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Race Reports 2013





Happy Christmas

Well that's it; another season over.  Some excellent racing; good weather eventually; even a full sea week!  It was great seeing lots of new faces especially from sail training.


Have a great Christmas; Saturnalia; Solstice and hope Santa brings you some go faster bits for your boat. 


Don't forget the winter work parties which will help make next season run smoothly.


Thanks for reading the reports during the year.




Frost Bite Series 24 November

All the discussion in the changing rooms pre-race at Bexhill Sailing Club last Sunday focused on how many clothes it was possible to wear and still sail a boat. Judging by some of the profiles waddling down the beach to the boats the answer is quite a lot.

With a tricky northerly breeze with some strong gusts race officer Phil Mears and his team set an offshore trapezoid course giving some fast reaches.  Jim Ingram (Laser) took off from the start like a scalded cat and soon established a clear lead.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) looked to be closing the gap but some interesting manoeuvres with the kite up saw them slip back and they decided on tea and cake rather than challenging for a podium finish.  Colin Coard and Allen Hare both in Lasers had an epic struggle at one point looking to recreate the Olympic duel between Ben Ainslie and Robert Scheidt as they sailed to the far corners of the course. Keith Walter (Laser) and Neil Smith (Europe) both headed home ashore early as the weather closed in but Jon and Clare Day (Albacore) persevered overhauling Ingram to take a well deserved win.  Chilly but fulfilled crews went ashore to defrost and help the safety boat crews up the beach.


Frostbite Series


Just when they thought the season may be ending prematurely sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club found themselves able to get on the water last weekend.  Conditions were fairly benign although the sunshine helped offset the lack of breeze.


The frost bite series lived up to its name and it was a case of dressing up well in the light winds.  The new sailors showed the way on Saturday with 4 boats out.  Andy Shaw and Paul Jagot led the way home from Peter Timmer and Brad Hall.  Gareth Smith and Dennis Wright took 3rd while Simon Ludkin and Richard Hall were too eager and were over the line at the start.  Credit also to John Cunningham for filling in the missing the safety boat crew which meant the race could take place.


In the fast fleet Mike Adams and David Stedman (RS400) picked up their winning ways ahead of Allen Hare, Jim Ingram and Bob Keech in Lasers while Felix Scheldt coaxed dad Mark around the course in the Dart 16. In the slows Neil Smith kept his Europe in the lead from Keith Done in the Topper.


Despite the previous day's annual dinner Sunday saw a good turnout in the gloomy conditions.  Hare led the way home in the fasts from Jon and Clare Day in the Albacore.  Tony Witham showed his skills in the Supernova to stay ahead of Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) with Keith Walter 5th in the Laser.  In the slows Richard Eagleton reigned supreme ahead of Paul Jagot in the Topaz.



12 October


A small but another beautifully formed group took to the water on Saturday at Bexhill Sailing Club safe in the knowledge that Sunday's forecast made it highly likely this would be the only race of the weekend.

With a big windshift towards the end of the race some crews were caught out on the wrong side of the course and struggled home in the dying breeze.

In the fast fleet 3 Lasers battled it out.  Jim Ingram using his full depth of experience and guile took the win from Allen Hare and Keith Walter.  The slow and novice fleets made use of a cunningly laid shorter course which was just as well as the wind died and the tide started to flood in. The slows saw a match race between Neil Smith and Keith Done both in Comets.  Smith took the win having spotted the windshift early.  The novice fleet continued their impressive form.  Paul Jagot emerged victorious from Simon Ludkin and Annie McRae.

The asymmetrics saw Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe (RS200) take the win from the heavier Mike Adams and Bob Palmer (RS400).  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie took 3rd which was enough to give them the series win while Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen were unusually off the pace in 4th.


5 October


Having to postpone a race in October because of a lack of wind is almost unheard of, but that’s what faced sailors on Sunday at Bexhill Sailing Club as they stood on the beach in the glorious sunshine. Those who had got out on Saturday breathed a sigh of relief.


Saturday’s breeze was a bit fickle but there was enough to get around and fight the strong tide. There were small groups in each fleet. In the cats Jon and Clare Day saw off the challenge of Ian Duncan. In the fast fleet Colin Coard (RS300) edged out the Scorpion of Jeff Middleton and Steve Wallace. The slows saw the Miracles of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman and Richard Hall and Keith Done and the Comets of Dave Walter and Christine Angus fight it out. Frost and Goodman emerged victorious with the Comets separated by 14 seconds.


In the novice fleet Ian Kingdon took the win in the Topaz. Andy Shaw and Christina Wright in the Laser 2000 and Dennis Wright and Gareth Smith in the RS Vision were somewhat controversially classified as did not finish. Wright and Smith protested that they were leading boat and should have got the win to no avail as the race team held their ground. Good natured muttering continued through to the Sunday morning analysis of the previous days racing.


In the asymmetric fleet Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen had a great tussle with Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie. It was nip and tuck for most of the race. Having agreed at the first mark not to cause each other too many problems they both managed to sail into it. In the end using what is now known as the Eele effect whereby the wind seems to bend off his sails Miller and Bullen used this to their advantage to edge ahead and take the win.


29 September


The Early Worm series concluded at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend and was the only race to get underway.  Despite the shock of being on the beach before the sunshine a small but intrepid band took to the water in a tricky gusty easterly breeze.


The early discussion in the changing room about Sir Ben and the role of tactical wizardry in the boat saw some close jockeying for position on the start line.  In the fast fleet Colin Coard led home the 3 Lasers with Chris Thompson 2nd and Allen Hare 3rdThis was enough though to give Hare the series win overall.


