Clacton Sailing Club Regatta 2014

Our Regatta was a huge success last week supported as always by the welcome arrival of the RNLI lifeboats and crews.

Crew of clacton lifeboat supporting our regatta 2014

Gunfleet Sailing Club attends

As another event tradition a flotilla of dinghies arrived from neighbouring Gunfleet Sailing Club to join forces for a series of friendly races.

Leslie Sacre and crew 1960 sea ranger regatta 2014

Pictured above: Leslie Sacre and crew, all smiles despite the rain sailed along the coast to join the Regatta in their 1960 Sea Ranger dinghy

VIP Guests

VIP guests for the day included Geoff and Veronica Wright who held the position of Commodore and Lady as long ago as 1975 but also again in 2007 and racing was under the guidance of Guest Officer of the Day Martyn Mellersh the 2005 Commodore.

VIP's Geoff and Veronica Wright

Pictured above: VIP's Geoff and Veronica Wright

Crew's sign on in club house

Crews sign on in clubhouse but not before posing for a group photo!

group picture and VIP's Geoff and Veronica Wright and Martyn Mellersh regatta 2014

The RNLI Trophy

The RNLI Trophy race got underway in very light Westerly winds with separate starts for the catamaran and the dinghy fleets. Before the lead boats could make the first buoy the light wind dropped to near zero for a while as a light rain fell but these 'ghosting' conditions were a true test of character and patience.

RNLI Cup race regatta 2014

The wind re-established itself with a slight North bias as the fleet carefully bore off onto the broad reach out to the seaward mark before beating back inshore to complete the first lap. The fast boats had taken 50 minutes at this stage and so the shorten course flag was raised and it became a one lap race.

After handicaps were applied it was Peter Donner sailing the Comet who took first place overall for the RNLI Trophy leading the mono fleet ahead of Paul Stanton (Laser) and Martin & Debbie Chivers (RS500)

RNLI Pennants were awarded to Pete Boxer and Ian Wright as first over the line in the Spitfire and first on handicap in the Cat fleet.

Peter Boxer and Ian Wright receive RNLI Pennant from Ians Father and VIP Geoff Wright

Pictured above: VIP Geoff Wright (left) presents son Ian Wright and Peter Boxer the RNLI Pennant for first place win.

Pennants also went to Robert Gutteridge as first Cadet over the line and also on handicap sailing his Laser ahead of Max Bates and Harry Swinbourne in 2nd and 3rd places both sailing Toppers.  

Race fees were donated to the RNLI

The CUDC Cup race

The CUDC Cup race was held in the afternoon around the same course but in very different conditions: The sun was shining, the NW wind had freshened to a lively Force 3-4 and long rolling swell had established itself making the 2-lap course a very different test of seamanship.

The catamarans start became the 5 minute gun for the rest of the fleet. Boxer and Wright in their eagerness  were over-early and had to re-cross the start line but were soon back in contention. Bearing away at the windward mark the kite boats were able to make the most of the lively conditions riding the gusts and the swell to apparently gain huge advantage downwind.

The lesson of the day was that of the Tortoise and the Hare with the overall result not immediately visible until the elapsed times had the handicap adjustment applied.

To everyone's delight the overall winner was Harry Swinbourne from Gunfleet Sailing Club in his single-handed Topper dinghy. Harry has only been sailing for just over one season and has clearly a remarkable natural talent and was also awarded the Cadet Trophy.

He beat fellow club member Paul Stanton into 2nd place in his laser whilst Boxer and Wright settled for 3rd place.

Clacton Sailing Club Regatta 2014 Harry Swinbourne with CUDC Cup and Cadet Trophy

Pictured above: Harry Swinbourne winner of CUDC Cup and Cadet trophy.

Clear winners

Gunfleet Sailors were clear winners at the first of the two Regattas and will host their own event in 2 weeks time. Clacton SC will make the return trip along the coast and attempt to win back some silver and regain their pride


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