Shoestring Sailing Group News

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Some Good News   2021-05-26     Jack Moss

We are shortly moving into June 2021 and there are signs of more activity within our sailing group. Last Friday (Shoestring Friday) for example, we had our four boats out on the water. This was the first time all four boats were together on the water this year. The weather was sunny and the wind was a constant 5 knots, ideal for sailing and those of us recapping on how to sail a boat.

We all should also have received an email from Terry Chapman (SAMM Race Co-ordinator) saying that we could have SAMM Racing again from mid-June. Please reply to his email if you wish to be involved with SAMM Racing this year.

Within our Group, we intend to have our first Wednesday Skills Day with Di Hardwick supervising our refresher training and skills. This will be on the 2nd of June 2021 at 10.30 am.

We will be planning our popular picnic sails to further away places in the Mar Menor and a provisional date for this is Wednesday 23rd June 2021. This will be subject to wind direction and weather on the day, depending on where we sail to. I have vivid memories of drifting aimlessly between the two main Islands (Pediguera and Isla de Baron) for a duration of almost two hours when we were becalmed (or Stuck), needing almost a flashlight to find our way back to CAR. A further reminder will be sent to you closer to the time.

Finally, on a more personal note, it was great to have Sean O'Reilly, Mike Bates, John Down, Dave and Di Hardwick all back sailing with us again, Our thanks to Paul Shard for making excellent wooden horses to support our boats whilst in dry dock and I have sent our best wishes and speedy recovery to Janice Penning, having broken her wrist after a fall.

We all hope more of you can join us shortly as travel restrictions are relaxed.

With best wishes and fair winds to you all Jack


The End is in sight   2021-05-13     Jack Moss

Now that the state of emergency has come to an end, we are looking forward to welcoming our members from Valencia and district again. We should have a lot more attendees at our next Shoestring Friday on 14th May.
Shoestring Committee will be planning our Picnics Sails and our Skills Training days to be held later this month and in the Summer months that follow.
Last Friday we had an interesting sail with a potential new member who is an RYA trainer of trainers (She had worked with Pro Vela to oversee their training). She and her family have moved here to Spain and she wants a facility to get back on the water. Shoestring Sailing Group appears to fulfil her needs and fingers crossed, she will join us later in the year.


Sailing News   2021-04-23     Jack Moss

We have been back sailing for a month now after having cleaned and maintained our boats in early March 21. However, the movement restriction between Valencia and Murcia means that some of our members are still unable to sail. We are hopeful that this will change shortly. So, we are currently left with 9 of our members being able to sail from within the Murcia region, and of these, some 6 of us usually sail on a weekly basis.
Other members in UK, Ireland, Germany, and Holland are still awaiting clarification in their respective Government guidelines on when they can travel to Spain and indeed whether or not they will be allowed to enter Spain (27 passengers on an Easyjet flight arriving in Alicante last week were refused entry as they were not residents in Spain.)
Travelling between countries in Europe is far from easy.
The 2 Gamba dinghies (being the largest in our fleet) are still the most popular boats being sailed but all of our boats have been out on the water so far this year.
CTD has opened up its cafe/bar facility and our members are beginning to enjoy this facility again after it had been closed since March 2021. Normality is returning very slowly.
No more news to report.


A picture from the Shoestring Picnic day out.   2020-07-18     

Images from the Shoestring Picnic


Shoestring Picnic Part Three. A letter from Paulo   2020-07-18     John Down

Hi Jack/John
I really do appreciate the fact you changed the training day to a picnic day to allow Molly to come along. She is still on a high and definitely now has the sailing bug. On the way out Molly was a shade nervous as the wind was picking up and with a bit of a chop in the sea. I decided not to release the jib to cushion the ride a little but also to slow us down as I wasn’t sure of our final destination. As a double hander Dos really does sail well with the mainsail alone even tacking through the narrow channel with the expensive yachts alongside she responded so well although without the jib you need to maintain boat speed and tack quickly. (Probably why there was a few nervous faces on the other boats) The return journey was an absolute joy on a broad reach all the way. Molly was now gaining confidence and hiking well so out came the jib and we had a lovely exhilarating sail back to base. I have to say a big thanks again from both of us, total quality time, great company great sailing all on a shoestring. Wealth isn’t always measured in pound shillings and pence. Cheers


Shoestring Picnic Part Two   2020-07-18     John Down

The gamba crew took go and turns helming on this epic 30 km sail and as John tried to adjust the sails to try to keep up with the Laser Jack was heard to say “ it’s not all about racing you know, in fact he said he was just dreaming about the lady who was going to come out of the bar and wade into the water bringing him his much desired pint of beer”. SOME HOPE! We did arrive back and after hosing down the boats we all headed for the chiringito and took some much needed refreshment and the general consensus was that had you been a millionaire you couldn’t have had a better day. A great Shoestring picnic day.


