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Race Reports 2014

 

Class Cups and Cadets  27-28 Sept.

 

The Class Cups were contested this weekend at Bexhill Sailing Club and they produced some close racing in a variety of conditions.  This was compounded by some unusual boat combinations sailing in different classes that gave race officers a set of results approaching Gordian Knot levels of complexity to wrestle into the computer.

 

In the end after a fair amount of head scratching the results emerged to everyone’s satisfaction.  In the Novice fleet Simon Ludkin took the title in the Solo followed by the Topazes of Alan MacIntyre, Fi  Brown, John Evendenn and Toby Lockwood.  Paul and Fay Jagot took 6th overall in the 2000.  In the slow fleet Richard Eagleton and Neil Smith had a great tussle in the Europes each winning 2 races with Eagleton emerging winner on count back.  Anne Marie Mears took a very good 3rd in the Topper.

 

In the cat fleet 2 wins saw Jon and Clare Day take the win from Lin Jarvis and Angus Radford.  Sunday saw team Day mixing it with the asymmetrics in the absence of the other cats to give some interesting racing and some different angles of sailing for all the boats to figure out at the marks.  In the end 2 wins saw Bill Eele and Andy Bullen (RS400) take the series win ahead of the 4000 of Butch Roberts with Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie 3rd with their new rig settings chart grasped firmly to the chests.

 

In the fast fleet Allen Hare (Laser)took the overall win with a consistent set of results across 3 races with Colin Coard (RS300) 2nd.   A gaggle of Lasers followed led by Keith Walter, Phil Mears, Rob Harrison, John Reeves and Bob Keech.

 

Meanwhile  the Cadets did the Club proud again at the RYA Youth Zone Squad Championships this weekend at this daunting event - indeed on Saturday morning as the sun rose over Bewl Bridge Resevoir and the cream of young sailors from the south east gathered, nerves were evident from adults and supporters rather than competitors.

 

The division 2 sailors, Oliver Brookes and Felix Scheldt, enjoyed coaching and games from Regional coaches and came first and second in the "Regatta" Topper fleet races, gaining promotion to the main fleet for Sunday racing.

 

Sunday dawned with spectacular sun and mist images of the reservoir and racing was delayed until 11.30 when a firm Force 3 had developed. The elite of the South East's sailors dominated, with Bexhill sailors doing well to finish races but missed the opportunity to play in tide and surf. Scheldt finished Bexhill 1st racer, closely followed by Brookes and Sonny Gardner.

 

Olympic Squad sailor Nikki Boniface from Pevensey Bay SC was on hand to give tips and advice and is pictured encouraging East Sussex's participants.

 

 

Youth Federation Barts Bash

 

Sunday saw the culmination of a hectic series of sailing events at Bexhill Sailing Club as sailors took part in Bart’s Bash; the largest global sailing event ever held for the Andrew (Bart) Simpson’s sailing foundation. Andrew 'Bart' Simpson tragically died in a training accident in San Fransisco Bay while preparing for the America's Cup competition.

 

Club sailors ventured out in a tricky, gusty northerly breeze but put in an excellent show.  Fittingly the top 4 places were filled by asymmetric, slow, cat and fast fleet representatives. The 18 crews were part of over 18,000 sailors from 700 clubs in 68 countries sailing in Bart’s memory.

 

Previously the cadets did the club proud by adding the Youth Federation Trophy to the club’s trophy cabinet alongside the senior one the club took earlier in the season. The event was held at Bexhill and conditions were at the very testing end of testing as the breeze increased and the waves built during the race.  The support from safety boat and shore teams was crucial in seeing everyone enjoyed the day. In the fast fleet Sonny Gardner took 4th with Kevin Palmer and Harriet Tomlin 6th.  Ben Smith and Will Hood took 8th and 9th.  This provided the perfect platform for the slow fleet who took the top 4 places; Felix Scheldt leading home Rachel Trimmer, Oliver Brookes and Matthew Trimmer.  This excellent performance put the club ahead of Newhaven and Pevensey Bay and saw some extremely large grins all round on the beach.  Several cadets go forward this weekend to the South East Zone youth racing at Bewl Water which is a potential stepping stone to national level sailing.  The club’s Cheshire cat mask is now being worn by cadet captain Malcolm Brookes and his hard working team of supporters.

