Stormy weather forces Hastings sailors into tough course

Boats racing in the Winter Series with a yacht passing close by. Picture by Rick Pryce
Boats racing in the Winter Series with a yacht passing close by. Picture by Rick Pryce

After a night day and night of stormy weather, sailors arrived to find the seafront promenade in front of the Hastings & St Leonards Sailing Club covered with shingle.

Manoeuvering boats out of the boat house was more difficult than usual but eleven sailors in eight boats made the effort and launched to compete in races 5 & 6 of the Winter Handicap Series.

It became apparent as soon as boats launched that racing would not be straight-forward.

Light airs were blowing with the direction of the strongly flooding tide making it difficult to beat into wind and progress around the course.

The swell from the previous day’s high winds also added to the challenge, especially during launching.

Those who did best clung to the shoreline on the beat to stay out of the stronger current away from the shore.

They also sailed far enough up the shoreline so that when they did tack out to sea they could still make the mark without being swept back on its wrong side by the tide.

Richard and Sue Morley in a Buzz judged this best and were first to the windward mark, though even for them this took nearly half the duration of the race to reach!

By the second mark, Roy Sandford in a Laser had taken the lead and Philip Blurton and Morgan Jeffries in a Tasar were not far behind.

As boats finally crossed the line in a one lap race of over an hour, Sandford had held on for first, the Morley’s were second and Blurton & Jeffries were third.

The second race of the day was abandoned due to the length of the first race and no sign of any increase in wind strength.

The Morley’s lead the series overall.

Off the water, club members were excited to learn that a new power boat engine had arrived at the club.

The purchase of the engine, and a new power boat in the coming months, will enable the club to continue supporting its extensive racing programme, sail training and other water-sport activities.