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Race Reports 2011

29 October Brass Monkey Series

He we go; last report of the season; hope you've had fun...

The sun set on the last race of the season at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend in a perfect reflection of the season.

With sunshine and a good breeze on Saturday and 26 boats on the water everyone was looking forward to Sunday only to see the race blown off and everyone retire to the balcony to reminisce and recount tales of daring do from past races.

In the slow fleet the Palmer family claimed 3 of the top 4 places with dad Bob leading the way in the Miracle from Nicola and Kevin in Toppers.  Sarah Pullen (Europe) challenged hard to take 3rd.  Allen Hare had a good result in 5th in the Feva ahead of the Comets of Neil Smith and Keith Done.  Ian Gwinnell took some time to get across the start line but kept ahead of Jeremy Bear who was forced to retire after hooking the windward mark with his mainsheet and deciding sailing both home was too much.

In the cats Jon and Clare Day rounded off a good season with another victory ahead of Flo Wright with Malcolm Brookes re-united with the experienced Barry Wells taking 3rd.  At the other end of the fleet Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie held off Geoff Padgham and Angus Radford.  The middle of the fleet saw Nick Newell and Jeremy Maynard continue the season’s battle to the line.

Yvonne Heritage led home the enthusiastic new sailors’ fleet with another impressive display ahead of Dave Walter and Michelle Midwinter and already looking forward to next season’s challenges.

The fast fleet saw Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) lead everyone home with Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram putting in an impressive old school display in the Hornet 11 seconds ahead of Mike Chapman and Sally Clark (RS200).  Chris Beadle (Laser) fulfilled his early season promise to finish 4th ahead of Alan Baldwin (Supernova) and Kevin Watts (RS100).  Keith Walter (Laser) took 7th after Butch Roberts had to retire after loosing his rudder and having to draw on years of experience to deliver his boat and crew safely back to shore in a very seaman like manner.

Crews packed away reflecting on a varied season weather wise but with good memories.  There was also appreciation of the hard work of those working behind the scenes to make racing possible and to keep the club running.  In particular crews always appreciate Ian and Elizabeth Raymond’s unstinting help winching boats up the beach after racing as well as the crèche, tea making and other unselfish work they put in over the season.

15-16 October Brass Monkey Series

The Brass Monkey autumn series got underway this weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club in the warmest October weather anyone can remember.  The sunshine and gentle breeze enticed large fleets onto the water both days for some close racing.

Saturday saw a number of rules related incidents which provided good examples for the rules course on Sunday and revitalized tactics for Sunday.

The slow fleet enjoyed a good mix with the Europe of Sarah Pullen leading home the Comets of Barry O’Herlihy, Neil Smith and Ken Wyatt on Saturday while Sunday saw the Miracles of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman and Bob and Barbara Palmer dominate.  There were other good performances from Caroline Maynard (Byte) and the Comets of Keith Done and Pippa Cole.  Sunday saw Kevin Palmer (Topper) pushing the Comets of Carol Peddlesden and Smith.

In the cat fleet Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis had a good win on Saturday with Malcolm Brookes showing consistency with 2nd places both days.  Geoff Padgham and Angus Radford kept ahead of Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.  Sunday had Jon and Clare Day back to winning ways with an impressive lead over Nick Newell.

The novice fleet had another impressive turn out and fully equipped with knowledge of the racing rules put this to good effect.  Yvonne Heritage led with a 1st and 2nd place while Dave Walter and Michelle Midwinter had a 1st and 3rd.  Sylvia Columbel and Charles Harvey challenged hard on Saturday with a 2nd place.  Maureen Royston Lee and Christine Angus also put in good showings on Sunday.

The fast fleet, who should know better, saw the race officer was in a feisty mood on Sunday after a general recall for the slow fleet.  Despite this he had no option but to call a general recall on the fast fleet as well as start line jostling pushed many boats over the line.  Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe (RS200) emerged victorious on both days while Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) pushed hard for a 2nd and 3rd place.  Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) where among a bevy of boats putting in impressive performances including Kevin Watts (RS100), the RS400s of Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen, Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather, Nicky Palmer and Roy Tanner and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner.  The Lasers were well represented and Jim Ingram had the best turn of speed from Chris Beadle, Mike Miles, Keith Walter and Phil Mears.  Team Roadway (L2000) made some fast spinnaker runs but couldn’t challenge the consistent Albacore of Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie.

The series continues next week together with the Trafalgar Pursuit Race with everyone hoping the conditions continue to be so benign.

 

8-9 October Autumn Series

The Autumn Trial series concluded at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend in strong and shifty north-westerly winds.  Small but beautifully formed was the order of the day both for the fleets and the race teams on both days.

Saturday saw Chris Beadle pushing Gordon Trimmer in the fast fleet ahead of the other Lasers of Chris Thompson and Phil Mears, while Colin Coard (RS300) was one of the many to find themselves upside down in the tide as big wind shifts caused havoc.

In the slow fleet Neil Smith (Comet) built on his winning ways to lead home Barry O’Herlihy and Keith Done.  In the cats Jon and Clare Day edged out Flo Wright ahead of Team Hosie and Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.  The asymmetric fleet continued to enjoy their separate course and Mike Adams broke in yet another crew member as Allen Hare earned his crews’ union card.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner put on a considerably more focused and assured performance than the English Rugby team to take 2nd while Kevin Watts (RS100) found the conditions stretching.

Sunday’s early gloom lifted for a clear morning as the breeze filled in.  Race Officer Butch Roberts put crews through their paces with short but numerous laps.  The fasts saw Trimmer and Jim Ingram fighting over first place in the Lasers with Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie in the Albacore taking 3rd.   Cole and Tyrie stamped their authority on the cat fleet with an impressive turn of speed until a cruel twist of fate saw their main halyard snap and they had to return to shore.  That left the way open for Wright to take the win from team Hosie.

The slows saw Bea Frost and Peter Goodman winning in the Miracle with some impressive spinnaker handling in the conditions with Sarah Pullen (Europe) 2nd ahead of Smith.

The novice fleet showed good boat control and tenacity but not always in the same boat.  Hare and Yvonne Heritage just edged out Dave Walter and Michele Midwinter in a close tussle while Christine Angus in the Topaz took 3rd despite several swims.

In the asymmetrics Adams and Stedman lapped nearly every other boat but still couldn’t quite get enough on handicap to see off Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe (RS200) who took the win by seconds despite a close encounter with the safety boat at the gybe mark.  Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt made a rare appearance and showed good early pace until succumbing to Neptune’s charms and swimming.  They did enough however to hold off Watts who regretted not taking more energy drinks on board over the long race.

Full details of the series results can be found on the club web site.

 

Autumn B Series

The Autumn Trial Series is now underway at Bexhill Sailing Club with separate racing and courses for the fast, asymmetric, slow and cat fleets.

The first weekend saw large fleets on the water with enough wind to make things fun if not adrenalin filled.  There was an elegant shape to the fast fleet as Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Alabacore) led the way home from Colin Coard (RS300) and Chris Beadle (Laser) on both days.  Other lasers were also out in force with rare appearances from John Crone, Mike Miles and Chris Thompson.  The most people on a boat prize went to Sue Batten and Alan Baldwin with a large number of cadets joining as crew in the Laser 2000.The cat fleet saw good wins for Flo Wright and Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis while the slows were dominated by the Europes of Sarah Pullen and Richard Eagleton despite the close attention of Bob and Barbara Palmer in the Miracle.  Marion Wooding had a good result in the Topper ahead of Wyatt and Done.

The new sailors’ fleet put on a very impressive display with 7 boats out on the first weekend.  Yvonne Heritage and Charles Harvey are leading the way with Allen Hare turning things round to win the 2nd race.  Dave Walter and Michelle Midwinter were consistent in 3rd.  Jeff Middleton did well in the streamlined Scorpion with Mike Hill and Mike Rigg pushing hard in the Laser 2000.  Chris Meike and Ian Gwinnell opted for the singlehanded route in Topazes but were edged out by Christine Angus and Eleana Fouraker.  Aidan Harvey took Maureen Royston-Lee under his not inconsiderable wing for a good 4th place.

In the Asymmetric fleet Mike Adams and David Stedman shared honours with Mike Chapman while Harvey had a good 3rd ahead of Kevin Watts and Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie..  Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather also shared a good return to form with a 3rd place.

The second weekend saw the down side of the wall to wall sunshine as far as some sailors were concerned as the wind died away to a few fitful zephyrs and the strong spring tides washed most boats away.  There was more debate about whether to take a fishing line than start line tactics.  Only 7 boats from the 19 starters managed a finish.  Awards for stamina and determination go to Colin Coard (RS300), Alana and Rosie Turner (RS200), Adams and Stedman and Watts (RS100).  Neil Smith had a good win in the Comet ahead of the Palmers while Roy Croft put in a huge effort to take 3rd in the slows on his windsurfer.  Overall though there were no complaints about still being able to wear shortie wetsuits in October.

Class Cups 18 September

Sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club are beginning to wonder if someone has shot an albatross given the recent run of bad luck with the weather.

With Saturday’s races blown off 26 boats were poised on Sunday to take to the water for two back to back races.    Light but steady breeze provided an encouraging backdrop as boats took to the water.  The warning signs were there however as a large swell was running from the previous days’ breeze and launching was tricky.

The 1st race got underway with the Topper, Slow and Novice fleets starting first.  The 5 novice boats enjoyed close racing with the club Scorpion in the hands of Jeff Middleton and S Wallace leading the way home from Dave Walter and Michelle Midwinter.  Ian Gwinnell looked confident in 3rd with Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot edging out Allen Hare and Charles Harvey.

In the cat fleet Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis had an impressive victory over team Hosie while Kevin Palmer edged out sister Nicola in the Toppers by 9 seconds.  In the slow fleet Sarah Pullen (Europe) led from start to finish from the Comets of Barry O’Herlihy and Keith Done.   Geoff Slater used all his wile and cunning to lead home the Lasers with a port tack flyer at the start putting him ahead of Chris Beadle, Jim Ingram and Angus Radford.

The fast fleet were led home by the Albacore of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman with Colin Coard (RS300) 2nd.  The asymmetrics of Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) and Kevin Watts (RS100) edged ahead of Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie (Alabacore) who got caught up in the start line melee. Sue Batten had a good debut in the Supernova and finished ahead of the RS400 of Nicky Stephens and Roy Tanner.

The second race got underway in a dying breeze and increasingly strong tide.  Some crews had to resort to paddling just to hold position in the water, while many others decided retirement was the best option with tea and cake a strong incentive to get ashore.  Although in at least one case the thought of food was the last thing on their mind as the wave motion got the better of them.  Even getting ashore proved difficult as the large waves and lack of wind meant landing required considerable skill balanced with a large slice of luck.

In the fasts Coard got the better of Frost and Goodman with Batten 3rd ahead of Copeman and Hookie.  Watts was 5th showing a steely determination to finish.  In the Lasers only Slater got to the finish line and in the cats Lane and Jarvis were the only finishers.  Pullen and O’Herlihy had a good race in the slows and saw off Done who was over the line at the start either through over exuberance or the effect of the tide.  These were the only finishers.

A frustrating weekend as the season enters the last few weeks; who knows, crews may turn to ready poetry instead if this continues.

10 Sept Autumn Series

The strong wind forecast reduced fleet sizes at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend but there was close racing amongst the 17 boats that took to the water.

The boat house initially looked like a Formula 1 pit lane as the race team led by Jim Copeman had to fine tune the safety boats and ensure flat batteries were recharged before anyone could get on the water.

The new sailors’ fleet saw 3 boats in close competition.  In tricky conditions with an increasing and shifty SW breeze their new skills were put to the test and they came through with flying colours.   Yvonne Heritage and Charles Harvey emerged winners from Dave Walter and Michelle Midwinter with Ian Gwinnell and Eleana Fouraker 3rd despite some interesting manoeuvres at the windward mark.

The cat fleet all finished close together but were left searching for a bit more breeze to make them fly.  Jon and Clare Day held off Flo Wright by 20 seconds with Malcolm Brookes and Simon North 30 seconds ahead of Neil Hosie and Nick Newell despite some impressively fast kite drops as they now know which rope does what.

The fast fleet saw a re-enactment of the tortoise and the hare fable.  On the water there was a classic tussle between 3 titans of the asymmetric fleet with the L4000 of Butch Roberts taking line honours from Kevin Watts (RS100) and Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400).  They lost sight however of the boats behind them on the water and they all slipped back on handicap.  The overall win went to Jim Ingram (Laser) with a skillful display just keeping out the Europe of Richard Eagleton. The Lasers of Colin Coard and Chris Beadle followed just unable to find the clear wind to achieve full speed.  Tony Lane (Supernova) edged his way gently into 6th place.  Geoff Padgham reacquainted himself with his Laser although a swim at the gybe mark cost him places.  John Turner started promisingly in the Phantom.

With Sunday blown off crews are keeping their fingers crossed for favourable winds for the rest of the series.

Autumn Series 3 Sept

Sunshine and a south west force 3 -4 wind made for good sailing conditions on Saturday for the 35 boats contesting the start of the Autumn Series. With 6 fleets the timekeepers were kept busy.

In the fast fleet RS400 experts Mike Adams and David Stedman led throughout, but some spinnaker trawling among the other RS 400s allowed Bee Frost and Peter Goodman in the lightly handicapped Albacore to edge out the Hornet of Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram by 13 seconds on corrected time for second place.  Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt lost count of the laps and came in one too early denying them a respectable finish.

Single handed Comets dominated the slow fleet with Tony Witham winning from Neil Smith and Wendy Morton. However Kevin Palmer and Frankie Watts in an RS Feva showed off their spinnaker skill and capsize drill to record a creditable 4th place.

Yvonne Heritage sailing a Laser 2000 continues to improve as a new sailor, taking another win in the novice class.

In the catamaran fleet the Dart 18 of Malcolm Brookes had to settle for 3rd behind the Dart 16s of Neil Hosie and winners John and Clare Day.

In the laser fleet Robin Harris made a rare and welcome return but he ended second behind Geoff Slater, Chris Beadle coming in third.

The Toppers were won by Jack Roadway.

