Day 2 Report
The second day of Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week 2017 was sponsored by Brightlingsea Harbour Commission and featured not only the second race of the series for all classes, but also Brightlingsea One Design (BOD) Night, one of the social highlights of the regatta. This year the BOD Celebrates its 90th Anniversary and the pairing of Brightlingsea Harbour Day with the BOD Party is extremely apt, as the Harbour Commission also celebrates its 90th Anniversary this year.
The skies were overcast for much of the day and the initially west-south-westerly wind went from mid teens in the morning through to sub ten knots and north-westerly by mid afternoon. Although very shifty all races got underway on time and it was another day of nip and tuck competition.
The BODs might be 90 years old, but the level of competition in the fleet is truly exceptional with huge place gains and loses to be made from the slightest tactical error or boat handling fumble. Today it was the turn of Hornet and Tornado World Champion Jeremy Newman, crewed by Ollie Newman and Sarah Bines, to claim the victor’s laurels from Mirror World Champion Clive Goodwin, crewed by Graham Sanderson and Mark Schofield. Phil Rust, sailing with Tania Bines and Ollie King took third and on the water Chris Matthews sailing with Dave Conlon and Ed Gibbons/Rebecca Bines was fourth. Back ashore Matthews put in a protest against Rust relating to a downwind incident in which he felt Rust should have kept clear. The Protest Committee however, felt that Matthews had failed to give room and opportunity and so Matthews found himself disqualified, moving Joe Harman sailing with Kerrie Forster and Derek Gentry into fourth. Overall Newman and Goodwin are now tied on three points with Rust four points behind in third.
In the Asymmetric Fast Handicap the F18 of Nick Barns and Neil Baldry beat the SL16 of Ben Eddy and Matteo Chaboud with Ben Clegg’s Musto Skiff in third and the Tornado of Paul Mines and Stuart Smith fourth. Overall Clegg has a single point lead over Barns with Mines two further points back in third.
Freya Gascoyne and Amelia Hiscocks are setting up for a great battle in the Cadet Handicap. Today Freya beat Amelia meaning both girls now count three points. Third and fourth in today’s race were Elizabeth Hill in a Topper and the RS Tera Sport of Harry McTiernan, who are also now in third and fourth overall respectively.
One of the great traditions of Pyefleet Week is the Parent & Child Handicap (or child and adult relative or family friend). David and James Herbert sailing a Sprint 15 won today’s race from Stuart and Tom Phillips in their RS Feva XL with Tim Hare and Max/Charlie Hare third and Dave Youngs and Finlay Appleton fourth. Overall Team Phillips now have a three point lead. Team Herbert and Team Youngs/Appleton share second place on point and Team Hare is a single point behind in fourth.
The RS700s enjoyed a great blast around the estuary and although the race was tight, at the line the finish order today mirrored yesterday’s with Pete Purkiss leading Simon Redfearn and Dave Bridle home.
By the time the afternoon shift hit the water the breeze had dropped to sub ten knots and become considerably more shifty. With the tide now ebbing hard the race committee made the wise decision to give the fleet just one decent lap rather than risk sending them around a second time and loosing the race completely.
Andy and Sarah Bines once again sailed their Merlin Rocket into first place in the Fast Handicap Fleet ahead of the RS800 of Dave Conlon and Chris Matthews. Tom Taylor-Jones and Mimi Thomas took third place in their RS400 with the 505 of Shaun Seear and Stuart Curtis fourth.
To say that the Mirror Class is well stocked with chronic over achievers would be something of an understatement. Today Mirror Ladies World Champion Melissa Heppell crewed by son Louis Hiscocks came top of the heap, with Mirror World Champion Philip Goodwin crewed by son Felix in second. Hornet World Champion Malcolm Goodwin, father of Philip and crewed by grand daughter Kaya Nawrot took third place, while Melissa’s husband, double Olympic Medallist Simon Hiscocks, crewed by their daughter Amelie, was fourth. Never one to be left out Mirror World Champion and brother of Philip, Clive Goodwin, who is being crewed on alternate days by daughters Anna and Zoe, was fifth. For good measure Steve Heppell, whose claims to fame include being owner of My Alice – one of the fastest Oyster Smacks on the east coast, winner of the Royal Television Society’s Judges Award for Lifelong Services to Educational Broadcasting. and arguably the world’s leading expert on contemporary learning, was also out on the water sailing with three year old granddaughter Josie Heppell in her first ever regatta.
Josie is clearly loving every minute of the regatta, but Steve explained that he has employed some devious tactics to keep her engaged. These include nipping out before the start of the week and fixing a variety of plastic animals to the race marks, so whilst the rest of the fleet looks for Cocum followed by Mersea Wreck, Josie is busy hunting down the yellow duck followed by the green crocodile.
For the second day running Steve Williams and Mark Schofield were first and second in the Laser Fleet, with Tim Ashworth third and Ben Powell fourth. In the overall standings Williams leads Schofield by two points with Ashworth and Richard Herbert, who finished today’s race in fifth, tied on eight points for third.
In the Laser Handicap the Laser Radial of Alex Clarke, who won today’s race, and the Laser 4.7 of Joshua Davies, who was second, are tied on three points for the overall lead with Alex Lightly’s Laser Radial third.
Having missed yesterday’s opener, the Scorpion of Simon and Fiona Gillow from Chipstead SC revelled in the light airs, romping home to victory from the RS200 of Rebecca Bines and Connie Hughes with Paul Aldridge’s Solo third and Brian Allen’s RS Aero 7 fourth. Allen, Bines and Aldridge are now all tied for the overall lead on five points apiece. Just three points separate fourth to sixth with the Scorpion of Rhys Lancaster and Jane Somerville fourth, Nicky Henderson and her son Thomas Goodwill in a Buzz fifth and the RS200 of Eddie Bridle and Isabelle Fielding sixth overall.
David Tourhay and Lionel Scutcher’s classic Wivenhoe One Design won the Slow Handicap A Fleet from Harry McTiernan’s RS Tera Sport and Brook Hasting’s RS Tera Pro. In the overall standings Tourhay now leads the fleet by three points from brothers Blake and Brett Tudor sailing an RS Feva XL who are in a three way points tie with McTiernan and Hastings for second.
After racing the competitors came together for the BOD School Dinners and Disco Party, where fancy dress and classic disco dance moves were de rigueur. “Head Mistress” Katie Holland ran a tight disciplinary ship, the Tuck Shop did record breaking business and much fun was had by all.
Tomorrow is CB Rigging Tuesday at Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week. The weather forecast promises a high chance of very heavy showers and winds from 6 to 12 mph and pretty much any direction between east-north-east and south-west. Tomorrow’s après sailing entertainment is a chilli supper followed by Nigel and Jackie Edmund’s legendarily fiendish annual quiz night.