 

Alongside all this normal club sailing saw some gentle light wind racing.  In the slow fleet Neil Smith had an excellent win ahead of the other Europe of Richard Eagleton after a classic port starboard incident at the windward mark saw him emerge well ahead as Eagleton had to make a 720  degree turn and drifted down tide.  Bob Palmer took 3rd holding off daughter Nicola in another Europe with Fi Brown 5th.  In the fast fleet Allen Hare had a good win in the Laser ahead of Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert in the Albacore.

 

Things continue at a pace as the club hosts a Macmillan Coffee afternoon this Friday with everyone welcome and the Club Cups being contested over the weekend.

Club Cup 1 September

 

Sailors put the disappointment of Saturday’s race being blown off and turned out in force for the Club Cup on Sunday at Bexhill Sailing Club with both sunshine and breeze on the menu.

 

The Club Cup is the only race of the season where all the different types of boat race against each other and provided the biggest start fleet of the year as 25 boats jostled for the prime spots on the start line.  Two key things emerged from the race as the breeze eased.  Miracles, once the largest fleet, proved the skill of the crews sailing them taking 1st and 2nd place on handicap with Bea Frost and Peter Goodman ahead of Bob and Barbara Palmer.  Richard Hall and Keith Done also steered themselves into 9th.  The second was that sailing dynasties continue to shine at Bexhill.  Last week it was the Adams family and this week the Palmers as Nicola took 3rd place in the Europe and Kevin 5th in the Laser.  The RS400s tried hard to challenge and despite finishing ahead on the water couldn’t find enough breeze to put them ahead on handicap.  Mike Adams and David Stedman led the charge with Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner showing unusual focus to keep 18 seconds ahead of Jim Ingram and Bill Eele.

 

Elsewhere Chris Beadle (Laser) did well to beat Colin Coard (RS300) with Tony Lane and Lin Jarvis the leading cat. Chris and Ed Thompson put the Vago into 12th still dreaming of boats to come.  Angus Radford did well in the Laser while Simon Ludkin was the leading novice finisher in the Solo.  There were some impressive performances from other new sailors with a good turnout of Topazes from John Evenden, Toby Lockwood, Alan McIntyre and David Hemmings.  Gareth Smith and Dennis Wright continue to make progress in their cat as they get to grips with its foibles.

 

The move into September looks promising with high hopes of the season delivering a good last quarter.

Bank Holiday Weekend

 

A brief weather window gave sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club the chance to compete for the club regatta trophies over the bank holiday weekend after it was blown off earlier in the season.

 

Thirty eight boats took to the water with 3 of the 4 scheduled races able to get underway and enthusiasm was high especially as Monday looked to be a classic wet and windy bank holiday.

 

There were particularly good turn outs in the cadet and novice classes with some close racing in conditions that varied from light zephyrs to a more solid westerly breeze.  Kevin Palmer and Harriet Tomlin took the cadet win in the Feva ahead of the Toppers.  In these Piers Shoesmith edged ahead of Aaron Adams with Oliver Brookes and Alice Tomlin just behind them although Alice provided a good running commentary on the last race from the safety boat.

 

Simon Ludkin, the novice fleet rep, took a clean sweep of wins in the Solo with his extra year’s experience helping him hold off more recent sail training graduates Toby Lockwood, Alan McIntyre, Fi Brown and Elliot Morris all in Topazes. Kate Margetts and D Isted in the 2000 took 6th with the remaining Topazes of David Hemming and Justin Reid just behind in one of the best novice fleets for some time.