Sunday afternoon brought rain and higher winds , enthusiasm was low and the bar was open so no racing took place. Hopes are high for good sailing weather next weekend as the series continues.

August Bank Holiday Regatta

With over 50 boats on the water and 6 races stamina was the key requirement from all involved over the Bank Holiday weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club.

The race team led by Commodore Kevin Watts showed that if you want something done give it to a busy man.  A range of innovative and exciting new courses saw the cat fleet starting with the asymmetrics giving some interesting on the water incidents.  In other fleets maps would have been handy as the crews’ memories came under pressure to remember the right course.  All this coupled with back to back races each day and fresh to strong winds meant a full weekend.

It was great to see so many new sailors on the water with 7 boats competing for the Novice fleet victory.  Jeff Middleton and Charles Harvey proved victorious ahead of Dave Walter and Michele Midwinter despite their win in the last race.  Yvonne Heritage and Ian Gwinnell were 3rd from Mike Rigg and Mike Hill.  Sharon Achaibou and Christine Angus also showed well with Team Meikle, Chris and Tracey, doing well in the first races.

The slow fleet was dominated by Nicola  Palmer in the Topper with 4 wins ahead of Carol Peddlesden and Peter Goodman (Miracle) while Neil Smith kept his Comet in 3rd ahead of Kevin Palmer’s Topper.  Tony Witham battled manfully in the strong winds on Saturday to establish himself in 5th ahead of Ken Wyatt also in a Comet.Richard Hall put his Miracle into 6th with James Turbett sailing well in the tricky conditions.

In the fast fleet it was nip and tuck between Colin Coard (RS300) and Duncan Feathers (Laser) with Coard just emerging with the win with two 1sts in the Monday races.  Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie (Albacore) took 3rd despite some interesting variations in route finding but consistency was their friend keeping them ahead of the Lasers of Geoff Slater, Angus Radford Keith Walter, Mike Ellis and Rob Harrison.  Jim Ingram dusted off the Scorpion for a rare outing.

With the cat and asymmetric fleet starting together there were some animated discussions on tactics and rule interpretation on the start line and all around the course.  This combined with the strong and shifty breeze saw most of the asymmetrics upside down at some point over the weekend.  David Stedman was even heard rehearsing the capsize recovery routine on the beach after his first immersion in 20 years.  Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe took the overall honours capitalizing on recent national experience from Adams and Stedman with Alan and Rosie Turner 3rd.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie had a close tussle with Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner over the series to take 4th and 5th respectively with Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten 6th.Chris Thompson and James Turbett had a very good 2nd place in the 3rd race as Turbett sampled the joys of trapezing and even Geoff Furlong was seen in an RS400 with Roy Tanner despite usually avoiding anything plastic.

In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day took the overall win but were put under pressure by Flo Wright especially when he combined his enthusiasm with the encyclopaedic knowledge of Malcolm Brookes to win the 4th race.  Tony Lane and Lynn Jarvis were excellent in 3rd place.  There were other good results for Trevor and Terri Davis, Mike Miles and Sue Howell and Ken Edwards.

Sea Week 2011

One of the best sea weeks for years was the unanimous opinion of sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club after the annual sea week regatta.

The growing encampments of windbreaks, deckchairs and picnic baskets as the week progressed gave testament to the popularity of the week as extended families claimed space on the beach.

With winds increasing each day there was plenty of opportunity for sailors of all abilities to get on the water.  Experienced sailors were generous with their time in taking newer sailors out and it was great to see this year’s sailing school graduates mingling with ex-world champions and enjoying themselves.  Many sailors improved their capsize recovery techniques at some point in the week.

Commodore Kevin Watts showed an impressive range of organisational and social skills in keeping everything running, from the first race, through the lunch time art competition to getting grips with the RS100.

A fiendishly complicated handicap system was introduced to ensure a range of prize winners during the week.  This worked well to reward perseverance as well as natural skill.  Along with a full range of evening social events the club and its members were seen at their best during the week.

Club members have also been busily engaged elsewhere around the coast.  Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram at the Hornet nationals and Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe at the RS200 championships.  Particular congratulations go to Andy Bullen and Dusty Miller who successfully completed the Rolex Fastnet Race last week covering 608 nautical miles in six days as crew members on a Reflex 38 out of Sovereign Harbour Yacht Club, Eastbourne, "to have the opportunity to be part of a team in this fantastic race will be an experience of a lifetime" they said.

Everyone is now looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend regatta and hoping to see as many new sailors on the water as possible.

14 August Summer Series

A brisk and building wind coupled with a race team of unusual maturity and experience enticed large fleets on to the water at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend.

With the fast fleet dominated by 6 Lasers it was expected that one of them would secure the win but Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Albacore) had different ideas and held off Colin Coard (RS300) to secure the win.  Gordon Trimmer had the best of the Laser battle ahead of Rob Harrison and Mike Adams.  Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie (Albacore) were the filling in the Laser sandwich ahead of Mike Miles and Keith Walter.

In the slow fleet Tony Witham (Comet) returned to winning ways ahead of Nicola Palmer (RS Feva) who beat dad and brother in the Miracle.  They were followed by an impressive 5 Comets led by Neil Smith with Jeremy Bear and Ken Wyatt both sailing impressively as the wind increased.

The cat fleet saw Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis pushing Jon and Clare Day hard with Malcolm Brookes 3rd.  Team Duncan were 7th just behind Steve Cross and Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.

The new sailors fleet put on a very impressive display of their newly acquired skills given the conditions.  Peter May took the win ahead of David Walter.  Allen Hare steered the Topaz into 3rd with Simon Shinerock 4th and Christine Angus and Eleana Fouraker 5th.

The asymmetric fleet enjoyed close racing on their windward leeward course all finishing within a couple of minutes of each other.  Victory went to Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) with Kevin and Tina Watts (RS400) 2nd from Chris Beadle and Sally Clarke (RS200) re-acquainting themselves with the boat.  Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather (RS400) shook off the cobwebs for 4th while John Cook and David Stedman suffered from a torn kite and slipped back to 5th place.

Sea Week got of to a great start on the Monday morning with a full days racing, large fleets and a good breeze.  Tuesday proved challenging but 2 exciting races were squeezed in as everyone was hoping for the wind to moderate a touch to ease aching muscles.

6-7 August

Bright and breezy conditions saw sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club cram in 2 races on Saturday before the strong westerly winds on Sunday saw crews forced to retire to the Club House and well earned refreshment.

The close racing from previous weeks continued and the first race saw some exciting start line action.  In the fast fleet race winners Mike Chapman and Lynne Ratcliffe (RS200) were forced to take to the beach as the congestion at that end of the line proved too great to accommodate everyone and before Mike Adams and David Stedman nearly capsized on top of them.  RS boats dominated with only the sleek lines of the Hornet of Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram breaking the pattern taking 5th place.  Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen (RS400) took 3rd behind Adams and Stedman with Colin Coard (RS300) 4th.

The Laser fleet was dominated by Chris Thompson with John Crone making a spectacular return to take 2nd from Geoff Padgham and Keith Walter while the early promise of Phil Mears was dashed by a broken rudder.

The slow fleet saw Richard Eagleton (Europe) keep ahead of the Miracles of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman and Bob and Barbara Palmer.  Daughter Nicola and Jeff Turbett (RS Feva) looked good in 7th while Marion Wooding after a promising start retied hurt after a minor altercation with the Topper’s boom.

The small cat fleet saw the Jon and Clare Day edge out Malcolm Brookes while Team Duncan made a late debut in preparation for Sea Week.

In the new sailors fleet Jeff Middleton and Steve Wallace had a good win over Dave Walter and Michelle Middleton.

The evening race saw increasing breeze and fewer takers but with close finishes in all the fleets.  The extended Adams family restored family honour winning the fast fleet from Chapman and Ratcliffe while Coard edged out Kevin Watts and Trevor Harris in the RS400.

Eagleton looked unstoppable in the slow fleet with another win over Team Palmer with Sarah Pullen (Europe) 3rd.

In the cat fleet Brookes took line honours but didn’t have quite enough to see off the Days on handicap.  Flo Wright did enough to keep ahead of Ben Watts and Geoff Padgham.

Crews ended the day tired but pleased with some good racing and ideal preparation for Sea Week starting on 15 August.

30-31 July

With over 50 boats on the water it was a busy time for the race teams and sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend.

Saturday saw the annual Club Cup race with the only massed start of the season and all classes of boat racing against each other.  With the start line resembling the M25 on a Bank Holiday Monday Mike Adams (RS400) emerged first from the melee but was just beaten on handicap by Colin Coard now in total mastery of the RS300.  They were followed home by Alan and Rosie Turner in the RS200 and Sarah Pullen (Europe).  Duncan Feathers led home the large Laser contingent with Wendy Morton (Comet) a very impressive 7th.  Also well up the fleet were Barry O’Herlihy and Jacqui Brookes in a Comet and Pico and Pippa Cole.  There were good showings as well from Yvonne Heritage (L2000) and Ian Gwinnel (Topaz).

Elsewhere the more experienced sailors were enjoying close quarter racing; so close at times that it looked more like a macramé class; names have been removed to protect both the innocent and guilty parties relating to particular incidents!

Sunday started with a slightly more subdued changing room as the contest was rejoined.  In a dashing display of race officer wizardry Richard Eagleton decided on a committee boat start in the southerly breeze and was ably assisted by Jeremy Maynard and Tony Duquenoy.  The Miracles of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman and Team Palmer dominated the slow fleet while Neil Smith (Comet) had an excellent race to beat Sarah Pullen in the Europe.  Pippa Cole had a good race to finish ahead of the other Comets of Ken Wyatt and Jeremy Bear with M Wooding a good result in the Topper in 7th.

In the fast fleet Rob Harrison returned to winning ways in the Laser to beat Trevor Harris (Phantom) and Geoff Slater and Duncan Feathers in the Lasers.  John Turner managed to do less bailing this week and finished well just ahead of Keith Walter (Laser) on the water.

Jon and Clare Day assumed their normal position at the head of the cat fleet as Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis couldn’t find the speed in the lighter winds but did keep ahead of the rejuvenated team Newell.  Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie also suffered in the light winds after a good lunch.

In the new sailor’s fleet J Turbett had a good win in the Topaz ahead of C Banks, Dave Walter and Ian Gwinnel all in L2000s.

The Asymmetric fleet enjoyed close racing on their windward leeward course.  No collisions this time but animated post race discussions ensued about the interpretation of the current racing rules.  Butch Roberts and Tim Murray (L4000) looked impressive given the conditions but couldn’t match Adams and Stedman or the victors Mike Chapman and Lynne Ratcliffe (RS200).  Bill Eele continued to learn from new crew Nicola Palmer while Team Robinson (RS200) wrestled with their spinnaker technique.

All good practice for the Sea Week regatta in a couple of weeks time.

23-24 July

 

A good weekend of racing with breeze and sunshine was the reward for sailors this weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club.

Saturday evening saw a good turnout of 30 boats enjoying the conditions and a few changes at the front of the fleets.  The race team were also put through their paces as boats crossed the line close together.

In the cats Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis continued to build on their earlier successes and took the win ahead of Jon and Clare Day; these 2 opened a good gap on the other cats with Jeremy Maynard and Nick Newell 3rd from Malcolm Brookes who just edged out Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie and S North.  This marked a significant improvement for Cole and Tyrie as they both managed to stay on the boat from the beginning of the race.

In the slow fleet Nicola Palmer had a good win in the Topper from Sarah Pullen’s Europe.  Brother Kevin had close race with Barry O’Herlihy in the Comet.  Frankie Watts put one of the new RS Teras through its paces and kept ahead of Danny Maynard testing his skills in the Laser Radial.

In the fast fleet Colin Coard (RS300) beat Mike Adams in the RS400 while Chris Beadle (Laser) showed improving form to stay ahead of Kevin Watts and Trevor Harris (RS400) and the smart looking Hornet of Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram.  A large Laser contingent followed with notable performances from Keith Walter and cadet Jack Roadway showing increasing comfort in the boat.  Mike Ensor made a welcome appearance in the RS300 and kept ahead of the RS400 of Nicky Stevens and Roy Tanner.

The early worm race on Sunday morning saw another good turnout with a gusty north westerly wind making the course laying tricky as well as judging when to tack on the headers or wait for the lifts.  Pullen regained dominance in the slow fleet ahead of D Roadway and a very determined M Woodey in the Topper.  In the cats Team Day also re-established themselves at the head of the fleet seeing off Brookes with Geoff Padgham and Mike Miles 3rd after some close quarter exchanges with the fast fleet.

Mike Adams, this time showing crew Roy Tanner the ropes won the fast race after pulling away from Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen (RS400).  Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) claimed 2nd place with Geoff Slater (Laser)4th.  There was an epic struggle for supremacy between the RS400s of Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner and Kevin Watts and Lucy Walter but a flash of tactical genius on the last leg saw Harvey and Turner able to sneak the inside line to the finish.  Crew Kevin Palmer helped Bill Eele (RS400) negotiate the tricky conditions but the prize for the most effort expended during the race went to John Turner who found constant bailing was the only way to stay afloat as a mystery leak appeared.  All crews enjoyed a well earned breakfast once back in the club house.

10 July Early Worm

Windy conditions and a big sea running meant only one race could be run at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend.  It attracted 20 boats on to the water despite the early morning start and the race team, displaying a sublime blend of age, experience and enthusiasm found themselves under some pressure as the wind filled in, a buoy drifted and the boats kept coming through the finish line together.

The conditions also meant there were some interesting results as the breeze filled in towards the end of the race and saw the fleets concertina.  This was most marked in the fast fleet where despite a superb sail and celebratory finish Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner saw line honours in the RS400 turned into a 9th place on handicap as all the 400s saw themselves towards the back of the fleet.  Bill Eele continued the new crew training regime with Kevin Palmer coping well with the large spinnaker.

Tony Cannon (Supernova) took the win just piping Colin Coard (RS300) and Chris Beadle and Chris Thompson in the Lasers with only seconds between them.  Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie (Albacore) were steady in 6th place followed by Keith Walter in the remaining Laser.  John Turner continued to climb the Phantom learning curve.

