Sailors old and new relish conditions off Hastings and Bexhill

Newer sailors at Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club received coaching and encouragement at an improvers’ session.

Friday, 18th June 2021, 1:10 pm
Novice sailors learn the racing ropes with Hastings and St Leonards SC / Picture: Philip Blurton
Novice sailors learn the racing ropes with Hastings and St Leonards SC / Picture: Philip Blurton

Newer sailors at Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club received coaching and encouragement at an improvers’ session.

Sailors had the chance to sail with club instructors and take part in the second weekend of introductory racing.

For new sailors, the breeze was initially quite strong, gusting force four from the south-west with a sizeable swell to manage as well.

Action off Bexhill SC

The confidence of the sailors increased across the afternoon’s three races as they got to grips with the conditions and the wind dropped to a more consistent force three.

Current leader of the introduction to racing Saturday afternoon improvers link (SAIL) series is Stuart Labbett.

On Sunday, the Early Summer Series continued for the club’s more experienced sailors but the winds had decreased to a disappointing southerly force one.

Despite only a whisper of wind on the course, competitors launched to test their skills in the light airs. In the Laser Fleet, Melanie Clark and Said Toubi made best use of what wind could be found.

Toubi led the first race but a poor mark rounding near the end gave Clark the win.

In the second race, positions were reversed with Toubi leading from almost the start and staying ahead to the end. In the General Handicap fleet, Richard and Sue Morley’s Buzz was in close contention with Philip and Margaret Blurton’s Tasar.

The Tasar had the better start in the first race and led until the final leg when the Morleys caught them at the finish. The Morleys led the second race and finished with a comfortable win.

Three Dart 16s raced in the Catamaran Fleet. Simon Terry won the first race and Maurice and Janey Nash won the second.

Across the series as a whole, Melanie Clark leads in the Laser Fleet, Richard and Sue Morley (Buzz) lead in the General Handicap Fleet and Janey and Maurice Nash (Dart 16) lead the Catamaran Fleet. Racers will be hoping for more breeze this weekend.

BEXHILL

There were very contrasting conditions over the weekend.

Saturday saw 13 boats launch for the race with a strong breeze and quite a lot of choppy water, creating very challenging conditions for the sailors.

The Asymmetric fleet was led by Nicola Palmer and Michael Copeman, who took the win ahead of Rob and Piers Shoesmith, both pairings in their RS 400s.

Ben Watts and Lisa came first in the Catamaran fleet, with Tony Lane and Linda Jarvis close behind them.

The Slow fleet saw Bob and Barbara Palmer take the win in their Miracle, with Shaun Washer (Comet) and Dave Kerr (Lightning) filling the rest of the podium.

Saturday also saw the new sail trainees have their second lesson, and although they were unable to get out on the water in the strong conditions, they were taken through the rigging of the training boats and had instruction in boat handling on the beach.

Sunday was much calmer, with very little breeze to power the boats round the course. At times, it was a challenge to sail against the tide.

Even when the sea appears very calm, there is still a good five knots of water movement to push against.

Dusty Miller and Andy Bullen won the Asymmetrics in their RS 400 and the Fast fleet saw Simon Ludkin (Supernova) cross the line first ahead of Paul Libreri (Laser Radial).

Cherrie Joy came first in the Novice fleet and in the Slow fleet Steve Boniface took line honours ahead of Bea Frost and Peter Goodman in their Miracle, followed by Cristina Terrazas (Byte) and Rachel Wynn (Comet).