 

In the fast fleet Colin Coard took the win in the RS300 followed by 5 Lasers .  Bob Palmer had a good tussle with John Reeve who has wrestled his boat into submission.  They were followed by Chris Beadle, Keith Walter and Jim Ingram, who had an impressive 1st place in race 1.  Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert steered the Albacore to 7th as the leading 2 hander.

 

The slow fleet were a little depleted with Neil Smith putting the Europe ahead of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman in the Miracle. The asymmetrics enjoyed some good racing and saw one of the most popular wins for some time as Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot put all their early season training together in the RS200 to emerge victorious ahead of Bill Eele and Andy Bullen and Chris and Ed Thompson who look ready to move on from the Vago.

 

The cat fleet also saw a popular victory as Logan Adams left the cadet fleet to coax Malcolm Brookes in the Dart 18 to the series win.  Rob Shoesmith took 2nd with Team Wright 3rd.

 

Commodore Paul White breathed a sigh of relief having got the racing completed with his race teams and was happy to present the prizes and reflect on the promise of the novice sailors and cadets for the future.

Sea Week and 2-3 August

 

There were broad grins all round at Bexhill Sailing Club last week as one of the best sea weeks in years drew to a close.  Tired but happy but was the overall conclusion as all 10 scheduled races were sailed in a good variety of conditions enabling everyone to get on the water at some point.  There was some attrition as the afternoon breezes picked up both to boats and bodies but no one was complaining.  The galley kept the food coming, the bar was open, the sun shone and the wind blew; a near perfect combination for sailing.

 

The weekend looked promising and a determined fleet headed out on Saturday for the Mayoress’ Pennant charity race.  Conditions looked benign but a squall came in from the west and saw most of the fleet take a swim.  It made for some interesting jockeying on the start line with some robust discussion on tactics and rules.  In the fast fleet only Richard Eagleton (Europe) and Duncan Feathers (Laser) managed to finish; in that order, while Jon and Clare Day held off Ben Slater and first time sailor H Tieman in the cat fleet.  By Sunday it seemed most crews had called it a day and a small but beautifully formed group took to the water in a fresh westerly sea breeze.  Flo and Abigail Wright took the win in the fast fleet ahead of the Lasers of Jim Ingram and Colin Coard.  In the slow fleet Bob and Nicola Palmer put the Miracle in first place ahead of Sue Baldwin in the Pico. 

 

Everyone is now drawing breath and regrouping for this weekend’s regatta with another 4 races scheduled...phew!

20-21 July

 

The violent storms of the weekend seemed to tilt the balance of power at Bexhill Sailing Club this weekend as new names emerged at the top of the leader board to shake up the old guard.

 

The tide times meant racing was on Saturday evening and early Sunday morning and for both races the breeze was light and fickle.  Saturday saw a very short race as the experienced race team  decided the darkening sky and distance rumbles of thunder made coming ashore a good call.  In the cat fleet while Jon and Clare took the win the dominance of the Dart 16s was challenged by Mark Scheldt in the RS16 with the promise of more to come as another one of these cats may be around next week for the club’s annual Sea Week festivities.  The RS pushed Nick Redman and Dennis Wright and Gareth Smith into 3rd and 4th positions.  In the slow fleet Richard Eagleton called on all his guile to edge out Neil Smith (Europe) ahead of the Lasers of Chris Beadle and Keith Walter.  Colin Coard put his RS300 in a sandwich with the other Lasers of Michael Copeman and Angus Radford.  In the asymmetric fleet there was a very passable imitation of a Cheshire cat seen prowling around the bar after Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie took a hard won win ahead of Mike Adams and David Stedman and Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell.

 

Sunday dawned with the faintest of zephyrs drifting across the water. In the fast fleet Copeman showed great concentration to take the win from Keith Walter.  Team Day headed ashore early as the main halyard on the Albacore slipped and this triggered several others ashore thinking there might be a run on Julie’s excellent breakfasts emerging from the galley. This saw Neil Smith take his first win over Richard Eagleton with a great display of focused and determined sailing behind him from Jon Stebbings and Andrew Watson both in Topazes; not the easiest of boats to sail in such light conditions.  As the last rashers and black pudding disappeared everyone agreed it was good to get the light wind out the way ready for a glorious Sea Week of sunshine and force 3 westerlies.