In the cat fleet it was a tussle between Flo Wright and Simon North and Ken Edwards as Team Day watched from the safety boat having sewn up the series.  In an exciting and very wet race Wright took the win.  In the asymmetric fleet it was all to play for with Mike Adams and Jim Ingram and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner both in contention for the series win.  After last week’s monumental tactical blunder that let Adams and Ingram through at the last mark Harvey and Turner had their race faces on.  There were even rumours of a sports psychologist having been consulted to keep them in the zone although they may now be looking for a refund.  Adams and Ingram used all their years of experience to keep in a high mode upwind and use the tide to their advantage and eased to a convincing victory and claim the series win overall. It may have been a trick of the wind but was that sobbing coming from the club house over consolation breakfasts?



Class Cups 21-22 September


One of the Blue Riband events at Bexhill Sailing club last weekend saw sailors competing for the Class Cups across all the fleets.  Conditions varied from light zephyrs to strong breeze and large waves and proved a good test of skills.  It was like the clubs mini version of the Americas Cup.


The cat fleet had a good turnout in all 4 races but could only watch in awe as Jon and Clare Day won three races on the bounce to take the overall victory.  Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis hit form in the last race to win by over 5 minutes and claim 2nd place overall.  Rob Shoesmith took the last podium place ahead of Flo Wright.  In the fast fleet Allen Hare (Laser) consolidated on his early flashes of form to take the win from Colin Coard who by various forms of alchemy claimed both 2nd and 3rd places sailing his RS300 and Laser in different races.  Tony Cannon (Supernova) took 4th in his usual laconic style ahead of Angus Radford (Laser) and Neil Kennedy and Nick Mather (RS400).  Phil Mears took 7th and had the award for best scar of the weekend after an altercation with a launching trolley.


The slow fleet saw some excellent racing with the overall result coming down to the last race.  Bob and Barbara Palmer (Miracle) emerged victorious ahead of Neil Smith (Europe) by a few seconds.  Sarah Pullen (Europe) took 3rd while Keith Done (Comet) held off Chris Beadle’s Europe.  Barry O’Herlihy (Comet) took 6th ahead of Nicola Palmer (Topper) and the Miracles of Lucinda Silva and Geoff Furlong and Steve Lowe and Mick Hill.


There was good turnout from the new sailors although they were limited to a single race.  Dennis Wright looked suitably elated taking the win in the RS Vision as he was seen high fiving his crew Jim Ingram as they returned triumphant to the beach.  Andy Shaw and Christina Wright took 2nd place in the other 2 handed boat.  In the single handed Topazes Alan Watson was first home to take 3rd place overall ahead of Simon Ludkin and John Evenden. 


The 3 cadets had a very enjoyable tussle over 2 races on Sunday with some very animated advice and encouragement from the shore based support teams.  Felix Scheldt emerged victorious ahead of Piers Shoesmith and Oliver Brookes.


The asymmetrics completed proceedings with the result coming down to the last mark of the last race.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner took an early lead ahead of Mike Adams and Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie but Adams regained the lead in race 2.  In the final race it was head to head and Harvey and Turner made a good start and kept ahead until the final lap.  A monumentally bad tactical decision on when to gybe on the last downwind leg let Adams and crew Ingram sneak inside at the last mark and take overall victory by seconds.  A distraught Harvey and Turner were last seen heads in hands slumped over their boat.  So close but yet so far!


 7-8 Sept



The strong winds last Saturday saw the South Coast Youth Federation sailing moved from Bexhill to the calmer waters of Piddinghoe Pond in Newhaven.  The Bexhill cadets enjoyed some good racing with plenty of close competition.


Back home Sunday dawned bright and breezy.  Early enthusiasm for the first of two scheduled races saw plenty of boats dragged down to the water line only for crews to get a bit anxious watching the waves crash in and sails flog as the wind built to a force 4-5 south-westerly.  Race Officer Robin Harris delayed proceedings to see if it would settle.  In the end only a few braved the conditions but were rewarded with some exhilarating sailing and close racing.  In the fast fleet Jim Ingram took and early impressive lead only to see his mast break and have to be towed ashore.  That let Colin Coard through for the win with Allen Hare second both in Lasers.  Tony Lane in the Supernova took 3rd with Angus Radford 4th.  In the slow fleet Bob and Barbara Palmer used all their experience to take the win in the Miracle with Barry O’Herlihy 2nd in the Comet and Chris Beadle 3rd in the Europe after a swim at the windward mark when the boom proved just too low to get under on one tack.  The 3 asymmetrics enjoyed the closest racing of the day with just 22 seconds separating the crews.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie took the win from Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner who tried all their tricks to get ahead but couldn’t reel them in.  Butch Roberts took a commanding lead after overcoming a bad first lap only to fall over on the last gybe and end up in the tide.  With the wind building that was it for the day.


August Bank Holiday Short Series

Some sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club are beginning to wonder if someone has been upsetting albatrosses as the vicissitudes of the weather continue to bring elation and despair in almost equal measure each weekend.

With 6 races scheduled for the bank holiday short series hopes were high.  Spirits were dampened on Saturday as the dreek weather rolled in.  This didn’t curb the enthusiasm of the new sailors who put out the largest fleet of the day.  Paul Jagot won the series overall from Ben Hook in Topazes.   Chris and Annie McRae were 3rd; John Evender 4th, Brad Hall and Peter Timmer 5th.