The cat fleet did its best to confuse the race team with some very close racing on the water.  Flo Wright took line honours but Jon and Clare Day took the win on handicap with Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis 2nd after a very promising start that saw them take an early lead only to have some handling problems as the race progressed.  Malcolm Brookes took 4th as the wind arrived too late and Team Stewart did enough to stay ahead of Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.

In the slow fleet Sarah Pullen (Europe) took the win but was challenged by the Comets of Neil Smith and Wendy Morton while M Woodey made a good show in the Topper.

Next weekend sees the club hosting the South Cost Club’s federation regatta and a large turnout from local clubs expected.

 

2-3 July

A full weekend of races and a novel start saw sailors learning some new tricks this weekend.

Saturdays Le Mans start saw crews having to run and launch their boats and was a shock for some who hadn’t broken into a trot for some years.  That coupled with the light on-shore breeze gave some interesting sailing angles and boats drifting across the beach as others launched.  In the fast fleet Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen hit the front early and stayed there closely followed by Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie.  Bea Frost and Peter Goodman in the Alabacore separated them from the other RS400 of Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner who, in their defence, are built more for comfort than speed.  Elsewhere Kevin Palmer helped crew Tony Witham in the RS200 to a good 5th place while Barbara Palmer helped keep Kevin Watts ahead of Colin Coard in the RS300.  Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten and John Turner in the Phantom were stoic in completing the course.

The Laser fleet was led home by Chris Thompson with Keith Walter close behind.  Carol Peddlesden led home the trio of Comets while Chris Beadle and Karafa Jennah took 4th in the Miracle form Caroline Maynard in the Byte.

The cat fleet saw the family teams of the Wrights, Brookes, Newells and Davis battling it out with the Wrights taking the win by 30 seconds.

Sunday saw more breeze and a very busy sea front alongside the rowing regatta.  Race Officer Bill Eele kept everyone on their best behaviour and all events ran smoothly.

Richard Eagleton (Europe) showed the way in the slow fleet ahead of Bob Palmer in the Miracle and Tony Witham back in the Comet.  Wendy Morton had a good sail for 4th ahead of Nicola and Kevin Palmer putting their recent crewing experience to good use in the Feva to stay ahead of the Miracles of Team Clarke and Yvonne Heritage.

Dan Hosie led home the cat fleet from Flo Wright with Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis 4th.

Colin Coard reveled in the conditions to win the fast race from Frost and Goodman and Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie in the other Albacore.

The asymmetric fleet saw close racing in near ideal conditions until gear failure took its toll.   Harvey and Turner put forward a plea of mitigation based on tiredness while others just limped home.  This let in team Robinson for 2nd place and Roy Tanner and Sue Batten in 3rd.

A good weekend with the bonus of the Commodore’s Ball raising a £1350 for MacMillan Cancer Support and the RNLI.

24-25 June

The pattern of strong winds kept sailors on their toes at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend, at least until Sunday morning when the fog rolled in and some struggled to see their feet at all.

Friday night saw a small but beautifully formed group take to the water.  Neil and Danny Hosie put in the most impressive performance to beat Jon and Clare Day in the cat fleet with Geoff Padgham and Nick Stephenson just behind.  In the fast fleet the trio of Laser Radials led the way from Alan Baldwin in the Supernova.  Jim Ingram took the win in some style from Chris Thompson and Chris Beadle.

Saturday evening saw an even smaller fleet and some interesting launching in the large shore break.  Colin Coard took the win in his Laser Radial from Gordon Trimmer in the his full rig Laser as Trimmer was up to his normal practice of combining swimming and sailing as he pushed hard.  Mike Adams was joined in the RS400 by enthusiastic crew Nicola Palmer and despite a reduction in the normal crew weight of 9 stone did great work to fly the kite on the well set reaches and help them finish ahead of Kevin Watts and Jim Ingram in the other RS400.  Geoff Padgham this time with Angus Radford completed the fleet in the cat with all crews completing 5 laps within a few minutes of each other.

Crews hope to complete a full series of races next weekend and combine it with the Commodore’s Charity Fundraising event on Saturday.  Full details can be found on the club website.

 

10-12 June

Testing conditions saw sailors put through their paces this weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club.  Strong winds on Friday saw a small determined fleet take to the water.  Racing was close and it was the experienced Colin Coard (Laser Radial) who took the win in the fast fleet from Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer (RS400).  Behind them Tony Lane got the better of the Supernova battle finishing ahead of Alan Baldwin and grateful for the wind easing back a touch.

In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day had another good win with Team Hosie edging ahead of Geoff Padgham and Nick Stephenson and Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.

With Saturday evening blown off a few more crews were tempted to get up early for the first early worm race of the season on Sunday.  A fresh southerly breeze made getting off the beach tricky and saw some interesting variations on launching.  The race crew expertly shepherded by Wendy Morton and Aidan Harvey set an excellent course with a long beat and good reaches.  In the slow fleet Sarah Pullen continued her winning ways in the Europe from Keith Done (Comet).  The Days also eased to victory although pushed by Flo Wright on the water with Cole and Tyrie in 3rd.

In the fast fleet Mike Adams (RS400) continued to build his reserve team crew base with Roy Tanner to take the win from the other RS400s of Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen and Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie.  Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather took 4th although there was some discussion of their demolition derby tactics at the first mark as they sailed over the L4000 of Butch Roberts and Tim Murray who were forced to retire with their rigging resembling the Gordian knot.  Tony Cannon put his Supernova into 5th ahead of Chris Beadle and Tony Lane with Kevin Watts and Alan Baldwin completing the carnage with a shredded gennaker.

Another exciting weekend’s sailing with the club spirit on show as everyone pulled together to get the racing underway and all the boats ashore safely.

4-5 June Saturday Series and Open Meeting

Bracing was the polite description of conditions at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend as sailors experienced big gusts from a variety of directions and some big waves out to sea.  This followed on from a very successful Cadet Fun week which saw the cadet sailors enjoying bright sunshine, good winds and having fun.

Only a few hardy souls ventured out for the club racing on Saturday with others keeping their powder dry for the RS and Asymmetric Open Meeting on Saturday when the Club hosted visitors from across the South East.

Gordon Trimmer (Laser) reveled in the conditions to take the win on Saturday from the Lasers of Colin Coard and Jim Ingram.  Tony Lane did a great job piloting the cat around in tricky conditions to keep ahead of Chris Beadle’s Laser.  An indication of the testing conditions was that Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) came ashore early.

Sunday saw RS200 and Asymmetric boats from across the South East joining club members.  The experienced race team led by Clare Day based on the committee boat for the start decided racing could go ahead and set excellent courses for the RS200 and asymmetric fleets.  Visiting crews showed the way home and the benefit of regular racing on the circuit to sharpen up skills.  Mike Chapman and Lynne Ratcliffe were the leading Bexhill boat home in the 200 fleet with Alan and Rosie Turner close behind them.  Nick Charles and Roz Allen from Netley were clear winners in each race ahead of Matt Giles and Rory Davis from Weirwood.

In the asymmetric fleet home boats did better and the close racing saw a different winner in each race.  Mike Adams and David Stedman took the win overall with a 1st place in the final race while the excitement of winning the 1st race proved too much for Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer.  Visitors Colin Snook and Alison Revitt from Calshot were very impressive in the ISO while Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt showed great fortitude to finish all 3 races and take 4th place overall.  Elsewhere crews blazed brightly in patches.  Gordon Trimmer and Aidan Harvey spotted their error in crossing the wrong finishing line only for a rope to break and the boom to clout Gordon on the side of the head.  Bill Eele and Tim Murray showed some early tactical wizardry in spotting the right course to lead early on but sailing too many laps and a swim saw them drop down the results table.  Lucy Walter and Tony Lane took the prize for most swims of the day in the demanding B14 while Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten were sidelined by gear failure.

Nevertheless a great days racing and a good show case for both the sailing club and Bexhill.

RS SEAS Bexhill 5 June

Bracing was the polite description of conditions at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend as the RS200 SEAS moved into open water.  With a force 4-5 NE blowing with stronger gusts and some huge shifts the race team considered the format carefully and laid the course closer inshore than in previous years and out of the line of the strongest gusts coming down the Coombe Haven valley.

Three races were run back to back which tested stamina as well as boat handling skills.  The committee boat based race team got all the races away cleanly an the ten boats enjoyed some fast and furious reaches as well as some crews brushing up on their swimming techniques.

Nick Charles and Roz Allen (Netley) dominated with a clean sweep of wins.  Matt Giles and Rory Davis (Weirwood) were equally consistent in 2nd place.  Christian Humphrey and Noelle Vidal took 3rd and Tim Ellis and Lucy Preston (Broadstairs) 4th.   Attrition then started to have an affect as only these 4 boats completed all 3 races and other crews used a DNC as their discard and headed back to the beach and the welcoming arms of the large beach party.  A good turnout given the forecast and conditions but everyone having had some exhilarating sailing and thanking the race team and host club for a well organized and run event.

Full results at http://www.bexhillsc.co.uk/race-results/rs-200-open-2011.html

 

30 May Whit Short Series

With only one day’s sailing proving possible over the Whit Weekend it was no surprise to see 41 boats on the water on Monday at Bexhill Sailing Club.

The race team after the benefit of much on the water advice from various crews set different courses for the 2 back to back races.  First away the slow fleet saw Richard Eagleton (Europe) win both races closely followed by Bob and Barbara Palmer (Miracle).  Neil Smith got his Comet ahead of Sarah Pullen in the 1st race only to slip back in the 2nd behind Nicola Palmer and Kevin Palmer both in Toppers.  Wendy Morton had good finishes in both races despite some close quarter exchanges with the asymmetric fleet.  Jonathan Roadway had two good races in the Topper while Jeremy Bear and Keith Done swapped places in the Comets.  Team Clarke also made a good showing in the 1st race in the Miracle.

The cat fleet benefited as the breeze filled in from the west.  Flo Wright took the 1st race but was clearly over excited as he slipped back to 3rd in the 2nd race behind Jon and Clare Day and Team Nick, Redman and Newell.  Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells were their usual consistent selves with two 4th places with Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie 5th.

The 14 boats in the fast fleet showed a range of sailing and sartorial styles in from the hi-tech to the retro.  Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Albacore) were consistent with a 1st and 3rd but couldn’t shake off Rob Harrison (Laser) who got the better of them with a 1st and 2nd.  Geoff Slater and Gordon Trimmer had the best showing of the other Lasers just ahead of Duncan Feathers although there was close racing right through the fleet.  Phil Mears showed steady improvement to get ahead of Angus Radford but couldn’t find the speed to keep Chris Beadle and Chris Thompson at bay.  Tony Cannon was consistent in the Supernova while Keith Walter just slipped back in the 2nd race.

The Novice fleet was well represented and enjoyed the back to back race format.  The positions changed completely in each race but were close on handicap.  T Heritage emerged the overall winner ahead of John Middleton and Team Mike, Rigg and Hill, in the Laser 2000s.

The asymmetric fleet had the closest racing for some time and benefited from the windward leeward course.  Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) took the win but had to work much harder than they expected for the result.  Kevin Watts and Tony Lane (RS400) had a good 2nd and 3rd place and may have done better had they chosen not to take a swim in the second race.  Nick Mather and Paul Sugitt (RS400) also had a 2nd and 3rd place and looked like they may have been doing some secret training in preparation for next week’s open meeting.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) had a close race with Jim Ingram and Aidan Harvey (RS400) swapping places in each race.  The Laser 2000s also had close racing with team Roadway edging out Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten.

20 May Saturday Series

With strong winds forecast for the rest of the week 33 boats took to the water on Saturday at Bexhill Sailing Club in a gentle force2-3 westerly breeze and sunshine.

The race team led by Geoff Longmire set a large P course which gave some close tactical racing and some interesting rule interpretations.

In the slow fleet Carol Peddlesden (Comet) kept ahead of Bob and Barbara Palmer (Miracle) to win with the Comets of Barry O’Herlihy, Neil Smith and Ken Wyatt behind separated from Keith Done by the Miracle of Chris Beadle and Sally Clarke.  In the Topper fleet Nicola Palmer got the better of brother Kevin as the early season contest continues.

In the cat fleet a stellar performance by Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis saw them beat Jon and Clare Day by 11 seconds with Flo Wright 3rd.  Angus Radford and Sue Howell were a very good 4th having taken a lap to get intot he swing of things and finished ahead of Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie and K Edwards and S North.

In the Novice fleet Team Mike, Hill and Rigg, had one of their best sails yet to take the win.

The fast fleet was a tortoise and hare affair.  After another general recall at the start, an illustration of the increasing competitiveness in the fleet, the RS boats took off first but the flurries of spray and occasional altercations left the door open for others to slip through.  Gordon Trimmer (Laser) stayed dry all race and took the win from Trevor Harris in the Phantom with Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert (Albacore) 3rd.  Colin Coard (RS300) showed great balance to claim 4th and just edge out Duncan Feather’s Laser.  Kevin Watts won the RS400 battle just ahead of Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie despite a contentious overlap claim and a slightly unusual application of the port starboard tack rule.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner in the remaining RS400 faded as the distance from lunch increased.  Phil Mears did enough to keep ahead of the fellow Laser of Keith Walter while Team Roadway used their experience to stay ahead of the other Laser 2000 of Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten.

Crews ended the day looking forward to a full race programme over the Whitsun weekend and hoping the winds decrease.

15 May Summer Series

There was another large turnout on Sunday at Bexhill Sailing Club for the Summer Series races.  The conditions proved testing as the wind shifted throughout the race.  Race Officer Colin Coard set 3 different and demanding courses for asymmetrics, slow and fast and catamaran fleets and got them just about spot on.

The fast fleet saw their numbers quickly reduced as an unscheduled meeting with the boom had Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie making an early return to shore.  The Lasers had a good close race and even went for synchronized capsizes as a large gust hit them. Geoff Slater got the better of the battle ahead of Rob Harrison and Gordon Trimmer.  The Supernovas were out in force with Tony Lane getting the best result ahead of Tony Cannon. Alan Baldwin would have scored well but for some administrative confusion in the signing on department.