Shoestring Picnic Part One   2020-07-18     John Down

Wednesday 15th July. Full sun and winds forecast to gust 19 km blowing from the East. Who could wish for more?Masked Shoestringers all carrying their lunchboxes and drinks met at the chiringito alongside CTD around 10.45. A decision was made to sail between the islands and carry on until we hit dry land or depending on the wind directions. Paulo and his wife Molly ( from the junior section😂) were determined to have a go aboard the Laser 2000 whilst the others Jack, Andy, Tom and John aboard the more sedate Gamba Cuatro. Leaving CTD is now first via the large sliding gate followed by the new metal stumps and a border style rise and fall barrier. No it’s not a customs check, it’s supposed to stop uncontrolled use of the launching ramp which does beg a question. Who makes these restrictions? It will be difficult for some of our members who on race days come via the side roads and then walk their boats to the launch ramp without passing through CTD which has been prohibited for a couple of years! Anyhow back to the sailing, both boats set off like rockets, Paulo choosing not to launch the jib on “Dos”and Jack on “Cuatro “spilling wind off the main sail until both helms got the feel of the strong waves and gusts. To say it was quick would be an understatement, the edge of the island was reached in 30 minutes. At least that’s what we thought Andy shouted through his mask. We carried on between the islands and kept referring to the map which is available on every boat to see were we might make landfall and eat some lunch. We were close hauled and heading towards the three islands just off La Manga strip the largest Isla del Ciervo, Isla Rondella, (or Redonda) to out right and Isla del Sujeto to our left and in front of us we could see a sandy stretch and the decision was made to go for the beach. As we came closer to the beach it was evident that the yellow Jellyfish nets would prevent us landing so we followed a couple of dinghies and a rib who seemed to be entering the marina between the two red and green marker buoys which seemed exceptionally narrow when under sail. The helm on the rib shouted to us to be careful of the open water to our right. Although very tempting was also very shallow. Suddenly the rib and the dinghies veered off to the left onto a tiny bit of sand belonging to the sailing club which left us wondering where to go with shallow water to our right and very expensive motor yachts to our immediate left. We could see very large concrete buoys to our right which seemed to be creating a very narrow channel heading in the direction of a beach some 3 or 4 hundred yards away. In hindsight the channel is probably dredged between the concrete buoys and the boat pontoons but we didn’t know that at the time. The wind had come on to the nose and we were losing the momentum of going forward along the channel however some brilliant tacking by both Jack and Paulo avoided any collisions with the luxury yachts much to the relief of some of the watching owners hanging over their rails. To help the steering we got the paddles out and passed a spare paddle to Molly on “Dos” and proceeded around the last pontoon where we were greeted to the sight of a lovely beach. The beach was in fact a lovely bay called “Bahia de mil Palmeras”, with quite nice houses coming right onto the beach giving us a slight worry that it might be a private beach. However in true Shoestring fashion we jumped off the boats placed an anchor in the sand and with butties and drinks in hand, headed for the shade of the overhanging trees. A very pleasant 3/4 of an hour chatting to Paulo and Molly about their experience of getting out from the U.K. and many other things besides. We chatted with an informative local lady house owner who was up to her neck raking out the seaweed from the seabed in an attempt to keep it clear of rotting weeds and seaweed so that her children could go in and out of the water without disturbing the rotting seaweed which can smell awfully bad if disturbed . We asked the lady if the beach was private. She said no but it is usually has nets across the bay but you can still land on the sandy headland about 300 yards away. We had to leave this lovely beach but decided not to go back up the narrow channel but to walk the boats around the small bay to the sandy headland and then head south across the next bay which was just sufficiently deep enough to sail across. There were several orange buoys which we think marked out the area that sometimes dries out and can expose a causeway similar to the one off “Baron island “ so we kept going heading towards the southern most point of the Mar Menor then made a right turn towards Mar de Crystal and after a while another right turn ( nautical jargon!!!) heading back up the Mar Menor past “Isla Pediguera”. Paulo decided to release his secret weapon “”the jib” and shot ahead with both him and Molly hiking out really hard.


No use of fertiliser within 1500 mtrs of mar menor   2020-07-17     Pat Fleck

Use of fertilisers within 1500 metres of the mar menor will be prohibited.