Sunday  looked much more promising with sunshine and the forecast of a good breeze.  As sailors waited to launch there were some anxious looks as the wind gusted up to force 6 and waves started to build.  After a few fast and frantic reaches some crews decided to return to shore; others were washed up on the beach in various states of disarray and at sea a spectacular dismasting for Steve Sear and Nick Mather (RS400) gave rise to discussion as to whether Nick Mather knows the location of the albatross as this was his second broken mast in 2 sails.  Those who survived enjoyed some fantastic sailing on the very edge.  Special mention should go to Flo and daughter Abi Wright in the cat fleet although they couldn’t match the experience of Jon and Clare Day who took the series win.  Nick Redman and Jeremy Maynard having seen the dismasting then saw their shroud snap and mast start to wobble and headed ashore in a characteristically seamanlike fashion.

Monday was kinder and there was a much larger turnout in all fleets.  In the fast fleet Colin Coard secured overall victory in the Laser from Richard Eagleton (Europe) despite an impressive late show from Geoff Slater (Laser).  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) took 4th.  Steven Sear took 5th ahead of the other Supernova of Tony Cannon.  Geoff Middleton gave Nick Mather the chance to redeem his reputation crewing the Scorpion and nothing broke.  It was good to see the Phantoms of John Turner and Brian Terry on water as well taking 10th and 11th place respectively.

The asymmetric fleet had the fastest and wettest sailing sessions.  Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe (RS200) featured well early doors but Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen(RS400) showed great tenacity. Their first sail saw them in the tide each time they gybed but undaunted they kept going.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) got the better of them in race 5 as over-enthusiasm saw them hit 2 marks but a win in the final race saw them take the series win.  Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot (RS200) took a well earned 3rd place.


16 August

The vagueries of the wind and the certainty of the tides meant that evening and early morning race scheduel for last weekend were decimated at Bexhill sailing Club last weekend as conditions only came together on Friday evening to allow boats to get off the beach. In the asymmetric fleet Ali Hodge and Steven Sear joined battle with Mike Adams and David Stedman. The competition between them was keen despite there being no other opposition and the start line manouvering was intense. In the end Adams pushed them onto the start mark and in doing their penalty turn Hodge and Sear brushed one of the fast fleet boats and could only watch their opponents head off to the win. In the fast fleet the Lasers of Colin Coard and Robin Harris had a close but less eventful race, Coard emerging victorious by a narrow margin. Bank Holiday weekend has a full schedule of races with everyone crossing fingers and rubbing their lucky mascots for kinder conditions.


Sea Week and Regatta


The best Sea Week for years was the universal verdict from sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club after sailing every day last week in a variety of conditions to suit all sailors.  This coupled with sold out social events every night culminating in karaoke and a hog roast proved a great success. 


With a different race team each day there was a great mix of courses, ranging from long reaches and multiple laps to rapid fire one lap dashes and back to back racing.  With a novel prize winning system of only letting each crew win one prize saw everyone shared in the fun.  There were big turnouts in all fleets as the sun shone and the breeze was moderate until the end of the week. It was great to see so many new sailors on the water including many from this year’s sail training groups and some impressive sailing from the cadets.


The weekend culminated with the annual regatta with Commodore Paul White heading up the experienced race team and even breaking out the cannons to start and finish races almost recreating a mini Cowes week.  With stronger south-westerly breezes everyone’s skills were tested.  In the novice fleet Fran Mather emerged victorious ahead of Peter Timme and Brad Hall with Dennis Wright and Gareth Hall 3rd first time out in the RS Vision.  Dan Kingdon led home the Topazes of Andrew Watson, John Evenden, Simon Ludkin and Paul Jagot.  Annie McRae showed increasing form in the Comet with Kim Hollis and Karen Smith doing well in the two handed Laser 2000.  The cadets showed some fantastic sailing skills in tricky conditions and will be challenging more grizzled looking crews in no time.  All in Toppers Piers Shoesmith took the win from Aaron Adams with Matthew Trimmer 3rd and Felix Scheldt 4th.


Rob Shoesmith and Trevor Lippiatt recreated past glories to win the cat fleet from Ken Edwards with Neil Hosie and Nick Newell 3rd holding off Danny Hosie in 4th.  Simon and Louis North took 5th with Lin Jarvis and Jackie Harris taking a well earned 6th ahead of Team Cole.  In the fast fleet it was Lasers nearly all the way as the wind built blowing nearly everyone else off the water on Sunday.  Rob Harrison showed his rules knowledge and took the win ahead of Colin Coard, Robin Harris and Allen Hare.  Tony Lane led the Supernovas home ahead of Tony Cannon with Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert steady in the Albacore for 6th place.    The slow fleet saw Richard Eagleton dominate in the Europe to take the win from Barry O’Herlihy (Comet), Chris Beadle and Neil Smith in Europes.  They were followed by the Miracles of Mike Hill and Simon Lowe and Lucinda Silva and Ron Wheeler.  The loss of a mast the previous day put paid to the ambitions of Team Palmer in the other Miracle.


The asymmetric fleet enjoyed some fast and furious racing interspersed with some sitting still on  Saturday morning as the wind played tricks.  Steve Sear and Ali Hodge emerged victorious from Mike Adams and David Stedman after they just brushed a mark in the last race. Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie took 3rd.  There were impressive performances from Yvonne Heritage and Dave Walter, Nick Mather and Andy Shaw and Aidan Harvey and Christina Wright.  Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie completed their final rite of passage into the fleet spectacularly capsizing and breaking their mast.


Tired and with some spectacular bruises from a week on the water everyone agreed it had been a great Sea Week and Regatta.

3-6 August

Sunshine, breeze and exciting racing provided the perfect prelude to Bexhill Sailing Club’s annual regatta last weekend.  Saturday evening saw veteran race officer Pete Wilby stay true to his convictions and send a small but elegant fleet afloat in a stiff south westerly breeze.  Cats dominated proceedings with Dan Hosie and Ben Slater making guest appearances and crossing the line first from Jon and Clare Day.  Simon North and Ken Edwards took 4th with Robin Harris and Nick Newell close behind claiming that the abnormal amount of spray they kicked up affected their vision. Geoff Padgham and Angus Radford followed them home with Steve Cole seeming off the pace in 6th place.  In the fast fleet Rob Harrison (Laser) saw Richard Eagleton unusually beaten in the Europe with Duncan Feathers 3rd.

