Sailing returns to Lyme Bay

RS800 leaders Cameron and Darrol Moss lead the fleet

KEEN sailors from Lyme Regis can be seen out in the bay again after months on dry land during the coronavirus lockdown. 

A reduced racing programme has been scheduled to fit with the tides to minimise launching and recovery time for dinghies and facilitate participation by cruisers.

Building up slowly from previously permitted leisure sailing, organised racing has taken place over the past three weeks. Single-handed sailors have had less restrictions and some family-crewed double-handlers are able to join in.

On Sunday, August 9, close to what would have been the date of Lyme Regis Sailing Club’s annual regatta, 16 dinghies and four cruisers set out to compete in two races run back-to-back.

Race officer Simon Clark, assisted by James Fuller with Bosun Dave Law in the patrol boat, described the conditions as “a great hot day on the water, off-shore wind NE F2-F3, sunshine and flat sparkling water”.

Simon set a large course and, after the start, the two RS800s flew into the lead and completed three laps while the remaining boats, led by Allan and Chris Tyler in a Fireball, completed two laps in similar time.

Placings were adjusted by handicaps between classes and on average lap timings to allow comparison.

Tim O’Toole and Simon Law in the Albacore sailed well to beat Jerry Rook and Jake Stow in the first race but couldn’t keep up the good form in the second.

Simon Heusen led the Phantoms in both races, holding his fifth place on handicap.

The RS800, helmed by Mary Rook with partner Hugh Bradshaw, capsized then retired in the second race with rigging failure, having held third place in the first.

Lead K1 sailor Guy Woodhouse took second place in the second race, splitting the leaders Cameron Moss and Allan Tyler. Graham Cook was 1st Laser in race one, but left Mike Pridham to head the class in race 2.

In the cruisers, Medina helm Rob Wiscombe, crewed by Margaret, comfortably took first place in both races. Stuart Gurney took up the rear but had a great time with Dan Alsop wrestling with the huge yellow spinnaker.

Youth Sailing

A race group of competent youth sailors has been running for a few weeks with coaching by Jerry Rook on Saturdays.

Several young members have taken the opportunity to learn from more experienced helms and, in addition, Jerry encourages participation in club sailing, a challenging step for single-handlers.

They have been making good progress in gusty conditions, which Jerry notes would have been tough for many adults.

Meanwhile, Commodore Jeremy Wallace has been keen to widen the offer to youth hopefuls, who like many other young sports people, have had very limited opportunity this season to practise and improve their skills.

This week was the first of the short series Tuesday Youth Group 2020 for intermediates, by invitation. A lack of wind meant Jim Thomas and Simon Law had to tow their sailors out to the cardinal mark and change their plans to teach safe capsize and confidence-building drills.

Weather was perfect for this and a small, committed, happy group appreciated the opportunity offered.

Co-ordinator Sally Holman was delighted with the team managing to operate under current restrictions, and the parents and students all left with thanks and smiles.

Sally and team regret that numbers restrictions and lack of being able to have physical contact mean that they cannot take any more students or any beginners this year.

She commented: “Jim and I hope that those we have had to disappoint will remain keen for 2021. Everyone appreciates that we are doing the best we can at present, to give some training but keep everyone safe at this difficult time.”.

The clubhouse remains closed until late August when it is hoped to open to limited numbers. No national championships can be held this season but Jeremy and his committee are planning for major club Ccntenary celebrations in 2021.

Race Results (August 9)

Race 1

  1. Cameron and Darrol Moss,  RS800
  2. Allan and Chris Tyler, Fireball
  3. Mary Rook and Hugh Bradshaw, RS800
  4. Graham Cook , Laser

Race 2

  1. Cameron and Darrol Moss, RS800
  2. Guy Woodhouse, K1
  3. Allan and Chris Tyler, Fireball
  4. Jerry Rook and Jake Stow, Albacore
Woodmead Halls

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