SAMM Racing   2020-07-06     Terry Chapman

I hope you have all weathered the trials of the Covid situation successfully and are starting to get your lives back closer to normal.
Unless the government in Spain is forced to re-introduce restrictions again I hope we could start the SAMM Sunday racing on about September 19th.
However this will depend on the numbers of competitors who are likely to be able to compete.


An Article regarding the state of the mar menor   2020-02-01     Pat Fleck

A sobering article about the state of the Mar Menor.


Activity on the Mar Menor article (In Spanish)   2020-01-21     Jack Moss

This is the accompanying article in Spanish for the images from last year.


Activity on the Mar Menor   2020-01-21     Jack Moss

The U.K. Team will be Team Ineos and I recall Ben Aynsley testing a new craft last year. We saw him from a distance and he was going in the direction of Club Nautica in Lo Pagan. We tried to catch up with the boat and the team of 2 Ribs in attendance but you already know the answer to this effort on our behalf.

So, keep your eyes peeled.


Activity on the Mar Menor   2020-01-21     Jack Moss

The U.K. Team will be Team Ineos and I recall Ben Aynsley testing a new craft last year. We saw him from a distance and he was going in the direction of Club Nautica in Lo Pagan. We tried to catch up with the boat and the team of 2 Ribs in attendance but you already know the answer to this effort on our behalf.

So, keep your eyes peeled.


How to rig the jib on the Topper Omega   2018-08-15     John Down

The new Omega arrived in great condition only missing a wire stay for the jib which we are at present sourcing. A temporary rope stay has been fitted but because the Omega has slightly more complicated pulley systems than our other boats you need to follow the video and make sure that the jib rope/stay is not twisting around itself at the top pulleys. That way you will be able to apply sufficient tension to the jib.
Click here for a demonstration.


Topper Omega Boat   2018-08-04     John Down

Shoestringers, on Monday we saw the Topper Omega Topaz for the first time and without doubt she looked impressive and with hardly a mark on her. We decided to leave unpacking and rigging her until Friday when more members were around. This took several hours and a few scratching of heads whilst looking at some outdated rigging instructions from 2014 ? We have certainly got good value with the very new looking Hyde sport sails with the fancy zip reefing system yet to be tested. Only the wire for mounting the jib to the roller reefing was missing and we had to use a rope as a temporary measure to complete the rigging as seen in the photos. Shes only about 15 ins or 400mm shorter than the gambas and at 1880 mm wide there is plenty of room for four people and on a calm day possibly 5 but we think 7 as stated in the spec sheet would be pushing it. At first glance there are a lot of ropes going in different directions and looks confusing especially the jib sheets but once on board and after a few minutes thought all becomes clear. First time out with four on board and it turned out to be a real blow and we can say without doubt she’s a wet boat maybe because she’s so wide the water is pushed up and over the bows to get you really nice and soaked however the bailing mechanism keeps the deck absolutely empty of water. The rudder wasn’t easy to get fully down but but after a few outings it should become easier, in the Topper video the guy demonstrating a launch pushes the rudder down with his foot as he gets on board from the rear. Both Tim and Steve had found it heavy on the rudder in quite brisk winds and waves until we realised the rudder had not pulled in fully to the hull by a couple of inches making it a lot harder work than it should have been once corrected the guys enjoyed a very “lively”and challenging sail and cannot wait to give it another go.


Topper Omega Boat   2018-07-28     Ingo Wilson

While we are awaiting the arrival of the new Topaz Omega dinghy you might want to check out this video kindly forwarded by Ingo. It shows how to rig the boat ready for sailing.
Click here for the video.
You can also view the video by selecting Links->Tutorials from the main menu above.


Number 1 on Google Search   2018-05-16     Pat Fleck

Still number one on page one in Google Search


Dinghy Sailing Training Videos   2017-10-02     Pat Fleck

For those of you who haven't heard. There is a bunch of very good teaching videos on Youtube regarding dinghy sailing.
You can view them here.


How to Rig a Shoestring Laser 2000 Dinghy   2016-11-05     Brian Murray and Norman Vener

How to Rig a Shoestring Laser 2000 Dinghy.
Click here to see a video created by Brian Murray and Norman Vener entitled “How to Rig a Shoestring Laser 2000 Dinghy.”
Brian and Norman are not saying that this is the definitive procedure to follow when rigging a Laser 2000, but they hope that you will find some useful tips to help you when rigging one of our Laser 2000’s.
You can also watch the video from our Tutorials Page at any time by clicking here