12-13 July

 

There were tales of dark goings on at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend as bandanas were dusted off along with an impressive array of jolly roger flags as the club held its own pirates day celebrations.  With warnings to repel boarding parties and watch for ramming crews took the water with cries of ‘a’vast behind’.

 

The slow fleet led the way with Nicola Palmer looking very impressive first time out in a Europe and Neil Smith had to be on his toes to take the win in his Europe. Piers Shoesmith took a good 3rd in the Topper ahead of Simon Ludkin (Solo).  In the cat fleet Gareth Smith and Dennis Wright took so much time preparing their boat with bounty of a piratical nature that they forgot to put the bungs in and had to make an unscheduled raid ashore as the boat sunk beneath them; a case of walking their own plank.  This left Jon and Clare Day to battle it out with Rob Shoesmith, just edging him out at the end.

 

In the fast fleet Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert (Albacore) were almost unrecognisable looking like extras from Pirates of the Caribbean. They trailed a long string of flags behind them and took consolation in finishing 3rd  by allegedly sharing out the mackerel they caught.  Colin Coard (RS300) took the win from Bob Palmer (Laser) with Michael Copeman (Laser) 4th.  In the fast fleet it was cut and thrust to the very end of the race.  The RS200s of Mike Chapman and Annie McRae and Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot enjoyed a good coaching session with animated discussion continuing in the club house.  Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie looked askance at the 4000 and other RS400 as they tussled for the lead.  A fortuitous manoeuvre by a cat opened the door just wide enough for Butch Roberts to take line honours but Mike Adams and David Stedman took the win on handicap.

 

Sunday saw the Dragonflies Charity race but conditions were at the top end, or above, of most peoples’ comfort zones.  Four intrepid crews took to the water once true club spirit had been shown in volunteers for the safety boats.  Alistair Hodge (Contender) took the win in the fast fleet revelling  in the conditions and showing great boat handling skills.  Colin Coard took 2nd looking like he’d been fighting pirates left from the day before.  In the cats Neil Hosie and Nick Redman took the win after Jeremy Maynard and Nick Newell showed how strong a Dart 16 is by sailing a full speed into a groyne marker and bouncing some way backwards.  Their claims that they’d not noticed it over the past 50 years fell on deaf ears. The resulting noise certainly grabbed everyone’s attention.

21-22 June

 

The summer solstice saw sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club still basking in the euphoria of the successes the previous week.  On Saturday night the club hosted the new sailors’ evening against the backdrop of an evening race.

 

On the water competition was as keen as ever although concentration sometimes went walkabout.  In the cat fleet Mark Scheldt and Allen Hare were celebrating their great start and arrival at the first mark in the lead only to realise they’d gone straight to the second mark and let Jon and Clare through to the win ahead of Nick Newell.  In the asymmetrics there was a classic luffing duel between Aidan Harvey and Joe Turner and Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie. Harvey and Turner emerged victorious from the colourful exchange.  In the fast fleet Lasers dominated with only Tony Witham breaking ranks in the Supernova to take 2nd place.  Rob Harrison was 1st, Keith Walter 3rd and Michael Copeman 4th.  In the novice fleet Paul Jagot continued his good form ahead of Andrew Watson.  In the slow fleet the Europes again led the way with Richard Eagleton and Neil Smith 1st and 2ndTeam Palmer took 3rd in the Miracle as the wind eased.  Bea Frost and Peter Goodman in the other Miracle had the disappointment on finishing of being told they were over the line at the start which put them behind Sue Baldwin and Christine Angus in the Pico and Comet.

