Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week 2017

Day 3 Report

CB Rigging Tuesday proved to be very much a day of two halves at Brightlingsea Sailing Club’s Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week, where the race committee were faced with some tricky decisions.

With heavy showers sweeping across the area and extremely light winds, the morning races were initially postponed. When conditions lifted a little and the wind showed signs of building, Blue Group Race Officer David Gibbons took his fleets afloat and got racing underway. Sadly no sooner had they started, than the rain came down again and the wind shut off completely, forcing the committee to abandon the race and send the fleet back ashore.

By 14.30 the sun was back and there were the early signs that a sea breeze may be on its way, so Red Group Race Officer Martin Worth called his group to the race area.  As the delayed start time approached the skies darkened once more and another band of thundery rain clouds began to circle the area. They brought with them wind and racing was started in 10-12 knots from the north-north-west. The first beat upriver against the ebbing tide saw everyone making good progress, but as the fleet turned back down tide the wind began to drop and before long everyone was ghosting along and the big struggle became judging the laylines to the marks to ensure one wasn’t simply swept past them by the tide. After two hours even the leading boats were a long way from completing a full lap of the course and so the decision was made to shorten at one of the marks.

Ben Clegg’s Musto Skiff took his second victory of the week in the Asymmetric Fast Handicap with Nick Barnes and Neil Baldry’s F18 second and Alex Capon and Fin Clark in a B14 third. Overall Clegg now has a single point lead from Barnes with Paul Mines and Stuart Smith sailing a Tornado in third.

The BOD race was a serious game of snakes and ladders with boats going from first to last in the nineteen boat fleet on a regular basis. Danny Fox, Bob Hedger and Tim Hearn were the eventual victors with Clive Goodwin, Graham Sanderson and guest crew Malcolm Goodwin second and Maddy Anderson, Tom Ballentine and Fin Anderson third.  Jeremy and Ollie Newman and Sarah Bines finished in eight place, but overall they continue to jointly head the fleet with Goodwin on three points apiece with Fox now two points behind in third.

Stephen and Morgan Cross sailed their 2000 to victory in the Parent & Child fleet with Dave Youngs and Finlay Appleton’s Topaz Race second and James and Jacob Willett’s RS Feva XL third. Stuart and Tom Phillips retired in their RS Feva XL but continue to hold a narrow three point lead over Team Cross and Team Youngs/Appleton who are both just a single point behind them.

Pete Purkis continued his domination of the RS700 fleet with his third win of the regatta. Second place went to Richard Goldklang and David Bridle was third. In the overall standings Purkiss leads by two points from Simon Redfern, while Goldklang and Bridle are both two points further back and fighting for third.

With the threat of thunderstorms, a strong ebb and very light winds, the decision was made not to race the Cadet Handicap fleet. Instead team paddle board racing was organised from the beach, which proved to be a huge success and kept everyone (parents included!) entertained.

After racing it was all back to the club house for a delicious chilli supper followed by one of the event’s great traditions – Nigel and Jackie Edmund’s Quiz Night. Nigel and Jackie are famed for setting fiendishly tricky quizzes which always feature at least one sailing related round and this year it was Team My Alice (made up largely of members of the Heppell and Hiscocks families) who were the overall victors. A small entry fee is charged per team member and the proceeds are used to provide a £50 prize for the winners with the reminder being donated to the RNLI. Having collected their prize Team My Alice generously returned it and asked Nigel and Jackie to add it to the donation to the RNLI. Commodore Fiona Brown thanked Nigel and Jackie for another fantastic quiz and also took the opportunity to thank Craig and Jayne Bond of day sponsor CB Rigging, who were taking part with their family team, for their ongoing generous support of the event.

Next up on the Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week agenda is Big Wednesday sponsored by AOC, Just Trays and Deltech UK. The fleet will come together for a spectacular massed start handicap race which does not count towards the points series. The forecast is for heavy rain and 8-16 mph from almost any direction bar due north as the rain fronts roll through. After sailing the teams will come together for the famous Big Wednesday Party where the rum punch will be flowing, the BBQs will be running at full tilt and the band will have everyone on their feet.