Sunday saw the Mayoress’ Pennant Charity race.  Rob Harrison celebrated his win by running the longest race of the season so far testing crews’ stamina before Sea Week.  In the asymmetrics Mike Adams and David Stedman resumed their winning ways ahead of Ali Hodge and Steve Sear while Bill Eele saw how hard crews work as Ricky Hooker took the stick in his boat for 3rd place seconds ahead of Butch Roberts.  Lucy Walter and Colin Cambell took 5th while Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie experienced the delights of a downwind capsize and the complications the genniker brings to proceedings.  The Days won the cat race but Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis are starting to challenge.  Team Newell edged out team Shoesmith while the single handed cats saw Mark Scheldt beat Nick Redman.  In the fast fleet Bea Frost and Peter Goodman(Albacore) beat Colin Coard (RS300) with the other Albacore of Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert 3rd.  Nick Mather led home the Lasers of John Crone and Keith Walter while Jeff Middleton and Steve Wallace in the Scorpion came ashore with broad smiles claiming one of the best sails they had experienced.

The first 2 days of Sea Week gave rise to cautious optimism that Neptune and Aeolus have been placated as a full programme of races got underway in glorious weather.  This year’s sail training graduates took to the water with enthusiasm and large fleets enjoyed some good close racing even if some of the rules were bent a little out of shape.


27-28 July   


The weather continues to confound at Bexhill Sailing Club as this weekend saw hopes raised and then cruelly dashed on the rocks of despair as the sail training regatta was blown off on Sunday.


Saturday saw sunshine and a reasonable easterly breeze tease crews on to the water early and enjoy some pre-race practice in the lovely conditions.  Shortly after the start the sky darkened, the wind started swinging about wildly, increase dramatically and the rain start to lash down.  In the fast fleet Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Albacore) handled the conditions best to beat Tony Witham in the Supernova.  Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert in the other Albacore showed discretion and came ashore early.  Barry O’Herlihy took the win in the slow fleet from Keith Done both in Comets with Dave Walter and Annie MCRae shepherding the Miracle ashore early. 


In the asymmetric fleet Mike Adams and David Stedman took the win despite taking a swim for the second week running.  They did enjoy some close quarter sailing on the start line as they pushed Jon and Clare Day in the cat around the pin end bouy in a classic move.  Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen couldn’t catch them however and took 2nd.  Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell did well to stay in the race and beat the other L4000 of Butch Roberts.  Ironically the wind dropped away almost completely by the end of the race and saw crews struggle home against the tide.  Sunday looked promising for this year’s sailing school graduates but the wind and surf frustrated their hopes of racing.  Fingers are crossed for Sea Week coming up and a full programme of racing and social events.

20-21 July 


Sailors crammed in as much racing as possible last week at Bexhill Sailing Club with 2 sail training sessions, a mid week race and 3 races at the weekend; no wonder some got confused and forgot to sign on or off when they sailed.


The breeze almost played ball although Saturday evening was a bit lively; even blowing over the club’s senior crew of Mike Adams and David Stedman.  Their misfortune allowed Mike Chapman to take the win in the asymmetrics.   In the fast fleet Tony Witham(Supernova) took his first scalp beating Richard Eagleton (Europe) and Allen Hare (Laser).


Sunday saw a dedicated band bright eyed and bushy tailed out for the early worm race.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner, bushiest tailed of all, completed a faultless sail, not hitting any marks and making astute tactical choices to take their first win over Adams and Stedman.  In the L4000 duel Lucy Walter and Colin Chapman challenged for a while but Butch Roberts cunning and sharp crew work saw them home in front.  In the cat fleet Rob and Piers Shoesmith had another good win, edging out Jon and Clare Day by just 8 seconds with Simon North and Ken Edwards 3rd.


Following an excellent emergency breakfast run courtesy of Annie McRae, Pippa Cole and Jane Ingram battle was rejoined on the water in blazing sunshine and a shifty north easterly breeze.  Twenty seven boats set forth and most retuned with the same crews that set out.  Team Shoesmith continued their winning ways ahead of the Days.  Nick Redman and Neil Hosie took 3rd while Simon North succumbed to a late capsize and finished 4th.  In the novice fleet Fran Mather conitinues to make good progress beating Dennis Wright and Gareth Smith.


Bob and Barbara Palmer (Miracle) won the slow conventional fleet despite snaring an inconveniently placed mackerel line.  They ended up having to capsize to free themselves; an almost unheard of occurrence.  Carol Peddlesden took 2nd in the Comet just ahead of Barry O’Herlihy.  Richard Hall and Keith Done (Miracle) took 4th as Neil Smith slipped back.


In the fast fleet Lasers battled with the Supernova of Tony Cannon.  Colin Coard emerged victorious with Allen Hare and impressive 2nd. Cannon held off the other challengers of Phil Mears, Mike Miles and John Crone.


Harvey and Turner were unable to recreate their earlier win in the asymmetrics as Steven Sear and Ali Hodge took the win.  Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt took 3rd.  Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot took an excellent 4th place in testing conditions ahead off Walter and Campbell while Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie were distracted helping Butch Robert’s crew who went swimming. Roberts finished singlehanded and only 3 seconds adrift.

13-14 July 


There were pirate cries, parrots on shoulders, more skull and cross-bone flags than you could shake a cutlass at as well as a-vast behind me hearties at Bexhill sailing club on Saturday for the annual pirate race.  Carousing went on late into the evening ringing every last drop of fun from the day.


