Windy Saturday at Brightlingsea
Brightlingsea Open Meeting 17th/18th September 2016
With the forecast of 16 to 19 knots North West this looked like it was going to be a fun sail. As we planed down the estuary with the kite up conditions appeared somewhat windier than our moderate rig setting would accommodate. Kite dropped and rounding up for a trial beat the wind was a touch boisterous – more rake was required.
With the wind blowing straight down the River Colne the course was a triangle and sausage with a beat up tide in the channel and then a screaming two sail reach to the gybe mark, a spinnaker leg to the leeward mark and a planing run down the channel.
In the first race going left up the beat paid and Kev Hope and Russell Thorne led from start to finish. The Kynes, producing initial competition until the spinnaker sheet went under the bow at a leeward mark drop. Further down the fleet newbies Chris Thorne and Jake Stow from Lyme Regis SC were finding the conditions ‘Somewhat nuts’ and managed to capsize five times!
In Race two the wind increased further and was now touching 32 knots. The right side of the beat paying as the tide started to flow out the estuary. Kev raked more, full ‘flatner applied, eased the rig tension and the ship began to fly seeing him home to take the gun, despite misjudging the tide and hitting the windward mark on two occasions and having to do turns. Peter and Tom Kyne finished second. Chris Thorne managed to put so much water in his vessel and went so fast, the outboard rush of water resulted in his transom flaps parting company!
The weary fleet returned to shore and refuel to a Brightlingsea special supper of cottage pie. Kev and Russell staying with Roger and Jo had a tournament of ping pong on their host’s best dining room table before having a kip. The writer can report that Kev plays ping pong as well as he sails after a gallon!!!!
Sunday dawned with a lighter forecast for the fleet. The wind had shifted to the north. In race three Hope and Kyne had a right ding dong, with Kyne crossing the line first only to find he and half the fleet were disqualified for starting too early. Roger claims he went back, but the PRO did not see him! The fleet were bemused and wondered the meaning of the General Recall Flag! Alan Carter and David Pannell won, with Martin Scarth and Tom Riley second.
With the wind now marginal trapezing, Kyne and Hope resumed their battle during race four with places changing numerous times. This time Kyne took the gun, with Hope second.
With Hope having to beat Kyne to win the event, race five saw Maria Richards lead the race for two laps until the final reach. For some bizarre reason Maria mistook a rib for the gybe mark and bore off onto a run. Martin Scarth followed. This allowed Kyne to pounce and take victory. Maria finished second with Hope third.
Brightlingsea Sailing Club provided some challenging and testing racing, with splendid food, beer, friendship and hospitality. We look forward to next year’s event