Photo © Martin Wiggins
Caribbean sunshine arrived over Mersea Island on the East Coast for this year's Dabchicks SailEAST regatta. 28 IRC rated yachts from as far apart as Felixstowe to Ramsgate came to West Mersea for two days of competitive racing. The wind and sunshine could not have been better and after the weather of late it was appreciated by all taking part. This year's series is sponsored by Hutton Construction, HCC Insurance and Dolphin Sails.
Saturday's racing consisted of a round the cans race in the morning followed by a Windward leeward in the afternoon. The mornings Class 1 race was won by Richard Matthews in Holding Pattern followed by Booty! with Inn Spirit In third place. Class 2 was won by Tony Merriwether's Amazon with the J92 Upstart in second place followed by Double Trouble.
Class 3 was the largest class with eleven boats and the winners of the morning's race was the J80 of John Bollingbroke followed by Robert Leggett's Contessa 33, Arctic Monkey with local boat Billy Whizz in third place. Class 4 was won by the Impala of Julian Lord followed by a Sonata, Aubie Too and Polaris 111 in third place
The afternoon's race was sailed in slightly lighter winds with very similar results. Class 1 was again won by Holding Pattern with Booty! And Inn Spirit swapping places for second and third place. Class 2 were the same as the morning and Class 3 would have been replicated but for the Quarter Tonner Panic finishing third. Class 4 was again won by the Impala Scallywag with Polaris 111 coming second and another Sonata, Camel finishing third.
Saturday evening saw another great party thrown at the Dabchicks and on Sunday morning some crew members looked decidedly under the weather. The Sunday race was sailed around the cans with Holding Pattern scoring her third win of the weekend as did Amazon in Class 2. Class 3 saw Claim Form scoring her third bullet with Arctic Monkey coming second and another J80, Surf & Turf coming in third. Scallywag won once again followed home by the two Sonatas, Camel and Aubie Too.
So to the overall Class winners for the Regatta. Holding Pattern won Class 1 and also the Overall regatta prize. Amazon got Class 2 with Claim Form winning Class 3 and Scallywag getting Class 4.
Chairman of SailEAST, Ian Scott added – "This weekend has been a great start to the 2012 series, so a huge vote of thanks to the competitors and Dabchicks for continuing to make SailEAST the most popular and contested Series on the East Coast".
The Series goes on to The Felixstowe Regatta next in July - www.felixstoweregatta.co.uk and if this wind and sunshine can come together once more it promises to be a great weekend.