags all seem to get there in the end so we were off. Pendine – Monkstone – Harbour. James with his newly knitted jumper was out of the blocks and glued to Maurice as they shot off to the Pendine mark way out in the distance, in hot pursuit were the regular suspects of David in his race tuned Solo, Keith in the currently dry Laser and of course the Love Boat doing some pretty nifty manoeuvring in and out of the race leaders. We are still not sure if some of their course changes are intentional or maybe they are just going where the boat takes them but I am assured the N12 needs a firm hand at the helm and a willing crew to accept that firm hand of leadership.

Following along behind was new member Andy Davison in his borrowed Laser 1 rigged with a handy radial which looked just right in these conditions, as an ex Tenby sailor we knew he would be pushing all the way round and he certainly did, well that was until he turned turtle in the harbour entrance on the way back in but we have all done that and some of us with the wife in the boat.

Hywel had his new Laser 4.7 sail rigged and it looked crisper than my Sunday church shirt, how I wished I could have swapped my full Laser rig for that. Very close in mid pack contention was one of last years regulars Steve Cavel in his Solo and on his first outing this year, I think managing to exit the difficult harbour passage spurred his confidence for a very creditable race. Harry again in the RS Vision had dad Steve hanging on with a white knuckle ride but managed to finish without mishap and it was also good to see Nick and Paula back from sunnier climes to brave the slightly colder waters than they are used to in the clubs L2K, and even with a sticky asymmetric managed a good overall position.

Normal leaders positions prevailed until Keith decided on the very hairy Pendine – Monkstone run to flip the Laser up side down which enabled a few of us to slip by and make a few positions. 3 laps for most, 2 for some and an enjoyable race had by all. Maurice will really be in the pink this week as he managed to turn the boat on the run to Monkstone, almost mount the love boat, but still manage to win. 1st Maurice in the Contender, 2nd and only 7 seconds behind was James in the Phantom, 3rd David in the Solo which was also very close behind by 10 sec. 4th and all smiles at staying dry was Paul and Julia in the N12. A great result for Hywel in his Laser 1 with a 4.7 rig, he was only 73 sec behind the race leader so watch out Maurice they are getting very close. See SSC facebook results for all final positions.

Race 2

came very fast and with a couple of retirements the fleet was primed, ready and a few maybe a bit wet. A new course was set Monkstone – Pendine – Harbour and off they went again. Very strong gusts made the sailing a bit tense at times and all the skills of a hardened sea captain were needed to keep the boats upright in these conditions. The wind direction could have been kinder for a true beat and was decidedly up and down to test the skills, Hywel managed to turn his Laser over a few times this race and it is reported 1st race winner Maurice also had problems and retired gracefully. The race was shortened to 2 laps which I am sure was welcomed in the conditions and eventually the race winner was 1st James in the Phantom, 2nd David in the Solo, 3rd Paul and Julia in the N12, 4ht Nick and Paula in the L2K, 5th Keith, 6th a very wet Hywel but I am sure has learnt a lot after the days race’s.

It has been mentioned in dispatches that a keen Tenby sailor was watching from the cliffs with his binoculars checking out the opposition, well he would be none the wiser now as after 4 races there have been 4 separate winners and all in different classes which is great news. We also have some very keen youngsters clipping at the heals of the regulars so that’s even better for everyone.

A really big thank you to our rescue teams who possibly managed to get more wet than the sailors and I am sure at least one of them would have swapped their rescue rib for a Laser4000 at any point that morning. Tina and Anita, Jo and Terry thanks for your time and effort. OOD Tom with Bodil assisting with what I am also hearing was a bit testing in the OOD box as someone had pinched the ropes from the flag poles so well done however you did it.

Next week Friday 1st May there will be club sailing from 5pm onwards but Paul will be on hand from 4pm and as a tasty treat apparently Julia and Clare have some bacon butties organised for after so that’s a real temptation if ever there was one. In the evening and starting from bar open 7.30pm which has been stocked with some excellent real ale from the Tenby brewery, a first race start at 8pm we have an excellent evening of horse racing and all in aid of an excellent charity “The Macmillan Cancer Trust” so please come down to support this event and you might even win at the same time.

Sunday May 3rd has 2 races organised which start at 5pm, the sun and wind have been booked so not to be missed as usual.

Friday 15th May is “Push the Boat Out” a chance to come along for free and have a taster session of sailing in one of Pembrokeshire’s greatest sailing venues. All starts at 4pm, see facebook or website for more details and contacts.


a salty sea dog