 

Sunday dawned bright and breezy but the early start meant only 9 boats took to the water despite a scientifically laid course.  In the cats Malcolm Brookes led on the water but never got far enough ahead of the Days who won on handicap.  In the novice fleet Jagot took his second win of the weekend in the Laser ahead of John Evenden showing great determination and a very elegant backward roll out of the boat on the first lap.  The rest of the boats sailed together as the fast fleet.  Harvey and Turner had their race faces on and led from start to finish in the RS400 ahead of Allen Hare in the Laser with Smith 3rd in the Europe. Copeman had another good race in 4th with Walter 5th. 

 

 

Federation Cup 15 June

 

Bexhill Sailing Club enjoyed one of the best weeks for a long time as it won the Federation Cup for the first time in its history.  The Cup is held every year and is a competition between the local sailing clubs along the coast between Rye and Newhaven.  This year it was excellently hosted by Hastings and St Leonards.  Thirty thee boats from 5 clubs battled it out in testing conditions which saw a number of boats capsizing in the heat of the action with fierce competition across the classes.  Sixteen different types of boat took part from classic wooden Merlins and Fireball to modern skiffs. Bexhill sent a strong team and it was the strength in depth across the 4 classes that paid dividends.  Excitement was mounting at lunch time as the first race results looked promising and there was much discussion about the best tactics for the afternoon race.  In the end just sailing as well as you could proved the best tactic. 

 

The wind was a tricky and very gusty north easterly that seemed to bend around the tall seafront buildings.  Perhaps the 5 mile sail over for many of the Bexhill boats had given them a good warm up.  In the cat fleet Jon and Clare Day took an excellent 2 wins with Malcolm Brookes and Allen Hare making excellent starts in both races to secure 2nd and 3rd places.  Neil Hosie and Nick Newell ensured Bexhill had a 1,2,3 finish in race 2.  In the large and competitive medium fleet Mike Chapman and Lynne Ratcliffe (RS200) had 2 wins and Colin Coard and Chris Dawson (Tasar) made sure Bexhill scored in both races with consistent support.  In the slow fleet the Europes of Richard Eagleton, with 2 wins, and Neil Smith, 5th and 2nd dominated to ensure good scoring.

 

The fast fleet saw some fast reaches and some fiercely fought starts.  In the end Bexhill’s 5 boats ensured good scores in both races.  Mike Adams and David Stedman proved most consistent with a 2nd and 3rd followed by Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie in the other RS400.  Lucy Walter and Colin Campbell (4000) also did well to finish both races despite some swimming.  Steven Sear (RS700) was going well until gear failure saw him in the tide.  With the club providing patrol boat cover with Steve Cole and Simon Ludkin and further help back on the beach it was an all round club effort  and a great result.  Tired but satisfied crews arrived back at the club house with appetites whetted for the asymmetric open at the end of the month and the sight of a beaming Commodore, Paul White.

 

Before this all happened there had been a full programme of racing with the Wednesday Evening and Saturday series races in glorious weather.  It was good to see new sailors out in the novice fleets in both races with Paul Jagot beating Ludkin on Wednesday and Andrew Watson winning from Sarah Lowe on Saturday.  Lasers were out in force in both races with wins for Geoff Slater from Jin Ingram although Neil Smith held them off on Wednesday.  The full results are on the club website. 

 

31 May – 1 June Surfers Against Sewage

 

The transition into flaming June saw a good turnout at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend with some close racing in light to moderate breezes.

 

With a call to arms on Saturday volunteers and new sailors stepped forward to ensure crews could take advantage of the sea breeze.  The slow fleet dominated and the march of the Europes continued despite the zeitgeist.  Richard Eagleton took the lead role ahead of Neil Smith.  Team Palmer took 3rd in the Miracle from Simon Ludkin (Solo) an impressive 4th in front of Sue Baldwin (Pico) and Annie McRae who looked to have found increased confidence in the Comet.  In the fast fleet Colin Coard (RS300) dominated holding off the challenge of Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert (Albacore) and the chasing Lasers.  In the cats Jon and Clare Day repaired the rip in the space time continuum after last weeks 2nd place to beat Dennis Wright and Gareth who are looking like they are making a smooth transition to two hulls with 2nd place in both races over the weekend.  The asymmetric fleet although small in number was big in experience as Mike Adams and David Stedman tussled with Bill Eele and Daphne Hosie.