Large fleets enjoyed the sunshine and light breeze while Roy Croft ensured a well run bar kept everyone refreshed.  In the fast fleet Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert looking every inch as if they’d just stepped from the set of Pirates of the Caribbean took the win in the Albacore from Colin Coard (RS300).  Phil Mears led home the 4 Lasers including Mike Ellis, John Crone and Mike Miles.  A strong cadet fleet was led home by Aaron Adams obviously carry on the sailing dynasty another generation ahead of Ben and Freya Smith in Toppers.


In the cats Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis were distracted by ramming and water pistol tactics which allowed Jon and Clare Day to take the win with Steve Cole 3rd held back by 2 enormous flags. Dennis Wright and Gareth Smith took the Novice fleet victory from Fran Mather while in the slow fleet Sarah Pullen led the charge from Bob and Nicola Palmer in the Miracle.   Carol Peddlesden led the trio of Comets including Barry O’Herlihy and Christine Angus, while wily Keith Done (Topper) held off David Walter and Annie McRae (Miracle).  Best moustache of the day went to David Stedman crewing for Mike Adams in the RS400 in the asymmetrics who snatched victory from Steven Sear and Ali Hodge right at the end of the race with Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt 3rd


After a night of rabblerousing smaller fleets took to the water on Sunday in a freshening breeze.  The asymmetric fleet saw exactly the same podium finishers with Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell 4th while Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot did well to hold off Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie both in RS200s.   Coard switched to a Laser and took the fast fleet win from Tony Cannon (Supernova) and the Lasers of Allen Hare, Mears and Keith Walter.  Team Palmer was promoted to a win in the slow fleet beating Pullen by just 2 seconds.  Done again held off the Miracle challenge, this time from Stephen Lowe and Mike Hill and it was good to see Ken Wyatt in the Comet.

7 July

An historic sporting weekend; new winners seen and the sun shone and there was a bit of breeze! Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells beat Jon and Clare Day in both cat races on Sunday probably for the first time; Andy Murray and the British Lions will know just how they felt.

Thirty four boats took to the water for the first race on Sunday with some good performances all-round. Elsewhere in the cat fleet Tony Lane took 3rd with others dropping away as the wind eased.  In the novice fleet Fran Mather had the first of her 2 wins of the day beating Gareth Smith and Dennis Wright and is in danger of being promoted at this rate.  In the fast conventional fleet there was a rare mustering of age and experience.  Geoff Furlong and Jim Ingram emerged victorious in the Hornet from Tony Cannon (Supernova) and Keith Walter (Laser).  In the asymmetrics Ali Hodge and Steven Sear (RS400) look uncatchable at the moment as every tactical decision seems spot on.  They held off Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie, Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner all in RS400s.  Harvey and Turner enjoyed a lively in boat discussion after hitting the last mark and then hitting it again as they did their penalty turn seemingly having forgotten where it was.  A huge slow conventional fleet was led home by Sarah Pullen in the just edging out Neil Smith in another Europe.  They were followed by the Comets of Jim Robinson and Wendy Morton and the Europe of Chris Beadle.  In the Miracle battle Glenn and Sally Clarke held off Richard Hall.  They were followed home by a plethora of Toppers.

The afternoon saw the St Michael’s Hospice Charity race under the eagle eye of race officer John Crone.  In the cats Flo Wright took 3rd looking on in admiration with Lane 4th and Geoff Padgham 5th.  The fast fleet saw only Mike Miles finish as the wind died away.    In the asymmetrics Hodge and Sear continued to dominate beating Mike Chapman and Lynne Ratcliffe in the RS200. Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie continued to make progress in the RS200 finishing 4th.



29-30 June


The capricious weather conitinues to delight and frustrate sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club.  Saturday saw sage like Race Officer Richard Eagleton; fresh from an impressive 2nd place in the very windy Europe Open Meeting at Grafham Water; faced with the wind swinging through 180 degrees making course setting tricky.  This coupled with the variable strength made for some interesting sailing.


The fast conventional fleet saw wily Jim Ingram (Laser) lead home from Colin Coard (RS300) with Tony Witham (Supernova) 3rd all within seconds of each other.  Jeff Middleton and Steve Wallace enjoyed the best conditions before the race started but slipped back in the Scorpion just keeping out Phil Mears in the Laser.  In the slow conventional fleet Comets dominated with an impressive win from Neil Smith, Barry O’Herlihy 2nd and Carol Peddlesden 3rd.  Chris Beadle was the first Europe home in 4th edging out Keith Done’s Comet.  Dave Walter and Annie McRae in the Miracle and Jim Robinson in the last Comet got the wrong side of the tide as wind dropped.  Jon and Clare Day took the win in the cat fleet from Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis with Flo Wright 3rd.  The asymmetric fleet was dominated by Ali Hodge and Steve Sear (RS400) leading from start to finish with Chris and Ed Thompson (Vago) just seeing off Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie on handicap.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner looked promising early on but over exuberant pulling on various ropes led to gear failure and a return to shore.  In the novice fleet Dennis Wright (L2000) took the honours from Fran Mather in the Quba.


Saturday evening saw the new members evening in sunshine and a steadier breeze.   Bill Eele provided an official running commentary to new sailors from the club house as the race unfurled on what was happening on the water; demonstrating an impressive grasp of both tactics and rules.  Hodge and Sears thought they’d secured another win but we judged over the line at the start letting Mike Adams and Nicola Palmer claim the asymmetric fleet win.  Team Day took 2nd as the only cat on the water with Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell 3rd showing increasing form in the L4000.  In the conventional fleet Bob and Barbara Palmer (Miracle) took advantage of Eagleton’s distraction of having run the previous race to claim the win.  Smith rounded off a good day with 3rd while Walter and McRae too a very creditable 4th.  The galley provided more quality victuals to round off a full day.


