KSSA Promoting Youth Sailing in Kent
KSSA event



Sandwich Bay 2006

Kent Schools Sailing Association enjoyed it’s 17th Annual Pilgramage to Sandwich Bay for its Training Camp and Coastal Regatta weekend. Once again organised and run by Martyn Styles, ably assisted by parental support members of the infamous “Winchester Club”, the event was hosted yet again by Jim Jeffrey and his loyal team from S.B.W.S. & S.C. The forty youngsters ranging in age from 12 to 18 enjoyed sunshine and sea breezes, and all did justice to the catering, the pattern of which hasn’t changed in 17 years (Saturday lunch - Jim’s Pie & Mash, Saturday tea - Jim’s Bar-b-que, Sunday breakfast - cornflakes “Oi, don’t use to much milk” & Jim’s Bacon rolls, and the grand finale of Sunday lunch - Jim’s Chilli).

On Saturday, the 30 boat fleet were split into four groups for some intensive coaching and race training, the 8-knot breeze enough for them to practice their techniques. The scheduled late afternoon Dennis Littlefield memorial race was postponed due to another sporting fixture happening somewhere in Germany involving a team from Portugal and a group of players from another Country.

Initial attempts to get racing underway on Sunday morning were frustrated as the light on-shore breeze died to nothing. Instead, the clubs inflatable bannana boat was brought out, and used to good effect to keep the participants occupied. However, after an early lunch (see above), the sea breeze started to kick in, and rose steadily during the afternoon to 15-knots. With the bright sunshine and calm sea, this resulted in idealic sailing conditons, and allowed race officer, the Grand Wiggmeister G to run four races on the bounce. Not convinved that the breeze would hold out, and determined to make the bigger boys in their faster toys giddy, Uncle Wiggy (as he prefers to be called) started by setting a small flat triangular course, which he gradually enlarged during the afternoon.

With the 13 boat Topper fleet, enboldened by their training the day before swamping the short start line, the bigger boats had difficulty threading their way through at the start. Paul Turnhill and Preston Taylor, having left their 29er at home and “borrowed” instead Paul’s brother’s RS800 were particuarly cautious of this mellee, due to the fact that Paul’s brother was on holiday and not actually aware of the fact that his boat was being sailed. The race, and consequently the Denis Littlefield Trophy, was won by Daniel Aldiss in a Laser Radial, with Mitch Webb having left his Laser 4000 at home due to lack of crew, coming second in a Laser having never raced the boat before.

The second start was more keenly contested, and Uncle Wiggy got very cross and called a general recall, but not cross enough to hoist the black flag, which knotted was protecting his hair piece from the sun. Individual recalls for two lasers and a 420 left the rest of the fleet honest, and Timmy Ellis managed to break clear in his RS600, hanging onto it long enough to lead the fleet before being overhauled by the RS800, which was being sailed a little more boldly now. However, it was the Laser of Robbie Waite, who despite being one of the chosen recallees, led the fleet on handicap, with Alexander Le Gassick sailing his Topper into a very creditable 2nd.

The third and fourth races followed a similar pattern with the Lasers of Webb and Waite dueling closely, but unable to pull away quite sufficiently from the flying ladies team of Lucy Heather and Helen Stubbs, who had now decided to start concentrating in their RS200, and consequently won the final two races. With a discard applying, this left them on equal points with the Waite Laser, but on count back gave the Regatta and the silver Burgess Bucket Trophy to the girls.

Prizes for all competitors were presented by Jim J, who invited everybody back for next year, providing they promised not to use too much milk on their cornflakes.