Sarah Pullen (Europe) continued her winning ways in the slow fleet with the Comets of Tony Witham, Neil Smith and Keith Done in close formation behind her.  Chris Beadle completed the fleet putting his Miracle through its paces.

Jon and Clare Day dominated the cat fleet winning by a substantial margin and used all their experience to get the best out of each wind shift.  Flo Wright just held off Neil Hosie and Nick Newell for 2nd place with Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells just a few seconds behind as the handicap on the Dart 18 proved just too tough. Richard Carney had a good race to stay ahead of Steve Cole, with Nick Redman clearly slowed by some extreme designer stubble.

The asymmetric fleet showed commendable enthusiasm for their course, so much so they there was a general recall for the first start as they all jostled for the favoured pin end of the line.  Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe got away best to lead home the other RS200 of Alan and Rosie Turner.  The trio of RS400s had a close race changing places on each lap with Kevin Watts making an astute tactical call on the last beat to get ahead of Paul Sugitt and Nick Mather and Bill Eele and Daphne Hoise.  Chris Thompson and Bob Palmer took 6th.

7-8 May Saturday and Summer Series

A beautiful weekend with gentle breeze and sunshine saw the largest fleets of the year so far take to the water at Bexhill Sailing club.

All the fleets including the new sailors were well represented and there was need of serious refreshment by Sunday afternoon as the shock of actually getting sailing on both days kicked in.

Saturday saw some welcome returns to form.  Bea Frost and Peter Goodman claiming the first of two victories ahead of a revitalized Geoff Furlong and Clair Lambert both in Albacores.  They were followed by a flurry of RS boats, 200s, 400s and the impressive 300 helmed by Colin Coard. Chris Beadle was the first Laser home ahead of the evergreen pairing of Jim Ingram and Nick Stephenson in the Hornet.

Bob and Barbara Palmer (Miracle) led home daughter Nicola (Topper) in the slow fleet followed by the Comets of Wendy Morton, Barry O’Herlihy and Pippa Cole. Glen and Sally Clark made a good return in the Miracle.

The cat fleet saw Jon and Clare Day edge out Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells with Tony Lane and Lynn Jarvis keeping some distance between them and Team Davis and Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.

Sunday saw the asymmetric fleet racing a windward leeward course with Mike Chapman and Lynne Ratcliffe (RS200) leading home and impressive Chris and Ed Thompson.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie got the better of the RS400 tussle leading home Kevin Watts and Trevor Davis.

Sarah Pullen (Europe) showed the way home in the slow fleet from the Palmers Miracle with Wendy Morton showing great consistency with another 3rd.  Carol Peddlesden and Keith Done completed the Comet contingent with Richard Hall and Tony Duquenoy (Miracle) 6th.

In the fast fleet Coard showed increasing mastery of the RS300 to take 2nd from Trevor Harris making an all too rare appearance in the Phantom.  They were followed by the battling trio of Lasers with Gordon Trimmer staying in the boat long enough to see off Geoff Slater and Chris Beadle. Furlong and Ingram teamed up to reminisce in the Hornet while Tony Lane got the better of the Supernova tussle with Tony Cannon.

Flo Wright dominated the cats with a winning margin of over 10 minutes from Neil Hosie and Nick Newell and Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.

In the Novice fleet Ian Gwinnel completed a good weekend with a 3rd to follow 1st place with John Middleton and Yvonne Heritage also having good results.  Full details on the club website along with details of this years sail training courses.

Easter Short Series

A Zen like approach to waiting for the wind descended over sailors this week for the Easter series.  The high pressure system meant beautiful sunshine and a busy beach but the wind was in short supply until Monday.

The series kicked off with a gentle float out to the marks and trying to get the right side of the tide.  This made an enormous difference with Gordon Trimmer even lapping one of his fellow competitors in the Laser fleet in a 2 lap race.  No names in case a super injunction is put in place.  Elsewhere demands on remaining focused for so long took their toll and Bill Eele was left wondering if the decision to go for shorts rather than the wetsuit was a good move as the RS400 turned over during a roll tack.

Despite the challenges over 55 boats were on the water over the weekend.  Persistence was the best route to a good result and Trimmer cleaned up in the Laser fleet despite a late challenge from Geoff Slater. Keith Walter was impressive in 3rd ahead of Jim Ingram, Chris Beadle and J Tomlin.

In the novice fleet is was great to see so many new sailors out in the club boats.  Dave Walter and Yvonne Heritage had good races in the L2000, Laser and Topaz while M Rigg and M Hill and Ian Gwinnell all had good sails.

The cat fleet was dominated by Jon and Clare Day winning every race they sailed.  Malcolm Brookes and K Edwards took second from a rejuvenated Ben Watts.  Nick and Debbie Redman had a good debut sail for the season ahead of Team Davis and Tony Lane and Lynn Jarvis.

The slow fleet comprised primarily of Comets and Carol Peddlesden led the way home from Neil Smith, Wendy Morton, Pippa Cole, Barry O’Herlihy and a below par Tony Witham.  Ken Wyatt also put in a good turn.  The Miracles of Bob and Barbara Palmer and Richard Hall and Tony Duquenoy couldn’t find the pace in the light winds and Richard Eagleton despite winning his only race couldn’t challenge for the series.

In the Topper fleet Kevin Palmer had a clean sweep to win the series from sister Nicola and Beth Harris.  More to come here as the cadets begin their Thursday evening sailing this week.

In the fast fleet experience was the key to success with Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Albacore) winning the series despite Kevin and Tina Watts taking 2 wins in the RS400.  The sunshine also tempted Geoff Furlong and Claire Lambert (Albacore), Trevor Harris (Phantom), Team Robinson into unusual early season appearances.  A relieved Jim Ingram also saw his Scorpion hold together after major surgery with crew Nick Stephenson seen doing some serious bailing.  A great short series with crews looking forward to sailing in new wedding hats and outfits next weekend.

Spring B Series 16 April

Sorry there was no report last week: if anyone would like to offer to stand in when I'm away let me know and we can sort something out...meanwhile normal servie is resumed.

Eager crews gathered at the water’s edge this weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club in the beautiful spring sunshine hoping the breeze would fill in and racing would ensue.

Saturday saw a few cats paws of breeze provide enough momentum to push the boats around the course.  In the novice fleet Yvonne Heritable had a good win over Dave Walter in the club Topazes.  The slow fleet saw a good tussle between Glen and Sally Clarke and Richard Hall  and Tony Dequenoy in the Miracles but neither could catch Neil Smith in the Comet.  Keith Done was close behind and just edged out Tony Coekin in the RS Feva.

Colin Coard returned to winning ways in the fast fleet putting his Tasar into a commanding lead over Keith Walter in the Laser and Flo Wright in the only cat on the water.

The RS400s of Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie and Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer had an exceptionally close race over 6 laps with Watts and Palmer just getting the better of the tactical duel to win by 20 seconds.

Sunday saw one of the first digitally enhanced race teams in place but despite frequent references to the iPad no wind could be found. Racing was replaced by some serious tea drinking and resorting to stone throwing competitions as a perfectly flat sea lapped gently on the beach and the rowers made the best of the conditions.   Easter weekend sees a full series of 4 races each afternoon with the stone throwing victors, Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner looking to replicate their form on the water.

 

3 April Spring Series

Sailors at Bexhill-Sailing Club thought April Fools day had been extended in to the weekend as a good forecast and bright sunshine appeared to provide perfect conditions only for the wind to die and swell to build so that getting off the beach on Saturday proved impossible and racing was abandoned.

Sunday started with very little wind and a percipient postponement by the race team saw a wind line move in from offshore and start to fill the sails.  Thirteen boats then enjoyed good racing in the first of the mixed asymmetric and fast fleet racing.  The windward leeward course was set with precision by the patrol boat crews and the 4 asymmetric boats enjoyed a good tactical battle with high levels of concentration demanded.  Mike Adams and David Stedman led home the RS400s with the remaining 3 boats all finishing within 45 seconds of each other.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie taking second from Kevin Watts and Jim Ingram.

Neil Smith had a good win in the slow fleet which comprised of 4 Comets.  His determination saw him lead home Tony Witham with Wendy Morton 3rd and Keith Done 4th.  Only 2 fast fleet boats made it on the water but Alan Baldwin showed increasing mastery of the Supernova to beat Keith Walter in the Laser.

The cat fleet enjoyed the large triangular course giving 2 good reaches which were exploited to maximum effect by Jon and Clare Day who led home Tony Lane and Trevor Davis and Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.

April sees a full programme of racing over the bank holiday weekends and there are still places available on the sail training course, full details of which can be found on the club website.

Spring Series 26-27 March

Near perfect conditions with force 3-4 easterly winds saw 24 boats on the water at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend for the conclusion of the Spring Series and the first charity race of the year.

Experienced race officers Kevin Watts and Rob Harrison trawled the lexicon of race formats to set challenging W and P shaped courses that saw exciting racing both days.  The challenge of starting the cat fleet with the fasts also gave some interesting close quarter exchanges between the sharp hulled cats and slightly more generously proportioned mono hulls.

Saturday saw Geoff Slater just pip Colin Coard and Gordon Trimmer in the Laser fleet by just a few seconds while in the cats Jon and Clare Day got the better of the tactical exchanges to beat Malcolm Brookes and Flo Wright.  Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie took 3rd with Tony Lane and Trevor Davis 4th.

In the new sailor fleet Charles Harvey and Richard Hall and David Walters put in good performances in the Laser 2000s.  Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen (RS400) flew away from the start in the fast fleet but Lynn Ratcliffe and Mike Chapman (RS200) did enough to reel them in on handicap for the win with Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) 3rd with the L4000 of Butch Roberts and Tim Murray 4th getting enough speed to stay ahead of the RS400s of Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner.

Richard Eagleton (Europe) continued his winning ways with Tony Witham edging ever closer in the Comet.  Sarah Pullen (Europe) also managed an impressive 7 laps to see off the Comets of Neil Smith and Wendy Morton and the Laser Radial and Topper of Keith Walters and Keith Done.

Sunday saw a touch more breeze and the patrol boats much busier as a number of crews took their first swims of the season.   Eagleton assumed his normal position in the slow fleet with Pullen claiming 2nd from Smith and Done.  The Days replicated this in the cat fleet but Neil Hosie and Nick Newell showed early season promise in 2nd ahead of Lane and Davis and Danny Hosie.

Gordon Trimmer (Laser) extracted full speed on the reaches to win the fast fleet with Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer winning the RS400 tussle from Eele and Hosie with Nicky Stephens and Roy Tanner coming ashore early.  Jim Robinson and Y Heritage (L2000) had a good race to take 4th as the final finisher.

19-20 March Spring Series

Crews are still getting used to the sunshine and light winds in March at Bexhill Sailing Club.  A full weekend’s racing saw many crews looking dizzy as they finally managed to complete more than one lap although the strong spring tides made conditions tricky.

Fourteen boats took to the water both days for some close competitive racing.  In the slow fleet Richard Eagleton (Europe) made a triumphant return winning both races in style but Tony Witham has already made impressive strides in the Comet contingent and claimed second place both days ahead of Neil Smith and Wendy Morton.  Keith Done took 4th on Saturday as his Topper battled the ebbing tide.

The Laser fleet was out in force and Gordon Trimmer got off to a good win on Saturday ahead of Colin Coard, Duncan Feathers and Keith Walters.  Sunday was a different story with Jim Ingram so far ahead that there were demands for his breakfast intake to be checked, or at least shared with the others.  Rumours of tins of spinach in his kit bag proved false.

The cat fleet continued its show of solidarity by not racing either day although they did offer competitors helpful advice from the beach on Sunday until a runaway boat diverted their attention.

The fast fleet was dominated by Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) winning both days with Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer (RS400) benefiting from the close racing and just edging out the other RS400s of Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie  and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner once they had sorted out some rigging issues.  Chris and Ed Thompson (Laser Vago) and Butch Roberts and Tim Murray (L4000) took 5th and 6th places as they reminded themselves which ropes did what.

Full information on all club activities can be found on the website.

Spring Series Ice Bucket 12 – 13 March

Here we go again then; frustrating start but sure things will pick up....

Spring sunshine tempted a large fleet of 21 boats onto the water at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend for the start of the new season.  With some of the most experienced and mature race teams running the races great things were expected but the fickle March breezes dealt a cruel hand to competitors on both days.

Saturday saw the highest rate of attrition with only 5 boats finishing the course and they only managed 1 lap each as the wind fell away completely and the strong ebbing tide became the main means of propulsion.  Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) led over the line but pre-race guidance on rigging the boat paid dividends for Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) as they took the win on handicap.  Lynn Ratcliffe and Carol Peddlesden took 3rd with Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer (RS400) showing extreme patience in 4th.

Jim Ingram celebrated his win in the Laser fleet as Gordon Trimmer took several swims.  The slow and cat fleets showed remarkable solidarity as they all failed to finish; the view from the balcony sailors was that this was the first time that has ever happened.

Sunday saw much smaller fleets with the conditions looking much the same.  Ratcliffe and Peddlesden took the win ahead of Trimmer with Watts and Palmer continuing to plug away for 3rd place.  Tony Witham was the only slow fleet boat to finish showing early season promise following his change to the Comet.  Jon and Clare Day were the only cat to make it around the lap as the rain started to fall to dampen spirits.

There was an enthusiastic turn out from recent sailing school graduates in the Laser 2000s who gained valuable time on the water in tricky conditions.  Dave Walter put in a good performance along with F Gwinnel.

More seasonal March winds are expected next week as the season gets into full swing.  Full details can be found on the club website.

 

6-7 November Brass Monkey Series

And so to the last report of the season;

The season finished with a flourish at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend.  With near perfect symmetry the last weekend mirrored the opening one of the season with a gusty off-shore breeze and bright sunshine.

Over 20 crews geared up for action before moving boats inland or packing up for the winter.  The Brass Monkey Series came to a conclusion as well with the results showing the benefits of consistency over occasional flashes of brilliance.