With Sunday’s racing cancelled with strong wind and fog crews hope July will bring more consistent conditions and reliable winds.



16 June

The weather continues to frustrate and delight sailors in equal measure at Bexhill Sailing Club.  With the wind finally easing on Sunday after seemingly weeks of blowing old boots the crews of 23 boats excitedly gathered on the water’s edge glad to be going sailing again.  The rain cleared, the sun shone and the wind died; plus ca change!

In the end however there was some close, in some cases very close, racing and every one had fun and provided support for the Dragonflies charity.

In the slow conventional fleet Richard Eagleton gave another master class in the Europe, taking up station on the prime position on the start line early and fending off all comers.  Richard Hall and Keith Done in the Miracle even ended up having to turn right around finding their way blocked.  Neil Smith followed Richard in the 2nd Europe as Hall and Done climbed back to 3rd place.  Chris Beadle completed the Europe show in 4th with Christine Angus and Jim Robinson in Comets taking the last 2 places in the tricky conditions.  The Laser fleet saw an excellent performance from Angus Radford to take the win from Keith Walter and Allen Hare with only 40 seconds separating them after an hours racing.  The novice fleet saw some very determined sailing as the wind backed and made picking the right settings hard.  Gareth Smith and Dennis Wright emerged winners with the biggest cheer from the balcony sailors going  up when Fran Mather crossed the finish line in the RS Quba showing great determination.

In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day redressed the balance beating Rob and Piers Shoesmith with Neil Hosie 3rd.   The asymmetric fleet saw Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner storm away at the start only to anticipate an imaginary tack from Steve and Bob Sear at the first mark and clatter into them.  This allowed Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt to take off and take the win by an impressive margin.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie looked untroubled in 2nd place.  There was then some gap as Harvey and Turner clawed their way back up the fleet and at the last knockings beat team Sear by 1 second.  In the battle of the 4000s Butch Roberts held concentration long enough to hold off Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell while Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie continue to scale the learning curve in the RS200.

Next week sees the annual regatta as all the local sailing clubs compete against each other, this year hosting at Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club on Sunday 23 June.



1-2 June


Flaming June at last and the tides conspire to make it a late Saturday night and early Sunday morning for sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend. 


Saturday saw the first of Richard Eagleton’s win in the Europe still holding off the challenge from the Comet sailors.  This time he held off Neil Smith, Jim Robinson and Keith Done.  Dominic Harvey squeezed dad Aidan into a Feva and showed him how to sail without colliding with anything to take a good 5th in his debut race.  Allen Hare had a good win in the fast conventional fleet beating the other Lasers of Chris Thompson and Phil Mears.  In the cat fleet there was a good win for Rob and Piers Shoesmith ahead of Jon and Clare Day.  The asymmetrics saw Mike Adams and Nicola Palmer leading the way home from Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie and Steven Sears and Kevin Watts.


The insomniacs hit the water early on Sunday morning.  With no cats sailing Team Day took the Albacore afloat and regained their winning ways seeing off the Lasers of Allen Hare and John Crone and the Supernovas of Tony Witham and Tony Cannon.  In the slow conventional fleet Eagleton continued his imperious form beating Jim Robinson again in the Comet.  In the asymmetrics Adams took the lead early and stayed there.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner led Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen in some style but in their anxiety to claim second place clattered into the last mark and let them through as they did their penalty turn.  The precise definition of hubris was discussed with some vigour by both crews over a well earned breakfast.





Whit Short Series

Sailors had to pinch themselves over the bank holiday weekend to make sure they weren’t dreaming.  For some it was the sunshine on a bank holiday weekend that brought on the reality check, for others it was there unaccustomed position at the front of the fleet.

With 5 races over the weekend there was plenty of scope from some virtuoso individual displays although it was consistency that claimed the silverware.

With 32 boats on the water, and with sail training starting, the club provided a scenic backdrop as racing got underway on Saturday in light breezes.  Sunday saw increasing wind building to a force 5 and causing a number of capsizes.  Monday saw a promising southerly breeze drop away and those best able to read the tide being successful.

In the cat fleet Neil Hosie and Nick Newell put on their best races faces but couldn’t dislodge Jon and Clare Day from 1st place overall.  In the slow conventional fleet Bob and Barbara Palmer (Miracle) refocused after last week’s defeat and won every race to take the series in style.  Chris Beadle (Europe) showed increasing form to take 2nd place with Nicola Palmer (Topper) unable to recreate last week’s form and finishing 3rd overall.  There were other good performances from Neil Smith (Europe) Ken Wyatt and Keith Done in Comets and Allen Hare and Annie McRae in the Laser 2000.

The fast conventional fleet knew they were up against it when ex-world champion Colin Goodman stepped into the Albacore with dad Peter and gave a master class in boat handling to take the series.  Rob Harrison (Laser) led the challenge sneaking one win with Tony Cannon (Supernova) sailing well to take 3rd.  The temperature was high enough to see Geoff Furlong and Claire Lambert (Albacore) on the water and rewarded with a 2nd place in race 2.

In the asymmetric fleet Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) took the series win with a consistent set of results that enabled them to sit out the last race.   Others blazed brightly to take individual race wins but couldn’t challenge overall.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner showed last week’s win was no fluke as they mastered the increasing breeze to win race 3.  Steve Sear and Alistair Hodge returned to the water in an RS400 and with considerable on-shore support won both races on Monday with some very astute tactical calls and finished runners up.  Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell put in an early bid for the capsize trophy as they went over 4 times but held it together to take 3rd as the come to terms with the tricky L4000.

