Salterns Teras on Tour

Despite the restrictions that we have all faced this summer, the sailors at Salterns have enjoyed an unprecedented amount of time on the water, be it in the Ducklings, Brass or Bronze Oppie Fleets or Tera Training and Tera and Moth Racing. 

Olympic rings with Tera sailors in front
Salterns Tera sailors at WPNSA

The more senior sailors have dipped their toes in the warmer than usual waters of the Lymington River through Royal Lymington Youth Week, and the weekly Royal Lymington training sessions.  For the current cream of the crop, there have been opportunities to spread their wings further and test themselves at Open events, RYA Regional Championships and Class National Championships.

At end of August, six members of Salterns Sailing Club went to the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy for the RS Tera National Championships.  Some were seasoned pros of the Tera Tour, for others this was their first chance to stare into the eyes of unknown competitors from far off clubs. 

High pressure dominated the weather, with light winds and a clear sky.  Day one saw four races sailed, in not much more than 7 knots wind strength.  With each race lasting around an hour, it was the sailors that could concentrate for the longest and master the tricky light winds, that did the best. 

Day two dawned and wind gods had clearly gone on a late August Bank Holiday weekend.  Still the fleet took the water, attempting to start two races.  But with zephyrs of no more than 4 knots across Portland Harbour the Race Officer admitted defeat, much to the delight and cheers of the hot and frustrated children, who proceeded to race each other back to the dock so they could put in a serious hour of jumping into the sea. 

Overall Results for our sailors were.

11. Harry West

13. Max Tait

28. Raffy Seddon

48. Samuel Pontefract

49. George Bence

63. Joe Bewick

One month later, and the Salterns Sailors were back in Weymouth Bay, this time for the RYA Regional event.  Max Tait, Raffy Seddon and Samuel Pontefract were joined by Joanna MacAlister and Matilde Mathies in the Tera Fleet.

Conditions could not have been more different from the Tera Nationals, this time Weymouth turned on the fans.  With a cold northly wind, averaging between 23 and 25kn, gusting upwards of 30kn, the fleet of 85 Oppies launched at 10:15.  A sensible decision by the Race Director saw the 23 strong RS Tera fleet held ashore until the Oppie fleet had completed their first race. 

Blast reaching off the slipway to the race area with large waves gave the young sailors a glimpse of what high performance offshore racing can be like.   Each fleet completed 3 races, and it was a huge credit to WPNSA and their on the water safety team that the fleets races.  The sailors certainly were pushed to their limits, and the ones that managed to keep their boats upright did best.  By his own admission Max Tait hates light winds and loves windy regattas, and he was true to his word, taking on the best of the regions tera sailors and coming out on top, beating his arch rival by one point to claim the overall win.  Raffy Seddon and Samuel Pontefract two of the lighter sailors in the fleet, put in very consistent performances in the strong wind to claim 7th and 12th, whilst Joanna MacAlister and Matilde Mathies in their first Tera event outside of Lymington, showed great determination and resilience to complete some great results by Salterns sailors.  But what any parent who was there will remember was the smiles of the children as they came off the water. 

Overall Results for our sailors were.

RS Tera Fleet:

  1. Max Tait

7.    Raffy Seddon

12.  Samuel Pontefract

17. Joanna MacAlister – 3rd Girl

21.  Matilde Mathies