In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day took the honours despite Neil Hosie and Jim Copeman winning the last race of series.  Malcolm Brookes and Trevor Davis took second overall as their team work strengthened closely followed by the other new pairing of Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.  Geoff Padgham and J Barden quietly crept into 4th place ahead of Tony Lane and Lynn Jarvis.

In the novice fleet J Middleton took 1st place in some tricky conditions.

In the slows Richard Eagleton reigned supreme winning all but one race to claim the series from an impressive Neil Smith in the Comet.   Sarah Pullen put her Europe into 3rd place ahead of the Comets of Keith Done and Wendy Morton both having a good end to the year.  Bob and Barbara Palmer had a late flourish in the Miracle to keep them ahead of Nicola and Kevin Palmer in the Toppers but expect to see them pushed harder next year.  Jeremy Bear put in a too rare appearance in the Comet while David Walters and Midldeton and Heritage and Gwinnell enjoyed taking the Laser 2000s around the course.

Twenty three boats tussled in the fast fleet for the series honours.  Gordon Trimmer and Andrew Thompson (RS200) proved the most consistent to win with Tony Cannon an impressive 2nd in the Supernova both leaving some of the established superstar crews in their wake.  These included the RS400 posse of Mike Adams and David Stedman, Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer, Bill Eele and David Stedman, Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner.  Other notable performances were put in by Alan Baldwin (Supernova), Chris Beadle, Keith Walter, Geoff Slater, Ian Sprigings and Jim Ingram in the Lasers and W Middleton in the L2000.

A great end to a full season’s racing with crews heading home with winter training plans and full Christmas lists for go faster gear for next year.

31 October Brass Monkey Series

The Halloween weekend saw sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club faced with the trick of light winds but big waves on Saturday making racing impossible and the treat of sunshine and a moderate breeze on Sunday.  This enticed 27 boats onto the water to provide a colourful backdrop for those enjoying a late autumn promenade.

The cat fleet saw Jon and Clare Day pushed hard by Tony Lane and Lynn Jarvis who looked very impressive finishing just 3 seconds behind on handicap.  Malcolm Brookes and Trevor Davies were re-united with their mast to take 3rd place while Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie honed their teamwork in 4th place to beat Geoff Padgham and J Barden.

In the slow fleet Richard Eagleton (Europe) led the way home with close racing behind him.  Neil Smith and Wendy Morton had a good tussle in the Comets finishing ahead of Nicola Palmer and Kevin Palmer in the Toppers.  Keith Done meanwhile put his Comet ahead of Sue Batten in the Topaz.

In the fast fleet the RS boats dominated the top 6 places.  Mike Adams and David Stedman took the win ahead of a hard charging Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer in the 400s followed by a trio of 200s of Alan and Rosie Turner, Gordon Trimmer and Andrew Thompson and Tony Witham and Mandy Neal.  They were chased by Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400).  Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram looked steady in the Hornet and enjoyed the spinnaker legs displaying enough old school skills to stay ahead of the Laser Vago of Chris and Ed Thompson.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) were clearly back to enjoying themselves chatting and having fun rather than putting their race faces on and slipped to 9th.  The Supernovas of Tony Cannon and Alan Baldwin were in close company for the whole race while Keith Walter may have regretted using the smaller Laser radial sail as the wind dropped away.  Three Laser 2000s saw new sailors enjoying the conditions with W Middleton coming out ahead of Roy Tanner and A Pope and Mike Hill.

An excellent afternoon’s sailing as the season heads for the final racing of the year and the prize giving at the annual dinner.

24 October Brass Monkey Series

With the celebrations from the Trafalgar Night social event the previous night still ringing in their ears crews took to the water in brilliant sunshine and a good breeze forecast for the Brass Monkey Series at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend.

In the slows it was a battle between the Europes and Comets with the Europes emerging victorious as Richard Eagleton and Sarah Pullen put their boats ahead of Wendy Morton, Barry O’Herlihy, Neil Smith and Keith Done.

The cat fleet saw a familiar pattern as Jon and Clare Day took 1st place ahead of Malcolm Brookes and Trevor Davies who couldn’t quite open enough lead on them to secure a win and marked their disappointment by ditching their mast as they crossed the finish line.  Geoff Padgham and J Barden took 3rd place.

In the fast fleet Gordon Trimmer and Andrew Thompson (RS200) continued their winning ways with the other RS200 of Alan and Rosie Turner just behind.  The Lasers of Jim Ingram, Chris Thompson and Chris Beadle and the Supernova of Tony Cannon finished in close formation just behind them while Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer edged out the other RS400 of Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner.  Sue Batten and Roy Tanner had a good finish in the L2000 ahead of the remaining Supernova of Alan Baldwin.

9-10 October

The Indian Summer sunshine glistening off the sea made for an inviting scene this weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club and enticed crews onto the water full of enthusiasm.

The strong wind and the longest tides of the year however contrasted with the idyllic view and left the race course looking more like a demolition derby.

Saturday saw the larger turnout and in the slow fleet Sarah Pullen (Europe) led home Neil Smith and Keith Done in the Comets.   Richard Eagleton was seen slipping ashore early after missing a mark having uncharacteristically not memorised the course.  Malcolm Brookes and Trevor Davis dominated the cat fleet leading by over a lap from Neil Hosie and Nick Redman and Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie.

The fast fleet knew it was going to be adventurous as Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen got 2 capsizes in even before the start and Gordon Trimmer and Andrew Thompson re-profiled the B14 mast with another early swim.  The strong tides meant several competitors were swept onto marks including eventual winners Mike Chapman and Wendy Morton (RS200) and 2nd place Geoff Slater (Laser). Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer survived their capsize to finish 3rd with Colin Coard and Louis Elliot 4th in the Tasar.  Tony Cannon (Supernova) steered a steady course to keep ahead of the RS400s of Miller and Bullen and Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie while Alan Baldwin (Supernova) and Sue Batten and Roy Tanner (L2000) did well to complete the course.

Those with undamaged boats headed out with some trepidation on Sunday in the building easterly breeze.  The strong tide again intervened as the marks drifted just as the start sequence was getting underway and only a certain savoir-faire from the race team, coupled with rapid hoisting and lowering of flags, got the hardy crews away to race.  Early damage was suffered as both Jack Roadway in the Topper and Flo Wright and Michelle Midwinter in the Dart 16 lost their masts before the first mark.  This was a shame as the cats finally managed a massed start as the delay gave them a chance to all be in the same place at the same time.  By the 2nd mark Watts and Palmer had lost their mainsail and had to sail back in a seamanlike fashion under jib alone.   Luckily Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie (Albacore) had already retired and were on the beach to help the broken boats ashore.

Trimmer and Thompson put the previous carnage behind them to take the win in the RS200 with Tony Cannon leading home the other Supernova of Baldwin.   Eagleton made sure he sailed the right course this time and even started twice to be on the safe side to win the slow handicap race while in the cats Neil Hosie having found some spare sailing gear for crew Nick Newell celebrated with a win.

An eventful but fun weekend as the Brass Monkey series hit its stride as we near the end of the season.  Full details on the club website.

25-26 September

Tricky northerly winds gusting up to force 6 put sailors at Bexhill Sailing club through their paces this weekend.   A good eye for the gusts and wind shifts were required just to stay upright.

Saturday saw the St Judes Charity race.  A small fleet turned out in glorious sunshine and in the fasts there was close competition between the RS400s.  Kevin Watts and Andrew Thompson had a good win over Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie, while Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen had a refreshing swim.  Tony Cannon (Supernova) sailed round serenely for 4th place.  In the slow fleet Steph Sprigings (Byte) dominated finishing a lap ahead of rivals Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten in the Miracle.  In the cat fleet Ian Sprigings edged ahead of Tony Lane and Louis Osmond despite a few crew problems with the kite while Neil Hosie was 3rd.

The Autumn Trial Series continued with another 2 races over the weekend with the wind direction causing the race teams to scratch their collective heads on the best course to lay.

The first race saw Mike Adams and David Stedman lead home the asymmetrics ahead of Watts and Thompson and Eele and Hosie.  The excitement was clearly too much for some experienced crews who in their enthusiasm to get on the water forgot to sign on and register for a result.

In the slow fleet Barry O’Herlihy  beat the other Comet of Keith Done while Sue Batten, David Walters and I Gunnel showed good skill in getting their Topazs around the course.  The cat fleet saw an impressive win for Tony Lane and Lynne Jarvis beating off Flo Wright and Malcolm Brookes and Chris Beadle who were slightly hampered by an interesting interpretation of the rules by one of the RS400s.  Geoff Padgham and Sue Howell took 4th.

Sunday saw Adams and Stedman continue to dominate the asymmetrics ahead of Eele and Hosie but Chris and Ed Thompson put in a good performance for 3rd place in the Laser Vago.

Chris Beadle had a clear win in the fast fleet from Tony Lane in the Supernova with Alan Baldwin’s Supernova 4th and Sue Batten 5th.  Padgham snuck his cat into 3rd in the fast fleet as the only multihull to brave the conditions.

All agreed it was a testing weekend and provided good experience for those other members on the safety boat training course in boat recovery skills.  Full details of all events can be found on the club website.

18-19 September

As the Autumn equinox beckons sailors tackled testing gusty conditions last weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club.

The continuing asymmetric trial series provided good feedback for the sailing committee to consider making the format permanent while the early risers were rewarded with the best conditions of the weekend.

Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) were seen tucking into breakfast with unusual vigour after a great win saw them seize the series lead with only one race left to go.  They saw off the challenge of Tony lane (Supernova) and Keith Walter (Laser) while Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert (Albacore) were languishing in 4th.  In the cats Flo Wright beat Malcolm Brookes although positions were reversed in the second race on Sunday.

Race 3 in the trial series saw Colin Coard and J Roadway (Tasar) the only boat not to capsize to take the victory over Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer as the NWN breeze gusted to force 6.  Palmer clearly enjoying the swim as he also tipped Barbara in on Saturday in the Miracle to compound his mistake the previous week of not getting her name onto the results sheet.  Tony Lane got the Supernova home in 3rd ahead of Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie in the Albacore.   It was also a good weekend for sailing school graduate Dave Sprinks who finished a good race helming the L2000 on Saturday under the watchful eye of Richard Hall.

In the slow fleet years of experience was on display as Richard Eagleton (Europe) led home from Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Miracle) and Keith Done (Topper) this week remembering to duck as the boom came across in the gybe.

Next weekend sees a full programme with 3 races including the St Jude’s Charity race on Saturday and the arrival of the Rowing Club to share facilities while their new club house gets underway. Full details are on the club website.

Class Cups  12 September

Bexhill Sailing Club hosted its ever popular Class Cup race series this weekend.  With Saturday’s racing blown off in the continuing breezy weather Sunday saw the race team showing a deft and innovative touch which tested the stamina of all the crews with 4 races squeezed in.

With the promise of Indian Summer sunshine over 30 boats took to the water for close racing.The Topper fleet led the way with sibling rivalry seeing Nicola Palmer beating brother Kevin and N Roadway with 3 wins in the 4 races.  Bob Palmer completed a good family day out by winning the slow handicap races starting slowly as Neil Smith (Comet) took the first race.  Carol Peddlesden was consistent with 2nd place overall.  Barry O’Herlihy and Keith Done completed the Comet contingent with Carolyn Maynard close behind in the Byte.

A good turnout of 5 boats in the Novice fleet saw a victory for Sue Batten leading home Gwinnel and Walters in the Laser 2000s and Coulombel.  Neil Hosie dominated the cat fleet winning 3 of the races to claim the overall win from Malcolm Brookes while Flo Wright was 3rd overall and Sue Howell 4th.  In the laser fleet Rob Harrison was imperious winning every race despite the close attentions of Mike Miles, Geoff Padgham and Angus Radford.

The large fast fleet saw a good mix of results with Mike Chapman (RS200) winning overall from a delighted Jim Copeman (Albacore) who found some good lines and tactics putting him ahead of the RS400s of Bill Eele and Kevin Watts, and seeing off rival Albacore of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman.  Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) divided the remaining RS400s of Mike Adams and Paul Suggitt with Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner turning on the style with some impressive boat handling.  Eslewhere in the fleets there were good displays from team Coekin, Duncan Feathers and Jim Robinson all in RS200s while Tony Cannon made a rare appearance to win the Supernova duel with Alan Baldwin.

The Autumn Trial series continues next week; full details on the club website.

4-5 September

I don't know what the Sailing Committee decided last night but I thought the trial series course, plus Ian's additional innovation on Saturday night worked very well; but then we normally ignore most of the marks anyway!    Report below.  Tim

The continuing easterly breeze and choppy conditions saw the race officers at Bexhill Sailing Club faced with some difficult decisions about the type of courses to lay; but they came up trumps showing that judging pie contests in the Sportsman or racing bigger boats hadn’t affected their judgement.

Saturday saw a big turn out with 22 boats on the water for a windward leeward course with a choice of down wind marks.  Despite some serious staring at the course board most crews seemed to grasp the concept and enjoyed some fast and furious racing as boats were kept within a tight area.

The cat fleet saw Team Hosie lead everyone home with Team Redman close behind.  Older heads then followed with Tony Lane next while Steve and Pippa Cole saw more action at the back of the fleet fighting off the challenge of Mark Cowling and Lesley Corke and Keith Edwards.

Neil Smith looked supremely confident in the Comet winning by over 8 minutes from Beth Harris in the Feva who wasn’t helped when crew Jamie decided to fall out the boat at the windward mark.  Keith Done (Topper) kept his head out the way of the boom this week for 3rd ahead of the Fevas of Nicola and Kevin Palmer and the Coekins.  Ken Wyatt snuck in for 5th place.

Wily old seadog Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) took the fast fleet victory with the RS200s of Alan and Rosie Turner and Tony Witham and Mandy Neale close behind.  Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer edged out Bill Eele and Daphne Hoise and Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt in the other RS400 battle as they stayed upright for longer.  Angus Radford (Laser) completed the finishers after Keith Walters was kebabed by a Dart 18.

