Bexhill’s Youth Sailing Squad enjoyed continued success at the East Sussex Coastal Championships hosted by Eastbourne Sailing Club this weekend.
With light winds and unpredictable weather, the Bexhill Squad entered 2 boats in both the Slow and Fast Handicap fleets – the only Club to do so.
Race 1 produced wins in both fleets via Shaun Washer and Katy Perry in the Feva and Luke Remon in the Laser Radial. The wind died and the water resembled the proverbial Mill-pond so an early lunch was taken and tactic-talks reverberated around the clubhouse as Race Officer Day shrank the course and the wind veered 180 degrees.
Foreboding dark clouds massed over Beachy Head and a steady breeze filled, as race 2 produced another win for Washer and Perry, well supported by Freya Maslin-Brown and James Upton in Feva 2, but a reverse in the Fast with Oliver Brookes taking the win drawing level with Remon.
An enormous swing of the wind again as race 3 got underway, then died and brought the whole fleet of 20 boats together after lap 1, thunder rumbled and grew closer, boats’ rigging shuddered and nervous eyes glanced up at funnel shaped clouds as local lightning strikes were reported off Eastbourne pier.
The race was quickly shortened and all boats returned to shore before the heavens opened and the boats washed down. Remon had another win, Brookes another 2nd place cementing the Fast Handicap Fleet win for Bexhill. Washer and Perry swapped jobs and dropped to 5th – a good indicator of roles at next weeks’ Regional Championships at Datchett, but their brace of 1sts ensured Bexhill’s victory in the Slow Handicap with Maslin-Brown and Upton climbing to 5th overall.
Although Bexhill won both Classes by some distance, enjoyed most boats and sailors on the water, by some contrivance and ambiguance, the overall trophy went to Pevensey Sailing Club and grumpy Cadet Captain Brookes Snr insisted that scoring rules be reviewed for next year’s event at Pevensey. The team still gave the event the “Thumbs-up” with Eastbourne pier silhouetted in the background, and a confirmation of intention to challenge again in 2018!