 

Sunday saw the annual Surfers Against Sewage charity race with the sea looking fittingly blue in the sunshine.  There was a good turnout of cadets following an extremely successful Cadet week over half term; some cadets sailed every day for 9 days with great support from instructors and helpers.  The sight of cadets checking adults had followed the right race procedures takes some beating.

 

In the slow fleet it was Smith’s turn to claim the win ahead of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Miracle) with Ludkin 3rd ahead of Christine Angus (Comet).  In the fast fleet Rob Harrison (Laser) took the win from Tony Witham (Supernova) and Furlong and Lambert.  With Keith Walter and John Crone  (Lasers) in 4th and 5th there has rarely been such a wealth of experience on the water in one fleet for some time.

 

The asymmetric fleet were pushing hard for the optimum pin end lane at the start and race officer Paul White called a general recall much to the disappointment of those who had weaved through the melee.   Mike Adams and David Stedman couldn’t get their RS400 far enough ahead of the RS200 of Mike Chapman and Lynn Ratcliffe who took the win on handicap.  The standout performance was from Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot (RS200) who sailed really well to take their first podium place ahead of Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie.

I'm suffering from some computer glitches at the moment so apologies if you looked for this in the paper this week; but a few thoughts on last weeks sailing.  Tim

 

May Whitsun Short Series

 

The bank holiday weekend saw over 25 boats on the water at Bexhill Sailing Club for the nostalgically named Whit Short Series.  In the best of traditions the weather was mixed with some tricky northerly breeze and stronger southwesterlies and bright sunshine on Sunday.

 

Saturday saw only a few hardy souls venture out including very appropriately the Europes of Richard Eagleton and Lucy Walter.  Overall however Neil Smith, also in a Europe took the series win with 2 impressive wins on Monday in very testing conditions.  Annie McRae (Comet) broke into the big time to take 2nd place ahead of Eagleton.  Simon Ludkin (Solo) gave it a good try but found neither size mainsail suited the gusty conditions.

 

In the fast fleet Chris Beadle also came good to take a popular series win ahead of 5 other Laser radials.  Rob Harrison and Colin Coard both won individual races but couldn’t match Beadle’s consistency. Colin Coard sailing with Paul Jagot in the Tasar was the first 2 handed boat in 8th just ahead of Brian and Liz Terry in the Laser 2.

 

There was a tremor in fabric of time in the cat fleet as Neil Hosie and Nick Newell took the win on Sunday but Jon and Clare Day fixed the problem and won both races on Monday to take the series.  Ken Edwards and Simon North showed great speed to take 2nd overall.

 

The asymmetric fleet saw some determined performances and even gave rise to some animated discussions ashore about how boats had been set up.  Aidan Harvey was last seen muttering darkly after he was unable to match Butch Roberts impressive speed and boat control on Sunday morning in the 4000.  Steven Sear went very fast both upright and upside down in the challenging RS700 and finished just behind Harvey and Joe Turner (RS400) who couldn’t build on the previous week’s winning ways. In the RS200s Duncan Feathers and Lesley Elliot had a good sail to take 3rd overall while Jim Copeman and Simon Hookie were left searching for the missing bung that let so much water into the hull and slowed them down slightly.  With wins in every race they sailed Mike Chapman and Lynne Ratcliffe were untouchable and took the series win.

 

An exciting if mixed weekend, as befits a bank holiday weekend during the European monsoon that put sailors’ skills to the test with everyone emerging smiling which they agreed was the main thing.

 

 

May Short Series 3-5 May

Sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club had to pinch themselves this weekend ; could it really be a Bank Holiday and sunny every day?  The only element not to play ball was the wind which was a bit fickle all weekend but did lead to some interesting tactical racing. With over 50 boats taking to the water it was a great backdrop as the club promoted the joy of sailing as part of the Royal Yachting Association’s Push the Boat Out initiative.