Sunday morning saw a small but elegant turnout for the Early Worm race.  Adams and Stedman had their work cut out this time as they were challenged by Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen’s RS400 and just managed to get ahead by the finish.  Geoff Slater (Laser) got the start time right this week for 3rd place with Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert easing their way into 4th.  Malcolm Brookes and Tony Lane saw off Flo Wright for the cat places.  The second race in building winds and sea was challenging and the fast fleet saw the National and World level team of Dan Hollands and Andrew Thompson (V3000) turning on the style to fly around the 15 minutes quicker than their more mature rivals.  Slater again showed good form to take 2nd just easing out Colin Coard’s Laser while Butch Roberts and Tim Murray (L4000) pushed Miller and Bullen right to the finish line.

Bob and Nicola Palmer displayed some classic downwind sailing in the Miracle to beat Jack Roadway who also looked impressive in the Topper.

Brookes and Lane dominated the cat fleet despite the attentions of Danny Hosie while Team Nick suffered from the crew never getting comfortable in an over tight wet suit.

The trial courses seemed to have proved popular and with more to come the Autumn series bodes well.  Full details on the club website

August Short Series 28-30 August

Phew, the mystery of the disappearing race results has been solved; and it wasn't down to geoff's love of technology....so here goes this week's installment.

The bank Holiday weekend saw 4 races completed in the August bank Holiday short series.  With some crews discombobulated by the large crowds watching them from the De la Warr Pavilion others reveled in the challenging conditions.

Saturday saw a gusty south-westerly breeze cause a flurry of capsizes and a demand on stamina in the back to back races.  In the cat fleet Steve Cole and Richard Tyrie had an impressive win ahead of Nick Stephenson while Jon and Clare Day had gear trouble as well as a swim in the first race but normal service was resumed thereafter as they took the series win ahead of Cole and Tyrie.  Team Hosie secured 3rd place ahead of Stephenson and K Edwards.

Richard Eagleton had a clean sweep of victories in the slow fleet to win the series with Nicola and Kevin Palmer (RS Feva) combining to push hard for 2nd place.  Their handling of the spinnaker in the Monday races in a very shifty and gusty northerly breeze was particularly good.  They were followed home by 5 Comets; with Keith Done taking the honours ahead of Barry O’Herlihy, Neil Smith, Carol Peddlesden and Ken Wyatt.

The Lasers were also out in force and with 2 wins on Saturday Gordon Trimmer sewed up the series ahead of Geoff Slater who took the weekend’s prize for the quickest change into a wetsuit and launch seen at the club for some years.  Chris Beadle consolidated on his consistent season with 3rd place ahead of Colin Coard, Keith Walter, Duncan Feathers and Bob Keech.

Racing in the fast fleet was very close with some impressive displays throughout the fleet.  Mike Chapman and Tobin Dennis (RS200) battled with Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) swapping 1st and 2nd places and won on countback with a win in the last race.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie led home the next 3 RS400s with Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer close behind.   Colin Coard crewed by Barbara Palmer in the Tasar was fifth overall and the only sailor to claim place sin 2 fleets.  Jim Ingram steered his Hornet to 6th ahead of Chris and Ed Thompson (Vago).  Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) failed to find their usual form but but edged out Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather for the wooden spoon.

Crews packed away under the gaze of a very busy seafront as the summer series fade away to be replaced by the first autumn series next weekend.

22 August Regatta

Apologies for some lack of detail but I think there may have been a problem publishing the results so I have had to use the time sheets for this week's report.

The capricious weather gave the experienced race team a headache at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend faced with the dilemma of having to cancel Saturday’s racing and needing to complete 3 races for the Club Regatta.

In a burst of innovation Commodore Geoff Furlong posted 3 back to back races on Sunday morning which proved an excellent test of both the sailors’ stamina and concentration.

Twenty six crews took to the water to join the challenge.  The early rain and light winds made the first race a bit pedestrian but the wind filled in from the south west and conditions improved slightly.

Richard Eagleton (Europe) dominated the slow fleet with the Europes of Tobin Dennis and Sarah Pullen mounting a good challenge.    The Comet contingent were well represented with Neil Smith, Barry O’Herlihy and Carol Peddlesten enjoying close racing with the Miracle of Bea Tramaseur and Peter Goodman the only 2 handed slow boat also in contention.

A large cat fleet saw some close racing with Jon and Clare Day coming under pressure from Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells.  There were also strong showings from Neil Hosie, Tony Lane, Nick Redman, Steve Cole, Geoff Padgham and K Edwards.

The fast fleet saw the RS400s out in force with some very close racing.  Jim Ingram and Joe Turner showed some early flashes of brilliance but were unable to sustain these through all the races as they were reined in by Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen.   Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather had a close competition with Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie  while the Nicky Stevens and Roy had one too many capsizes for comfort. Sail Training Principal Gordon Trimmer was effortlessly consistent in all 3 races in the Laser with Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie putting in consistent lap times in the Albacore.  Mike Chapman with Wendy Morton (RS200) also showed his usual poise over the 3 races.

All agreed the race team had made a good call despite the challenge of 3 back to back races to ensure the regatta was completed.  The only disappointment was the computer being as fickle as the wind in producing the overall results which still need to be finalized.  Full details can be found on the club website.

Sea Week and 14 August

A flurry of activity on the beach marked the end of a very successful Sea Week at Bexhill Sailing Club.  A squall of almost tropical proportions saw the various large family groups and their associated gazebos and other encampments rapidly disassembled as the sailors disappeared from view in the torrential rain.  Commodore Geoff Furlong had no hesitation in doing the seamanlike thing and abandoning the race to the frustration of at least one crew who thought they were winning as the others headed back to shore.

This marked the culmination of a good week’s sailing with good breezes, large fleets, great social events and the hosting the Sussex Police Sailing Federation regatta for good measure.  It was particularly good to see so many of this years and last year’s sailing school graduates on the water enjoying use of the club boats and having fun.  The usual mixture of swapping boats and sailing with different crews saw the results much more mixed than usual and for most secondary to just enjoying themselves.

Saturday saw everyone back with their race faces on for the Saturday series.  One of the longest tides of the year coupled with a dropping wind meant conditions were particularly challenging.    The large fast fleet split early with some heading inshore out of the tide with others going further out in search of breeze.  The inshore route paid dividends with Tony Witham and Mandy Neale (RS200) using all their experience to stay ahead of Clare and Jon Day (Albacore).  The RS400 fleet saw Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather just edge out Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie despite Bill’s attempt at streamlining by taping up his boots.  Phil Coekin (RS200) had a good result staying ahead of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Albacore).  Nicky Stevens and Roy (RS400) continued to edge up the learning curve with their boat while Alan Osman did well to get the heavier Laser 2000 around the course.

In the slow fleet Sarah Pullen showed all her guile to dominate the fleet in her Europe leaving the Comets of Neil Smith and Barry O’Herlihy in her wake and even Bob and Nicola Palmer were unable to chase her down in the Miracle.  Wendy Morton (Comet) was the only other boat to complete 2 laps with Sue Batten (Topaz) and Jeremy Bear (Comet) completing the finishers.

The strong and gusty northerly winds on Sunday meant the sailing school regatta had to be postponed to the disappointment of many but it couldn’t detract from a great week’s sailing.  Full details of all events can be found on the club website.

21- 25 July

With the brisk westerly winds continuing to blow sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club are revelling in the conditions.

Wednesday night saw a small but keen turnout that had a fair share of adventures and 5 boats not making it the finish.

In the slow fleet Tobin Dennis regained early season form to beat rival Sarah Pullen in the other Europe while in the fast fleet Mike Adams had to make mid race running repairs in best Blue Peter style with an old drinks bottle to fix a broken tiller extension to see him and crew Jim Ingram first home.  Colin Coard (Laser) pushed hard in 2nd place ahead of Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) and Duncan Feathers (Laser).

In the cat fleet Danny Hosie made the mistake of listening to insistent crew Nick Newell that it was a triangular course and led almost everyone the wrong way; the exception being Jon and Clare Day who don’t like triangular courses anyway and went the right way around the P shaped course.  The excuse from the rest of the fleet that the windward bouy was difficult to see in the choppy conditions did little to hide vary shades of embarrassment. Tony Lane and Trevor Davis corrected themselves quickest to take 2nd from Hosie and Newell, Keith Walter and Geoff Padgham and Mark Cowling and Tim Murray who selflessly admitted their mistake and were docked a lap.

Sunday dawned still and looking like a gentle sail for all concerned.  The Witham Race Team set an excellent course and 25 boats took to the water.  The wind then continued to fill to a solid force 4 seeing a few retreat to shore early.   In the slow fleet Roadway in the Topper showed youthful enthusiasm coupled with talent is a potent mixture taking the win ahead of  Barry O’Herlihey, Keith Done and Jeremy Bear all in Comets.

Four Lasers had a close tussle with Duncan Feathers just seeing off Alastair Thomson and Rob Harrison with less than 30 seconds between Bexhill’s equivalent of the 3 Musketeers.  M Early completed the fleet in 4th.

The start line for the fast fleet resembled a destruction derby as Turners tipped in right on the line and bunching at the pin end of the line saw several port and starboard incidents with Trevor Harris (Phantom) taking a swim as the L2000 with Alan Baldwin , Sue Batten and Lucinda weaved amongst the debris.  As the wind continued to build and a short step chop built up it was a wet and exciting ride around the course.  Adams and Ingram lapped everyone but Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) to win with the Turners recovering for 2nd place.  Bea Frost and Peter Goodman led home the Albacores in 3rd place with Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert 6th.  For the second week running Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie (Albacore) had a great sail but disappeared in mysterious circumstances from the published results.  Even Colin Coard and Lesley Elliot (Tasar) capsized at the gybe mark.

Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells led the cat fleet home despite landing on top of  the gybe mark at one point; apparently to slow themselves down but others remained unconvinced.  They were followed by Flo Wright, Tony Lane and Lynn Jarvis and Steve Cole.  Another good weeks sailing; for full details see the club website.

18 July

The high wind specialists were out in force at the weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club.  A race team of unusual wisdom and experience cast aside their disappointment at not getting on the water by providing a very popular triangular course over which most crews revelled in the fast reaches and difficult upwind beat.

With Saturday’s racing called off crews were eager to hit the water.  Gordon Trimmer and Andrew Thompson did sail on Saturday and even managed to get the RS200 airbourne off one wave.  In the slow fleet Bob Palmer and Wendy Morton led the way from Sarah Pullen’s Europe and Neil Smith’s Comet.  Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten (Miracle) took another step along the learning curve with a good finish.

The cat fleet suffered what looked like collective nervousness at the start when they all hung back and crossed the starting line in a close bunch but 30 seconds after the starting flag was hoisted.  They settled into some fast and furious racing with some spectacular hull flying and a big capsize from Flo Wright.   Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells (Dart18) lead home by over 5 minutes on the water as they hit all the right angles and were at full speed for the whole race.  Jon and Clare Day took 2nd place leading the Dart 16s and 16Xs home.  Neil Hosie and Nick Newell edged out Ben Watts by just 7 seconds as a combination of experience and bulk saw them exploit the gusts better than the single-handed Watts.  Jeremy Maynard and Nick Redman sailed around the floundering Wright for 5th place while Angus Radford and Sue Howell hung on, literally, to take 7th.

In the fast fleet Dan Hollands just returned from the B14 European Championships teamed up with Andrew Thompson in the V3000 and dominated the race lapping everyone but Lucy Walters and Jim Ingram in the Hornet and finishing over 12 minutes ahead of  Colin Coard (Laser Radial).  The other Laser Radials of Duncan Feathers and Chris Beadle had a great race with Chris and Ed Thompson (Laser Vago) 3rd and Walters and Ingram 4th on handicap.

Tired but exhilarated crews put their boats away with fresh memories of a great days racing and hoping Sea Week in August brings more of the same.  Full details can be found on the club website.

7-11 July

An action packed week at Bexhill sailing club kicked off with the less reserved crews whooping and hollering with delight as they flew downwind in near perfect conditions for the Wednesday evening series.

Despite a wayward cat running interference on the start line the fast fleet got away for close racing with Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) seeing off a determined Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram (Hornet).  Chris Beadle (Laser ) took 3rd with Mike Adams giving emergency crew Aidan Harvey sewing lessons after they sailed over their kite.  Harvey celebrated his new skills with a backflip on dry land while trying to refit his mast.  Becky and Pippa Barrie kept ahead of the other RS200 of team Robinson who managed a good save at the gybe mark when a capsize looked inevitable.

In the slows Richard Eagleton (Europe) saw off the challenge from Neil Smith (Comet) and Anne Marie Mears and Keith Done’s Toppers.  Tobin Dennis had an unusual mid week dip in form in his Europe.

Jeremy Maynard and Nick Redman showed steely determination to hold onto the Days in the cat fleet but couldn’t sustain the pace for the whole race as Neil and Danny Hosie closed in on them as well.  In the newcomers fleet Pope and Clift secured a good win.

Saturday saw the club embark on a cruise to Pevensey Bay despite some patchy fog and the long beat upwind was rewarded with a drink and a fast ride back downwind for the Saturday night social.

Sunday saw more fantastic conditions in glorious sunshine and a force3 westerly breeze as visitors from across the south east joined the clubs Lasers and Comets for an open meeting.  Four perfectly run races saw the club sailors just beaten by the visitors with Ben Slater the top Bexhill Laser ahead of dad Geoff.  Colin Coard was behind them with Duncan Feathers, Chris Beadle, Ian Sprigings and Geoff Padgham all enjoying the extra competition.

In the Comets Neil Smith was the best placed home boat ahead of Brian O’Herlihy and Keith Done.  All agreed it was a great if tiring days sailing.

The Cadets also did the club proud again this week with 7 boats competing in the Youth Federation Event at Newhaven.  Full details can be found on the club website.

3 July

With Sunday’s forecast looking very windy 35 five boats were tempted onto the water at Bexhill Sailing Club on Saturday as the pull of sunshine and a good sea breeze looked irresistible.   Experienced race officer Gordon Trimmer set an ‘old school’ P shaped course in an effort to make the most of the conditions.

