Friday, June 15, 2012
Following on from the jubilee weekend Sidmouth Sailing Club had another busy weekend with the arrival of the 1948 Olympic torch, writes Oliver Salter.
The torch was on its relay journey from the 1948 sailing venue of Torbay to the 2012 venue of Weymouth via all the sailing clubs on the way.
The torch was sailed from Exe Sailing Club with a flotilla leaving the Exe and a few yachts making the whole journey. It was brought ashore by Hedley Saunders in a safety boat and accepted on the beach by Sidmouth’s honorary life members John Mullins, John Mortimore, Oliver Bagwell and Oliver Salter.
It was then handed between members in a human chain relay and taken into the club. Another highlight of the day was a visit by Gerry Crocker from Sidbury, now in his 90’s, who brought his original 1948 torch that he had the great honour of carrying in the relay 64 years ago. He recalled his memories and gave the opportunity for members to inspect the torch that was simple and much less hi-tec than the 2012 equivalent.
Racing followed in dry but challenging conditions consisting of rough seas and a strong breeze, the Scorpion race was led from start to finish by Alex and Amy Hayman followed by Oliver Salter and Jack Rea second and James Salter and Connor Fitch third. The Laser race was won by Chris Clapp on his first outing of the season keeping just ahead of Bob Vine.
To celebrate the presence of the torch there was an Olympic-themed fancy dress party and disco with a hog roast. This was attended by around 100 with guests from the gig club and lifeboat crew.
Sunday morning was time to take the torch on to the Beer Sailing Club and eight dinghies left the beach at 11am accompanied by three safety boats, one of the Sidmouth gigs,the Keith Owen, and the Sidmouth Lifeboat. It was not a pleasant journey as the wind was against us and then it poured with rain. We were escorted from Branscombe by some of the Beer sailors and support boats and arrived around 1.30pm. The Sidmouth sailors were treated to a cup of tea and a pasty in the impressive clubhouse despite making the carpet a bit damp. The torch was then handed over to Ali Green, the Beer club commodore, for their safe keeping and onward journey to Axe Yacht Club next weekend.
The wind had decreased by the time we departed and the planned race back started just inside Beer Head.
A variety of tactics were employed but the most successful was Amy Hayman with crew John Jones adopting the most inshore option, Oliver Salter and Jack Rea just managed to edge two metres ahead of James Salter and Hope Brodie on the finishing line with Nick Jennings fourth in the Scorpions. Bob vine won the Lasers convincingly ahead of Connor Fitch and Paul Wilson.
Thanks to everyone that supported and helped with the very successful weekend.