SSC weekly news

Monday 6th April 2015

What a start to the season, the sun was shining and the there was I think some sort of breeze but enough to push an expectant crowd of fit and enthusiastic sailors round the course. The day started well with our in control Dinghy Captain Mr Paul Griffiths being given some useful advice that on this inaugural day of sailing by his trusty sea going tactician Julie that he needed to have a sharp mind and a honed body, so he was pushed out of bed and on to the beach for a run and then into a sun lit sea for a swim, now that's dedication to a cause. A cautious and maybe hopeful start of 5.30pm was the plan, rearrange the dinghy park to try and confuse the sailors was not in our control, but to have 14 boats turn up and all with an expectant eye on the prize was better than we could have hoped for on this first race day of 2015.

The fleet did at least know what was going to happen today after an excellent brief by Paul and his coach on Friday evening at the club where he overcame any pre briefing nerves to an expectant crew of sea dogs all listening intently to the detail that Captain Paul had put together in his cabin back at club HQ. He did manage to entertain and educate the on looking crowd and obviously fired up an enthusiasm to get the fleet and it's support crew out and ready for the first race.

Everyone seemed to be in good spirits although one or two did maybe look as though there had been some over consumption of Easter eggs on this very spiritual day to start the season and I overheard they maybe joining Captain Paul out on the beach each day to try and emulate his pre season six pack that he was hiding under his wetsuit. It by the way an agreed fact between a few of us that wetsuits do shrink over the winter period.

The days proceedings were under the control of resident beach master Tom and his also very helpful assistant ( 2014 Club Person of the year and mother of the Egg Baron ) Clare who it must be said managed to control the hooter button and flag raising with almost precision perfection. A Pendine - Monstone - Harbour course was set in what was a twisting and testing breeze but set in the sunny picturesque bay of Saundersfoot that I am sure is the jewel in the crown to sail on the Pembrokshire coast.

Off went the hooter and almost up went the flag but yes we were off, a controlled and very close start line with some close sailing skills required to fend off potential boarders at a crowed start line. We did of course have the usual suspects coming through the fleet like Nelson at Trafalgar in the form of the Flying Tissimans, yes they are back and Debbie was in fine form pirouetting out on the wire with a finely tuned ear just waiting for the next command from Captain Mark who is in complete control out on the water even if he may not be back at base I have heard. Jo was testing the engine on her newly acquired race stallion the RS4000 with returning member Alan who was it seemed trying to emulate Debbie out on the wire but obviously was not listening maybe quiet so intently as they were soon to visit Davey Jones locker and turned the boat upside down and it seems also to do a bit of swimming, maybe they had seen Paul on the beach in the morning and just wanted to show him their nautical skills as well.

There were a flock of Lasers in the fleet this year with Hywel and Rhys expectantly going for glory against some of the older salts in the crowd, good to see skilful Ben in his Toper who we are hoping will join us more this year but maybe not now after we read the results later. Maurice has joined us in his pink Contender and very skilful he looks as he went round the Pendine mark with the race leaders. Speaking of old salts there was a new boat on the block in the form of the Grad being helmed by our very own club trainer Malcolm and a rejuvenated club commodore it seems who was also flying round the first lap in his Solo was Martin Andrews. The highly polished Phantom in the hands of almost new dad James did manage a bit of a slow start, maybe it could be his lack of sleep or even that his own skilled tactical crew was baby sitting on the beach and could not offer her experienced sailing knowledge to the helm, or was it that he was selling their lovely 2 crew RS200 and he had dropped her. ( not for me to suggest )

The 2014 silver fleet champion Harry was back and it seems in good form out there in his RS Vision, there was rumour he may be wanting to sail single handed and drop his crew into a Laser at the same time but we need to wait on that rumour. Anyway back to race stats, there were 14 yes I did say 14 boats out there in the form of 4 Lasers, 2 Solos, and a real mix on entertaining others so if you are reading this and want to come and join us we are a real mixed bunch from all corners of the sea's who I am sure the current parliamentarians would love to be able to boast about.

Tom and Clare made the bold decision after the first lap and went for the short course button, much at the time to the frustration of a few who had just managed to drift over the line and then realise we had to drift a bit further, not so it seems as the wind came up and a better than hoped second lap took place so a good decision from the in control team. Eventually the race was over, the boats packed away safely and all of the crews were smiling, well maybe apart from Jo and Alan but the results are in.
1st Ben in his Topper, 2nd Dave in the Solo, 3rd James in the Phantom. In descending order were Keith, Maurice, Hywel, Mark and Debbie, Mick, Rhys, Jo and Alan, Malcolm, Martin, Harry and Steve.

A great first race and again many thanks to the land crew in the form of Tom and Clare in the start box, Tom and Terry, Julie and Paul out in the rescue boats who we all depend on so a big thank you. A lot of work by Graham and his team to get the boats and equipment ready for our first day so thank you to them as well. Next weeks race on Sunday the 12th starts at 10.30 and in control team of Dave and Martin will be guiding us through the start pins, any would be members or racers please contact Graham our membership secretary who's details can be found on our website or visit us on Facebook to find out what's happening. See you out on the water.

By 'Salty Sea Dog'.

First race start