The slow handicap fleet put on an impressive display with Richard Eagleton (Europe) stamping his authority on the fleet taking line and race honours from Bob and Nicola Palmer (Miracle) and the Europe of Tobin Dennis.  Stephanie Spriggings  (Byte C2) completed the group finishing 4 laps in under an hour.  Behind them the Comets of Carol Peddlesden and Ken Wyatt enjoyed close racing with Keith Done and Kevin Palmer in the Toppers while the steadily increasing breeze saw early finishes for Caroline Maynard and the other Comets of Jeremy Bear and Pippa Cole.

Six cats enjoyed the breeze with Malcolm Brookes taking line honours with Flo Wright just edging out the 16X of Neil Hosie.  Tony Lane was close behind with Lesley Corke in 6th.  Jon and Clare Day took the win overall with another measured sail.

A good Laser fleet was dominated by Chris Beadle who opened up a lap advantage over his nearest rivals in a display of hitherto unseen seamanship.  The remaining boats could only watch in awe as they raced amongst themselves with Angus Radford taking 2nd from Phil Mears 3rd followed by Geoff Padgham and Steve North.   Chris Thompson and Richard Tyrie decided on cakes and tea.

In the fast fleet the tight reaches of the P course enabled the Albacores of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman and Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie to take 1st and 3rd spots as the asymmetrics couldn’t take full advantage of their gennikers.  Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen led home the RS400s with Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner delighted to finish 5th two places ahead of arch rivals Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie whose unseemly close encounter with a bouy saw them lose ground.  Dan Hollands and Andy Thompson (B14) took line honours but slipped to 4th on handicap and enjoyed their post race blast to St Leonards as the wind filled in.

23-27 June

Wall to wall sunshine, if a fitful breeze, helped sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club through the trials and tribulations of a difficult sporting week.

Wednesday evening saw a good fleet of 18 boats on the water and while the cat fleet followed a familiar pattern with Jon and Clare Day leading the way there was a good mix behind them.  Jeremy and Danny Maynard were only seconds behind while Steve Cole and Tony Lane completed the fleet.  Nick Stevens and R Tanner enjoyed a good sail in the novice fleet while in the slows Carol Peddlesden steered her Comet home in 1st place ahead of the Europe of Tobin Dennis and Comet of Caroline Maynard with a very rare dead heat for 2nd place.  A trio of Comets were behind them with Pippa Cole, Ken Wyatt and Keith Done at the controls.

In the fast fleet Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt showed increasing comfort with the RS400 to win from Colin Coard and Betty Crosse (Tasar) with Nick Maynard 3rd to complete an impressive family evening.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie kept their RS400 ahead of Aidan Harvey with Keith Walter not getting the Laser Radial going at full speed.

Sunday saw 2 races squeezed in. In the light morning breeze experience was the key in judging the flooding tide.  Sarah Pullen was impressive in the Europe leading home the Comets of Cole, Wendy Morton and Jeremy Bear.  Pullen repeated the result in the 2nd race for the Mayoress’s Pennant ahead of Morton while Caroline Maynard and Jim Brookes joined the fray for 3rd and 5th places.    The Laser fleet saw Walters take a good win ahead of Earl and in the cats the Days lead home a Brookes family outing and Lesley Corke.

In the fasts Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) won both races.  In the first race Eele and Hosie stayed focused as Joe Turner jumped ship to crew for Paul Suggitt to see if what goes on in his RS400 is repeated in other boats and was rewarded with a 3rd place ahead of Harvey.  Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie took the Albacore into 5th place with Alan Baldwin (Supernova) in 6th.

Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert made a welcome reappearance in the Albacore for the Mayoress’s Pennant and showed a quick return to form with a 2nd place ahead of Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200).  Mark Scheldt also had a good race in the cats taking 2nd place ahead of Nick Redman, Tony Lane and Trevor Davis.  As it turned out they may have preferred to stay on the water longer.

19-20 June

The solstice weekend saw tricky northerly winds put crews through their paces at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend for the Saturday evening and Sunday morning early worm races.

Saturday saw Sarah Pullen (Europe) lead home the slow handicap fleet from Bob and Nicola Palmer in the Miracle while Keith Done (Topper) and Carol Peddlesden (Comet) head back early to the club house.

Tony Lane had a great win in the cat fleet ahead of Jon and Clare Day while Malcolm Brookes looked out of sorts in 3rd.  In the fast fleet Dan Hollands had an impressive win following on from competing in the L3000 national championships seeing off Gordon Trimmer (Laser).  Alan and Rosie Turner (RS200) did enough to just see off Colin Coard (Tasar) while Chris Beadle Laser) and Alan Baldwin (Supernova) opted for smaller rigs to help them handle the conditions but lost some speed as a consequence.

Sunday morning saw a small but eager band take to the water as the wind picked up throught eh course of the race.   The Days regained their position at the head of the fleet with Flo Wright a few seconds behind and the Dart 18 of Steve North and Keith Edwards taking the 3rd slot.

Pullen completed a brace of wins for the weekend in the slow fleet while Chris Thompson (Laser) dominated the fast fleet with Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) keen to beat the breakfast queue and heading in early.

More information and full details can be found on the club website.

RS200 SEAS Bexhill-on-Sea  13 June

Beautiful sunshine and a building south-westerly breeze saw 17 boats take to the water at Bexhill Sailing Club for a full series of 4 races in the latest round of the RS200 SEAS.

An impressive series of results including two 1sts saw Hamish Calder and Severina Rees-Jones for the Royal Highland YC claim the winner’s trophy ahead of Andrew and Jeraldine Peters from Queen Mary although they will retain their overall series lead.  Christian Humphrey and Noelle Vidal from Burghfield had a good win in the 2nd race to take 3rd place overall.

David and Emma Derby, Bough Beech, had a good win after lunch as the wind steadied and filled. The 4 local boats were led home by Mike Chapman and Alex Porter.  The full results can be found at http://www.bexhillsc.co.uk/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=110

Thanks to the Bexhill race team who ran a very smooth event with great hospitality in the Club House and on the beach

9 -13 June

Another full week of sailing at Bexhill Sailing Club with the first Wednesday evening race of the season followed by a very full weekend when the Club hosted the RS200 fleet Southern Area series.

Unusually for a Wednseday evening the breeze stayed up and crews enjoyed the excellent conditions, none more so than Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen (RS400) who took off like scalded cats and led everyone else home by some margin.  They were followed home by the Lasers of Duncan Feathers and Bob Keech while Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) kept their concentration to stay ahead of Aidan Harvey (RS400) and Nick Maynard (Laser).

A classic duel in the slow fleet saw Tobin Dennis less than a minute ahead of Sarah Pullen in the Europes with Ken Wyatt not far behind.  Six cats hit the water with team Hosie giving Jon and Clare Day a run for their money with Mark Scheldt deciding the water was now warm enough to tempt him out. Nick Stevens and R Tanner had a good win in the novice fleet.

Large fleets on Saturday also saw some break through results with Chris Beadle (Laser) winning in the fasts with Harvey and Joe Turner 3rd behind Eele and Hosie.  There was a good tussle right through the fleet with Phil and Tom Coekin (RS200) just getting the better of Sue batten and Ben Smith (L2000).

A trio of Comets mixed it with Bob and Nicola Palmer (Miracle) in the slow fleet with Carol Peddlesden victorious.  Anne_Marie Mears (Topper) also had a good race ahead of Caroline Maynard in the RS Feva.  In the cats Malcolm Brookes won by 10 seconds from the Days with Flo Wright only another 2 seconds behind in a nail biting finish.  Good to to see Trevor and Terri Davis back on the water and back near the pace.

Sunday saw the RS200 visitors turn on a show while the asymmetric fleet were also put through their paces.  Miller and Bullen were untouchable winning 3 of the 4 races while Eele and Hosie were 2nd overall after winning the first race.  Both crews were helped by some of the home boats sailing the wrong course proving that older and wiser heads aren’t always that clear first thing on a Sunday morning.  Tony Lane was introduced to the delights of the B14 but found the spinnaker bag took some getting to grips with.

A good weeks racing in great conditions and very well organised by the race teams.  More details can be found on the club website

5-6 June  Club Cup

Another busy weekend for sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club with a good turnout both for the free sailing on Friday night and the club races on Saturday.

Saturday saw two races with the Club Cup and Saturday evening race.  A huge fleet of 46 boats took to the water for the club cup in glorious sunshine and a gentle breeze.  Race Officer Geoff Longmire had his work cut out with the large fleets and there was an excellent turn out of cadets after their week’s sailing and last year’s sailing school students.  Several crews had their first outings of the year as flaming June tempted them on to the water for what they hope will be a good summer.

Those with the energy left then competed in the evening race.  The slows saw the Miracle of E Terry lead home the Fevas of Jonathan Corke and Beth Harris and J Tirie.  Neil Hosie won the depleted cat race finding himself the only entrant.

In the fasts Mike Chapman (RS200) took 1st ahead of Tony Witham and Mandy Neal (RS200) while Nick Mather and Paul Suggit showed increasing mastery of the RS400 to stay a few yards ahead of Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400).  Phil Coekin put his RS200 through its paces for 5th place ahead of Lucy Harrison and Keith Harrison both in Laser Radials and Sue Batten in the Laser 2000.

Sunday saw crews departing for Pevensey Sailing Club to compete against other local clubs; with an early sea fret giving way to increasing breeze during the day and more challenging conditions which saw numerous capsizes.  Andy Thompson and Lucy Walters had a great win in the medium handicap fleet with Mike Chapman 3rd while Jon and Clare Day won the cat fleet.  Bexhill finshed 3rd overall with a good all-round performance and are looking forward to hosting next years event.

Next week sees Bexhill hosting an open meeting for RS boats and asymmetrics, full details can be found on the club website.

Whit Sun Short Series

The Whitsun Short series lived up its name at Bexhill Sailing Club over the Bank Holiday weekend as only 2 of the scheduled 5 races could be completed.

Sunday saw only a few hardy crews taking to the water with a big swell running and gusty conditions.  Only 3 boats managed to stay the course with Chris and Ed Thompson (Vago) claming the win in the fast fleet and Rob Harrison getting the better of Jim Ingram in the Lasers.  None of the catamaran fleet completed the course with Tony Lane and Trevor Davies managing to turn turtle while Neil Hosie and Nick Newell had a spectacular pitch pole capsize which saw them in need of a flying permit.

Monday was less windy although the wind was shifting dramatically from the north.  Tobin Dennis (Europe) showed he had lost none of his natural talent despite not being on the water for some time to win the series ahead a Wendy Morton (Comet).  Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Miracle) took line honours but only had the one race to count for the overall score and held 3rd place.  There were also good showings from Ken Wyatt (Comet), Keith Done in the Topper and Sue Batten in the Topaz.

In the cat fleet Flo Wright took line honours but Neil Hosie had regrouped and with the added agility provided by son Danny took the series win.  Newell thought better of repeating his flying doctor exploits and steered himself to 3rd place overall.

The Lasers put on a good display with Harrison untouchable with another 1st place and the series win ahead of Duncan Feathers and Geoff Slater.  Bob Keech and Angus Radford enjoyed a good sail finishing 5th and 6th respectively.

In the fast fleet Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) put the disappointment of having victory snatched from their grasp last week to win the series ahead of Mike Chapman and Tom Coekin (RS200).  Despite finding an elusive streak of form Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen (RS400) were just pipped for 3rd place and followed home closely by Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie  who were very satisfied with their performance in the Albacore.  Jim Ingram and Aidan Harvey (RS400) found the shifting winds moving quicker than their normally nimble feet would allow as an involuntary tack caught them out and they finished 6th.  There were other good performances in the conditions from Alan Baldwin in the Supernova, M Stevens in the Laser 2000 and Phil Coekin coming to grips with the RS200.

Next week sees Cadet Fun Week with sailing and events every day while the weekend sees all the local clubs competing against each other at Pevensey Sailing Club.  Full details can be found on the Club website.

21-22 May Saturday Evening and Early Worm

Sailors made the most of the fantastic weekend weather at Bexhill Sailing Club although a bit more wind might have come in handy on Sunday.

A big turnout on Saturday evening saw close racing.  In the slow fleet Bea Frost and Peter Goodman led home the other Miracle of Bob and Nicola Palmer by just over 1 minute while Neil Smith had an excellent 3rd place in the Comet.  Kevin Palmer kept Danny Maynard at bay in the Toppers while Beth Harris and J Tiry kept the other Feva of P and O Coekin behind them.

In the fast handicap RS400 fleet a rare capsize by Mike Adams and Dave Steadman allowed Bill Eele and  Daphne Hosie to take the lead ahead of Kevin Watts sailing with Paul Suggitt.  Positions changed constantly throughout the race and by the last mark Eele led Watts ahead of a chasing Adams, in the last 50 metres the positions changed to see the experience of Adams take the finish ahead of Watts and finally Eele with just 8 seconds separating the three. Despite this closest of finishes on the water it did not prevent the RS200 of Tony Witham and Mandy Neal taking 1st place on handicap.  Aiden Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) claimed 6th place in their own inimitable style.  In the cats the trio of boats were well spread out with Jon and Clare Day ahead of Neil Hosie with Geoff Padgham and Sue Howell languishing at the rear.

Sunday saw the sleep deprived back on the water for the Early Worm race although the fleets were smaller, perhaps due to the attraction of the Lions Triathlon. The catamarans made the biggest show. John & Clare Day (Dart 16 Genniker) took advantage of the favourable conditions to sail across to Pevensey Bay for next weekend’s multihull open meeting having notched up another win at Bexhill for good measure but they were pushed hard by both R Stuart (Dart 18) and Steve Cole(Dart 16).

Other sailors combined forces to ensure competitive racing despite the low turnout. Chris Beadle abandoned ship from his Laser to crew the much large RS400 of Aiden Harvey who battled it out with Keith Walters Laser.

The Bank Holiday weekend sees a full programme of races.

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15-16 May

Small fleets and a heavy rate of attrition at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend as strong winds and tides made conditions very challenging.  The weekend started with all the club boats out on the water on Friday night as the club put on a taster sail which was enjoyed by everyone in very gentle conditions.