Overall a very satisfying bank holiday with some excellent sailing.  Details of all the results are on the Club website.


17 May


An increasing breeze put additional pressure on sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend and saw some new names appearing at the top of the results table.


Alistair Hodge made the most of the breeze and was out on the trapeze for most of the race in his Contender to take the fast conventional fleet win from Jim Ingram in the Laser.  Colin Coard (RS300) took 3rd from Tony Cannon (Supernova) and Allen Hare (Laser).  In the slow conventional fleet Nicola Palmer took an impressive win from Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Albacore) and, probably most satisfyingly, Mum and Dad in the Miracle. Chris Beadle led home the single handers in his Europe edging out Jim Robinson who is quickly gaining speed in his Comet.   Team Milligan’s Miracle held off Angus Radford (Laser) and Keith Done (Comet).


The asymmetric fleet brought gasps of admiration from the balcony sailors as a combination of skilful sailing and tactical wizardry saw the lead change hands.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie took an early lead but were hauled in by Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner.  The decision to stay inshore on lap 3 paid dividends and they left all in their wake as they blazed their way to the finish taking their annual race win from which point they can now sit firmly on their laurels.  Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather took 3rd never being able to recover from a curious incident involving a Laser and subsequent penalty. 


With sail training sessions starting this week sailors, like everyone else, are keeping everything crossed for more seasonal weather for the Whitsun Short Series.


May Short Series 3-6 May

It was a bit of a curate’s egg of a weekend for sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend despite the rare bank holiday sunshine.

The first weekday series race on Friday evening looked in jeopardy until the last minute when the south westerly sea breeze blew itself out and 6 boats took to the water.  Jim Ingram (Laser) showed there is no substitute for experience as he beat the younger Ben Watts in the Dart 16 and Lucy Walter in the Europe with Jeff Middleton and Stephen Wallace beautifully bookending the race in 4th in the ever elegant Scorpion.  Mike Adams and David Steadman also saw off the younger whippersnappers Nick Mather and Paul Suggitt in the RS400s as the sole asymmetric representatives.

With Saturday’s racing blown off battle was rejoined on Sunday with 2 races with an early start separated by an excellent breakfast from the new galley team.  The cats dominated both races in terms of numbers with the same 1,2  results in both races.  Jon and Clare Day continued their winning ways with Flo Wright getting within 13 seconds in the first race.  Malcolm Brookes and Barry Wells took 3rd as the wind just failed to fill to their preferred strength.  Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis looked good in 4th with Steve Cole battling singlehanded to 5th from Keith Edwards in the Dart 18.

The early start was no problem for Bob Keech in the Laser to win the first race beating a determined Jonathan Dellar in the Topaz.  Keech slipped back after breakfast as Bea Frost and Peter Goodman debuted in the Albacore winning by some margin from Colin Coard in the RS300.  Confirmation of better weather was in evidence as Geoff Furlong and Claire Lambert took to the water and claimed 3rd place in the Albacore.  Jim Ingram reverted to his favourite plank Hornet energetically crewed by Annie McRae.  The slow conventional fleet saw Bob and Barbara Palmer back to winning ways in the Miracle with Carol Peddlesden 2nd in the Comet from Chris Beadle’s Europe.  Ken Wyatt and Keith Done both put in determined performances in their Comets.

In the asymmetrics the first race saw Adams and Stedman edge out Butch Roberts in the L4000. The 2nd race saw a battle of epic proportions in the larger fleet.  From a close start Adams and Stedman led for 2 laps until Roberts nosed out of the pack to take the lead on lap 3 and maintain an unusual level of concentration until the finish taking both line honours and the win by 8 seconds on handicap.  Bill Eele and Daphnie Hosie had a close race with Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner taking 3rd by 19 seconds with Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot making good progress to take 5th from Nick Mather and John Stebbing. 

With the fog rolling in on Monday morning that was it for the weekend but a tempting taste of what’s to come.  For anyone interested in learning to sail training courses start in May. Full details can be found on the club website.

27-28 April


With wall to wall sunshine and good breeze on both days sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club were counting their blessings last weekend. A strong pattern emerged as the asymmetric, fast conventional and cat fleet each had the same winner on both days.


Saturday saw a northerly breeze gusting to force 4 putting everyone through their paces and needing full concentration to get round the course. In the cat fleet Flo Wright was the victor seeing off Neil Hosie on Saturday while Jon and Clare Day were running the race; but he kept to his winning ways on Sunday beating the Days by 20 seconds with Ben Watts 3rd.


In the fast conventional fleet Allen Hare put his Laser in pole position on both days with some impressive sailing. Keith Walter and John Crone both in Lasers followed him home on Saturday while Tony Cannon (Supernova) was 2nd on Sunday in his usual lugubrious style. Jeff Middleton and Stephen Wallace wrestled their spinnaker into submission in the Scorpion to take 4th on Sunday.


In the slow conventional fleet Chris Beadle was back to winning ways in the Europe on Saturday edging ahead of Spike and Glynnis Milligan in the Miracle despite so nifty downwind sailing. Neil Smith also in the Europe took 3rd despite some confusion over which mark to sail around. There were very impressive performances also from Dave Walter and Annie McRae in the Miracle and Christine Angus out for the first time in the Comet. Smith made amends on Sunday taking the win from the Comets of Barry O'Herlihy and Jim Robinson pushing Beadle to 4th. Richard Hall and Brenda Done handled the increasing wind to steal 5th from Keith Done in the Comet Mino and Walter and McRae.


