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NSSA Regatta 2001 - Derwent Reservoir

This year's school's regatta was held at Derwent Reservoir not too far from Newcastle. Despite the distance involved, Kent still had one of the largest teams. Upon arrival on Sunday lunchtime, we all started the usual routine of rigging boats, catching up with friends and erecting tents!

After an interesting meal provided by the catering staff, we went off for a very uninformative briefing at the sailing club! We heard about the history of the reservoir but not about the sailing. Nevertheless, it did put everyone in the right frame of mind for the week ahead, we were all looking forward to it both sailing and socially.

The following morning, those lucky enough to have food provided for them soon found out that the previous evening's meal was infact not a joke and for the rest of the week they would eat things like spaghetti on toast for breakfast! Just to add to the confusion, the race committee appeared not to understand handicap racing. I am unsure of how the racing for the other fleets went, but our fleet had a few surprises, for example why was the split for the fleets not fast in one and slow in the other and why were the results muddled up? Fortunately after a few days, the results query was solved and could be understood!

The first couple of days were quite breezy and once started produced some good competition and very good results for the team with many people in the top three.

Monday evening's entertainment was a disco at the sailing club, the disco turned out to be the DJ on his own; most of us simply did not want to go to a disco. However, it was a good opportunity to meet up with friends from other teams and catch up on any outstanding gossip!

Tuesday night was the traditional five-a-side, this certainly proved entertaining! As well as doing well in the sailing, Kent excelled themselves at both football and orienteering! The football was the more entertaining of the two, as Kent put the other teams in their place and showed them how to play football properly! Our football team not only became known for their talent, but also for their attitudes towards other players who got on the wrong side of them. Congratulations to all those who participated in football and orienteering.

By Wednesday, the wind had dropped considerably and we spent a while waiting for the wind to fill in before we could race. When it did fill in, we had a pleasant race with yet again, more good results from Kent. The special races followed this, where again Kent did well. In the evening, some of us went off to the local cinema, not far from the campsite. We went to see Pearl Harbor, part romance, part bombs and shootings! It was an excellent film and I think everyone who went enjoyed it.

On Thursday the wind was even lighter than the previous day and we were late launching. The wind did fill in, but was never more than a light breeze, this didn't change much by Friday and the regatta ended with two days of very light wind sailing, especially Friday when there was barely enough to move at points.

Thursday evening's planned social was another disco! However Kent decided that we wanted to do something a bit more fun! Fun consisted of shopping, quaser and bowling at the local Metro Center. A good laugh and a lot of fun. This was followed by an attempt at the world's largest Macdonald's bill when Kent Schools treated us all!

After sailing on Friday was the prizegiving. As usual, Kent picked up a large number of trophies and only just missed out on the team prize. Special congratulations should go to Chris Catt for being selected to go to the Nations Cup in September where he will represent England and to James Eberlein who was sele cted for the Presidents Award, giving him the opportunity to sail around part of Britain on a 12' yacht!

I think that everyone involved enjoyed the week away, however, this would not have been possible without the help of all the parents and supporters who came along. Special thanks must go to Steve, Mike, Nikki and Chester for giving up their time to help during the week.

Clare Stubbs