Enthusiasm was high on Saturday as 25 crews signed on to race but only 10 made it all the way to the finish.  With the wind against tide, steep short waves built up and made for exciting if eventful racing with most boats capsizing at least once and some several more times than that.  In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day’s experience saw them claim another first ahead of Malcolm Brookes and Flo Wright while Team Nick, Redman and Newell, took the unusual course of sailing up the wrong beach when their genniker jammed at the leeward mark.  Ian Duncan and Paul Mathews showed good speed but ended up joining Ben Watts in the did not finish, DNF, team.

Six of the slow fleet were rigged and ready to go but only Bob and Nicola Palmer (Miracle) and Sarah Pullen (Europe) got on the water.  In the fast fleet Colin Coard and Chris Beadle opted for the smaller Laser Radial sails to good effect claiming 1st and 2nd places with Chris and Ed Thompson (Vago) looking very comfortable in the conditions in 3rd.  Mike Chapman and S Griffiths (RS200) sailing together for the first time took 4th ahead of a determined if slightly battered Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400).  These 5 left a trail of dejected RS400s and Lasers to limp ashore early to the relief of the safety boat crews.

Sunday saw crews rigging eagerly in what looked perfect conditions but as boats were taken to the water’s edge the wind picked up considerably and after the experiences the day before all but the most determined decided discretion was the better option and retired to the balcony to offer helpful advice to those afloat.  The Laser fleet saw Rob Harrison back to winning ways ahead of Duncan Feathers and Jim Ingram.  The cats were best suited to the conditions and Flo Wright looked relaxed as he took pole position ahead of Neil Hosie and Geoff Padgham.  In the fast fleet Alan and Rosie Turner even had time after winning to put on a display of downwind expertise in front of the club house as they took the win ahead of the other RS200 of Chapman and Harris, the only other finisher.

Next weekend sees Saturday evening and Early Worm races as a fitting backdrop for the Bexhill Triathlon.  The Club will also be offering taster sails on Sunday morning, so if you fancy going afloat call into the Club House with some spare clothes you don’t mind getting wet.

8-9 May

A series of firsts this weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club; the first Saturday evening and Sunday early worm races and the first race of the summer series although you would never have known it from the woolly hats and dry suits on display.

Despite the chill north-easterly breeze there were good turn outs for all races with some close racing.  Saturday saw 20 boats on the water.  In the slow fleet Richard Eagleton (Europe) led home in impressive style from Bob and Nicola Palmer (Miracle) and Kevin Palmer (Topper).  Danny Maynard (Topper) chased Neil Smith (Comet) hard but couldn’t get close enough on handicap.

In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day stamped their authority on the fleet leading home Jeremy Maynard and Nick Newell who kept a few seconds ahead of Neil Hosie and Nick Redman with Mark Cowling and Lesley Corke securing 4th place.  In the fast fleet Mike Chapman (RS200) edged ahead of Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) while the other RS200 v RS400 battle saw Tony Witham and Mandy Neal ahead of Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie.

The insomniacs in the club gathered early on Sunday morning in bracing conditions only to be berated by race officer Robin Harris who was keen to get things underway on time which saw a few hurried launches as the start sequence ticked down firmly to schedule.  Butch Roberts and Tim Murray (L4000) took line honours in the fast fleet by over 6 minutes with some impressive downwind speed but the Lasers of Colin Coard and Mike Adams beat them on handicap despite a rare capsize from Adams.  Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner had an epic tussle around the course in the RS400s until a lapse in concentration saw Harvey overstand the last tack for the finish line to let Watts and Palmer through by just 10 seconds.  J Tomlin (Laser) completed the fleet and enjoyed a couple of refreshing swims along the way.

The 4 cats saw the Days take another win ahead of Malcolm Brookes and Flo Wright with Simon North challenging in 4th place.

After a well earned breakfast the summer series got underway with 23 boats on the water.  Eagleton took another victory in the slow fleet but was pushed by the Comets of Neil Smith and Barry O’Herlihy with Smith coming out in front.  Danny Maynard showed impressive early season form for 4th place while Alan Baldwin and Sue Batten (Miracle) were unsettled by some of the windshifts.

Seven cats took to the water with some reshuffling of the pack behind the Days.  Flo Wright saw off Steve Cole this week as he kept the mast above the boat following last weeks excitement while the trapezoid course didn’t suit Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells.  Colin Coard led home the laser fleet ahead of Jim Ingram and Bob Keech.

The fast fleet saw close racing with Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt making an impressive debut in the RS400 to finish 4th just behind the RS200s of Witham and Neal and Alan and Rosie Turner.  Adams took 1st place with the benefit of some energetic crewing from Andy Bullen.  Eele and Hosie kept ahead of Watts and Palmer in the other RS400s despite a late swim with Jim Copeman and Simon Hookey bringing the Albacore home in 7th place.

May Short Series

The sailing at Bexhill Sailing Club was as variable as the weather over the bank holiday weekend with over 20 boats taking part in the 5 race short series.   Crews reflected on Monday afternoon on an eventful series with some wounds to lick, boats to fix but close and exciting racing with new teams challenging the old order.

Saturday saw the best racing of the weekend in a brisk southwesterly breeze and sunshine.  Lucy Walters and Andy Thompson (V3000) won the series despite an inauspicious start when Lucy was left on the beach and Thompson demonstrated great boat handling skills to sail back single-handed and collect her.   They were followed home by Colin Coard (Laser) who reveled in the conditions to pin Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) in an unaccustomed 3rd place.   Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer took 4th place overall and were one of the few crews to complete all 5 races, no mean achievement as they managed to split their spinnaker in two on Monday in the very challenging conditions which saw gusts up to force 6 and big windshifts in the tricky northerly as it blew down Sea Road.   Alan Baldwin (Supernova) had a stunning series finishing 5th and putting into practice the skills he learnt on the Start Racing Course.  Paul Suggett (RS200) and Nick Mather were unable to capitalize on winning the Asymmetric Series while Jim Copeman and Simon Hookey (Albacore) enjoyed conditions despite breaking a rudder to take 7th place.  Sunday’s racing in the pouring rain and light wind put many people off but Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) enjoyed a good 4th place as the weather proved a contrast to their sunny disposition.  Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen (RS400) couldn’t find their normal level of form over the weekend and struggled in 12th place behind Bill Eele and Trevor Harris (RS400).  Chris Beadle (Laser) was another to suffer gear failure with a broken mast as most of the fleet capsized at least once on Monday.

In the slow fleet Stephanie Sprigings (Byte) and Barry O’Herlihy (Comet) swapped 1st and 2nd place with Sprigings winning on countback.  The cat fleet saw a great series win for Tony Lane and Trevor Davis with their two wins getting the better of Ian Sprigings and Nick Redman despite have a spectacular pitch pole capsize on Monday.  The svelte looking Dart 15 of K Edwards held off Neil Hosie and Nick Newell while Geoff Padgham took Laser sailor Angus Radford for an exciting ride to take 6th place.   Steve Cole and Dan Holland had an eventful race as they saw the mast fold in two during a big gust.

Next weekend sees the first Saturday evening and Early Worm races of the year.  Full details on the club website at http://www.bexhillsc.co.uk/

Spring Trial Series 25 April

There was a veritable potpourri of sailing activity at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend with all tastes catered for both on and off the water.

Friday evening saw the first of this seasons free sailing sessions designed to take advantage of the high tide and give everyone the chance to hone their skills or just enjoy mucking around in boats without the complications of racing.  Saturday saw the start of training for those wanting to refresh or improve on existing skills which they took into racing on Sunday.

Sunday saw 30 boats taking to the water as the sun came through and the wind filled in perfectly from the west to a good force 3.  The slow handicap fleet were first away with Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Miracle) making a good starboard tack start inshore to lead 5 Comets from start to finish.  Ken Wyatt showed complete mastery of his craft to lead the Comets ahead of Keith Done, Jeremy Bear and Wendy Morton while Pippa Cole and Sarah Pullen (Europe) came ashore early.

The 6 catamarans enjoyed close racing over 7 laps with Jon and Clare Day (Dart 16X) regaining their imperious form despite some close quarter encounters to win ahead of Tony Lane and Lyn Jarvis. Meanwhile Malcolm Brookes decided he wanted company this week and took experienced crew Barry Wells for a spin on the Dart 18 for 3rd place.  They were followed home by Neil Hosie and Steve Cole.

The fast fleet was dominated by a rejuvenated looking Trevor Harris in the Phantom who saw off the challenges from Geoff Slater and Chris Beadle in the Lasers and Alan Baldwin (Supernova) who won the prize for the best launch of the day.

The asymmetric fleet was buzzing with anticipation before the start as the first trial windward leeward series was coming to a conclusion and rivalry was intense in an understated sort of way.  Four RS400s finished in close formation with Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie displaying awesome tactical wizardry to spot the favoured left side of the course to lead home Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen who slipped past Kevin Watts much to crew Tina’s incredulity when he failed to cover them on the last lap. Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner had a stunning sail as concentration took over from chatting to see them only 30 seconds behind. In the excitement however the RS200s of Alan and Rosie Turner and Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather finished 1st and 2nd on handicap.  Suggitt and Mather also executing one of the quickest capsize recoveries seen for some time as the wind increased.  In a close struggle for line honours Lucy Walters and Andy Thompson (B14) just piped Butch Roberts and Tim Murray (L4000) by 8 seconds as the whole fleet finished within a few minutes of each other and voted the trial series a great success.  Full details of this week’s social events and sailing can be found on the web site at http://www.bexhillsc.co.uk/

17-18 April

The beautiful spring weather saw over 20 boats on the water on both Saturday and Sunday at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend.  With the volcanic dust removed from the boat covers the slow, fast, catamaran and asymmetric fleets enjoyed a perfect combination of sun and wind on Saturday.  Rob Shoesmith (Laser) built on last week’s performance to win in the fasts ahead of Colin Coard and Betty Crosse (Tasar) with J Radway a good 3rd in the Laser 2000.

In the slow fleet Wendy Morton squeezed the very best from her boat to see off the challenge from the other Comet of Neil Smith with Richard Hall close behind in the Miracle. The strong cat fleet set an emerging pattern for the weekend where rig settings and fine adjustments played a major role.  Malcolm Brookes (Dart 18) had a mighty tussle with Team Nick, (Redman and Newell, Dart 16), to pip them by 2 seconds with Flo Wright (Dart 16)  only another 20 seconds behind.  Tony Lane and Lynn Jarvis had a great race to stay ahead of Jon and Clare Day who didn’t manage to get in the groove while Steve Cole and Trevor Davis took the remaining places.

In the asymmetric fleet fast and fun was in order with Mike Chapman giving cadet Tom Coekin (RS200) an 8 lap introduction to the fleet and winning ways ahead of an impressive Chris and Ed Thompson (Vago).  They were followed by the trio of RS400s with Bill Eele leading home this week ahead of Kevin and Tina Watts and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner who looked like they were making a breakthrough to the next level of boat handling.  Jeremy Maynard and Sally Clarke (RS200) managed the most launches and recoveries of the weekend as various rigging problems saw them in and out of the beach 6 times.

Sunday’s sunshine tempted out another large fleet but the wind didn’t play ball and the strong tide saw many crews failing to finish in the first Charity race of the season; this one for Sailability.   In the cat fleet the Days had regained mastery of their boat and dominated the opposition, Flo Wright, who got the wrong side of the tide.  Lane and Davis were unable to finish.  In the slows Smith had a good win ahead of Sarah Pullen (Europe) and Morton while the Comets of Keith Done and Jeremy Bear joined the Miracle of Bea Frost and Topper of Lesley Corke in deciding tea and scones were the better option to drifting.

Chapman again took the honours in the fasts this time piloting cadet Danny Maynard to victory despite a determined but unsuccessful challenge from Gordon Trimmer (Laser). Lucie Barrie (RS200) showed good early season pace to stay ahead of the other RS200 of Alan and Rosie Turner and Duncan Feathers (Laser).  An unprecedented 5 boats gave up the unequal struggle in the fasts as the fleet resembled parked planes on the runway.

With the windward leeward trial series for the asymmetric fleet reaching a conclusion next week  and the forecast of some breeze great things are anticipated next weekend.  Full details can be found on the club website.

 

13-14 March Ice Bucket and Spring Series

Eager crews assembled on the beach at Bexhill Sailing Club for the start of the new sailing season.  With wetsuits a little tighter and hair a bit greyer a wily group of experienced old salts took to the water on Saturday for the aptly named Ice Bucket.

In testing light wind conditions experience and patience were needed in equal measure.  In the fast fleet normal service was quickly re-established with Mike Adams and David Stedman  (RS400) taking the win ahead of Gordon Trimmer (Laser).  Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen  had a close tussle with the other RS400 of Kevin Watts and Bob Palmer with Colin Coard (Laser) struggling to regain last season’s form.  Lucy Walters and Andy Thompson (V3000) couldn’t find enough wind to be competitive with Pete Wilby (Vortex) deciding an early warm shower was the better option.

In the slow fleet Richard Eagleton (Europe) was untouchable and had an impressive win over Neil Smith (Comet) and Keith Done (Topper).  The cat fleet looks set for a great season with some boat changes and some secret winter training.  Jon and Clare Day (Dart16X) looked very much at home ahead of Steve and Pippa Cole (Dart 16 Genniker) and Lesley Corke and Mike Cowling (Dart 16).

Sunday dawned much brighter and with a good west to north westerly breeze.   14 boats were tempted out while others tinkered on the beach or indulged in balcony sailing. On the water the Days once again dominated the cat fleet ahead of Trevor Davis, team Cole and Corke and Cowling.  In the fasts 3 RS400s made an impressive sight with Adams and Stedman enjoying the fresh breeze to see off a good challenge from Watts and Palmer while an animated Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner could be heard discussing the finer points of boat handling.  Walters and Thompson showed good speed but were unable to get ahead of Coard on handicap.  Tony Cannon showed he has lost none of his relaxed style in the Supernova to beat Wilby and Chris and Ed Thompson (Vago).

Eagleton had another good win in the slow fleet ahead of determined Smith in the Comet.

A great opening to the season with some new race formats and timings to look forward to as well as warmer weather.  Next week sees 2 races and the fitting out supper.  See the club website for more details. http://www.bexhillsc.co.uk/

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