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Santa Irene Club de Vela Newsletter - 28th September 2007

The last time we met I was telling you of my planned visit to the Mar Menor and the Catamaran Championships.  All went well on Saturday the 15th, Houri had packed a delicious picnic and we were “Off on the road to Mar Menor”.  Using the new toll road AP7 to Cartagena (toll cost 11.50 euros) we soon arrived at the San Javier Airport signs, then a right turn to Alcazores and we were there at the Infanta Cristina Sports Centre, sailing being the major sport.  But where were the “Cats”?  I could see two “A class” Cats among about two hundred boats – it seems the event was in Alicante.  Not to worry if was going to be a great day.  We had arrived to witness one of the legs of the Youth National Championships for the Optimist, Cadet, Laser 4.7, Radial, with the Snipe, Finn and Laser Standard for the mature sailors.  It got even better when someone shouted – Hi John! – it was Pedro Juan from Aguilas Sailing Club with some of his youngsters – sailing Oppies and Lasers.  We were able to help, moving trollies etc, chatting and taking photos of all those enthusiastic young sailors.  There were about 90 Oppies and if you have never been to a Big meeting – you are missing out and should do something about it.  It was a perfect day with the venue, Infanta Cristina, having all the facilities you may need. 

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I´ll tell you a bit about the Mar Menor, its and inland sea with La Manga keeping the sea out, about 13 miles long, 6½ wide, with 37 miles of coastline – sailing round that could be fun, the average depth is 16 feet.  Having thoroughly enjoyed our day we left for home about 5.00pm, having made new friends, getting to know more about Infanta Cristina and wishing if only we had a bit of that.

Now nearer to home, Trevor is back from the UK and sailing his “Tideway”.  I´ve been out in the Drascombe, you will recognise us with our tan coloured sails.  Nick of Osprey and Phantom fame has been visiting us, hope to see more of him this winter, along with Solo Jim, Hobie George, the other half of the Odd Couple, Terry, and many more of the winter sailors.  I think we should invite the British Olympic team to join us after their 6 medal haul at the pre‑Olympic meeting at Qingdao, China (5 gold and 1 silver)  that was in August.  You didn´t know!!  I´m not surprised.

Have our Hobie sailors found a new home – they have been sailing off the playa at San Juan Torreros.  You couldn´t find a much better playa to sail off, I know it well, 20 years ago it was the swimming beach for Ethel Irene and myself, we tried to keep it to ourselves but it is busy now.  Nevertheless, it will be quiet in the winter and only 40 minutes away from Mojacar, but who knows the future, I´ll be talking to Vic, Jim and Peter.  Oh! John and Elaine our old friends from what used to be the “Captains Bar” on the playa have been launching their jet‑ski from there and keeping an eye on the lads and lasses.

The latest news from the Southampton Boat Show is that Ben Ainslie MBE, probably our most successful dinghy sailor ever, will skipper the British boat in the next America´s Cup’.  Ben is now 30 years of age and started when he was 4 – what did I say about starting them young.  Back in 1973 his Dad skippered a boat in the Whitbread round the world race, so I guess sailing is in his genes.  In 1992 a 15 year old Ben Ainslie won the “Optimist” National Championships.  This year’s championships were held at Weymouth and Portland (WPNSA) with “379 competitors” it was the Oppies 60th birthday.  Clark Mills designed Optimist in Florida in 1947, the year I was racing for HMS Victorious around Portland – pity they didn´t invite me back – they did invite Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the Chairman of our Olympic Committee Lord Sebastian Coe.  I hope they were impressed with what they saw.

Time to shut the shop, come and talk to me – Sunday morning at Garrucha Slipway or the Lads and Lasses on the playa.

Take Care

John Talliss
Tel : 950 475 157
Movil: 658 548 790

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