With so many boats it’s difficult to name check everyone but as the weekend was about encouraging new sailors it is good to highlight the achievements of those who perhaps don’t always get their moment in the sun. 

The cadets and novice fleets did particularly well.  Oliver Brookes took the win showing great strides forward with E Lowe 2nd.  Bradley Hare sailed very well but along with some other very experienced sailors missed the separate finish line on Sunday.  He still took a very good 3rd place overall. The race team clearly had hearts of stone.  A and E Smith took 4th with F Smith 5th.   Aaron Adams found himself the only cadet on the water on Monday and had his finish recorded with the slow handicap fleet.  All 6 were sailing Toppers and looked very impressive but most importantly seemed to be having fun.

In the novice fleet Simon Ludkin found using the full main on his Solo got him around the course quickly to claim the series win from John Field in the Topaz.  Paul Jagot wrestled the club Laser into submission to take 3rd.  Andy Shaw and Christina Wright put the 2000 through its paces for 4th and Andy Watson in another Topaz took 5th.

In the slow fleet Annie McRae took a very good 3rd place ahead of the other Comet of Christine Angus.  Team Edwards took the Topaz Duo into 6th place ahead of the Miracle of Mike Hill and Simon Lowe; although at one stage they did look as if getting to the windward mark against the ebbing tide would prove elusive.  There were also good showings from John Stebbings, Topaz, and Sue Baldwin in a Pico once the tricky business of keeping the mast in place had been sorted.

In the asymmetric fleet it was business as usual at the sharp end but elsewhere Steven Sear showed some good speed and balance in the RS700. In the RS200s Yvonne Heritage and Lesley Elliot looked increasingly confident and Jim Copeman and Simon Hookey nursed their re-rigged boat gently round the course.  The fleet also managed an excellent display of hubris as Bill Eele’s pre-race feedback about the nature of the race officers course setting came back to bite him as he got tangled on the leeward buoy in race 2.

In the cats Mark Scheldt showed there’s nothing better than age and experience as he and Felix took 2nd place.  It was a great weekend which bodes well for the coming season.

 

 

13 April Spring Series

 

Sunshine and wind showed up eventually for sailors at Bexhill Sailing Club last weekend.  Saturday saw a good turnout for the some very useful refresher and improver training in a strengthening westerly breeze.  Sunday started calm and there was much discussion on the balcony about whether to sail or not; or if comparing bruises from previous outings might be more entertaining.

 

In the end the largest fleets of the year took to the water and their optimism was rewarded as the breeze built during the race ending as a very nice force 4 south-westerly.  The novice fleet were full of enthusiasm to re-kindle their skills and enjoyed good racing.  Paul Jagot took the win in the Topaz from Andy Shaw and Christina Wright in the 2000.  Simon Ludkin took 3rd as he explores the full potential of the Solo.  In the cat fleet Malcolm Brookes suffered in the absence of his usual crew Oliver who decided to compete alone in the slow handicap fleet.  Team Day claimed the win.

 

The fast fleet all finished within a few minutes of each other with Tony Witham exploiting his years of experience to win in the Supernova ahead of the Lasers of Chris Thompson and Bob Palmer.  It must be getting warmer as Geoff Furlong and Clare Lambert took to the water in the Albacore and secured 4th place ahead of the intrepid Jeff Middleton and Steve Wallace in the Scorpion.  Neil Smith (Europe) put his winter training to good use in the slow fleet to take the win from Bea Frost and Peter Goodman (Miracle) with Piers Shoesmith a very good 3rd in the Topper ahead of Oliver Brookes

 

The asymmetric fleet saw Gareth Smith and Dennis Wright (RS Vision) put their race faces on early and looked very determined until a fast downwind spinnaker reach saw them brushing up on their swimming techniques as Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen (RS400) serenely took the win.

 

The club will be open over the early May Holiday weekend and promoting the Push the Boat out event to encourage people to sign up for sail training with begins later in May.

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