In the asymmetric fleet Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) had a brace of victories made all the sweeter as rivals Butch Roberts and Tim Murray (L4000) and Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) sailed off in completely the wrong direction on Saturday at the start with the kind of mis-placed over confidence normally only seen in response to Ofsted reports. Paul Suggitt and Nick Mather went the right way to take second place with Kevin Watts (RS100) 3rd. Sunday saw the south westerly breeze fill in to a perfect force 3. This time Roberts went the right way and clawed back Eele and Hosie's early lead to take line honours but not enough to win on handicap. Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot had an excellent sail in the RS200 including some very smart genniker work to take a well earned 3rd place.


An excellent weekend's sailing with Comets and Miracles emerging as popular boats and everyone finally feeling the season is getting under way in time for the May Bank holiday races.


20-21 April


Bexhill Sailing Club saw a wide range of activities last weekend culminating in champagne sailing conditions on Sunday.


Friday night saw the club hosting Hasting’s and Bexhill’s Coastguard teams as they were presented with their well deserved Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Volunteering Award 2012.  Saturday saw only the most enthusiastic venture on to the water in the gusty easterly breeze.  Laser Radials dominated the fleet with Colin Coard taking the win from Mike Chapman and Nicola Palmer in the RS200.  Lucy Walter did well to take 3rd in the Europe just edging out Allen Hare in the Laser by 8 seconds.  Nick Mather and Keith Walter had their own battle some way back in the other Lasers while Jeff Middleton kept the Scorpion under control to secure the last place.


Sunday dawned bright but with a light north easterly breeze that was very shifty for the early worm race.  Again Lasers dominated.  Bob Keech showed impressive form to beat Coard while Hare climbed through the fleet to 3rd place.  John Crone showed increasing mastery of the boat managing both the long mainsheet and his balance to take 4th place.  Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) put their toes in the water for the first time this season but struggled in the ebbing tide and light wind.   Jonathan Deller put his newly acquired skills to the test in the Topaz.  In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day pulled away from Malcolm Brookes as they focused relentlessly on getting the best out of every wind shift.


Later in the day sailors enjoyed the first non-racing sailing session of the year alongside the asymmetric fleet who revelled in their dedicated race training in near perfect conditions with sun and a steady force 3 south westerly.  The quick one lap races and practice starts put everyone on their mettle and led to animated discussion in the changing rooms afterwards about the finer interpretations of the racing rules followed by informative video feedback.

6-7 April

That was more like it was the resounding view from sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend as sunshine and moderate breezes combined to take the edge off the freezing conditions and tempt more boats on to the water.

Saturday saw Colin Coard emerge triumphant in the battle of the Lasers seeing off the challenges of Duncan Feathers, Allen Hare and Keith Walter.  Neil Smith won the Comet tussle in the slow conventional fleet beating Barry O’Herlihy.  In the asymmetric fleet Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe continued their winning ways to see off Kevin Watts in the RS100.

Despite two races being scheduled for Sunday no one could face the early worm so battle was joined for the first race of the spring series in glorious sunshine.  In the gentle force 2 easterly breeze and an ebbing tide 17 boats ventured out.

It was good to see the new sailors on the water and Fran Mather (Quba) took the victory from Gareth Smith and Dennis Wright (L2000) with some impressive inshore tactics to stay out of the tide.  In the cat fleet Malcolm Brookes dominated by leading from start to finish although there was some post race discussion whether the trauma of falling off the boat last week had caught up with Jon and Clare Day and taken the edge off their normal faultless sailing.

The fast conventional fleet saw some close racing with Jim Ingram (Laser) coming home first once he had negotiated the asymmetric fleet at the start.  Tony Witham looked comfortable in the Supernova ahead of Feathers and Tony Lane took 4th in the other Supernova although he may be investing in a new watch or glasses as he started a minute behind the others.  Coard slipped to 5th in the RS300 ahead of the Lasers of Walter and John Crone who was relieved to stay dry this week.

Smith continued his winning ways in the slow conventional fleet although Keith Done challenged hard on another Comet adding credence to rumours he may have been working out.  Proceedings were completed by a brace of L4000s in the asymmetric fleet with Butch Roberts taking the win from Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell having the first sail in the boat.

A good weekend all round with a hint of better things to come.

Easter Egg Series


The sailing season finally got underway at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend. Despite the cold several hardy crews ventured out onto the water for the Easter Egg series. Whether it was the cold or the long winter break there was a fair accumulation of cobwebs around both amongst the race teams as well as the sailors.

To the accompaniment of stretching neoprene and rustling drysuits 18 boats took to the water. The brisk easterly breezes over the weekend saw some good reaching courses without ever being too threatening. The attraction of the excellent new galley team saw significantly more people enjoying Sunday lunch than sailing but they appreciated the entertainment the far side of the window.

On the water the new fleet formats looked promising and provided some close racing. The conventional fleet saw the battle of the Europes and Comets. Richard Eagleton reigned supreme in the Europe winning every race. Barry O’Herlihy took 2nd in the Comet keeping the Europes of Neil Smith and Lucy Walter at bay.

The fast conventional fleet saw the best turn out with 8 boats signing on to race. Colin Coard switched between his Laser and RS300 emerging victorious in the Laser after sailing a bit too far in the RS300 as he followed the asymmetric fleet. There were other impressive Laser performances from debutante Nick Mather who just pipped Allen Hare. Jim Ingram blazed brightly to win his only race with Sue Batten showing good early season form.

In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day continued their winning ways in both of the races sailed despite challenges Flo Wright and Ben Watts. The asymmetric fleet was dominated by Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe although identification was difficult given the amount of clothing they were wearing to try and keep warm. They held off challenges from Kevin Watts (RS100) Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie (RS400) and Butch Roberts (L4000).

Everyone agreed they were pleased to get the season underway but the adventurous headgear and blue hands were a clear illustration of the chilly conditions.

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