Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week - Day 4

by Fiona Brown on 10 Aug 5-12 August 2017

Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week Big Wednesday sponsored by AOC, Just Trays and Deltech UK proved to be an excessively damp affair with near record breaking rainfall.

The regatta's Big Wednesday celebration is held in honour of the late Reg White. Reg was a life-long member of Brightlingsea Sailing Club, an Olympic Gold Medallist and multiclass Champion including two Tornado World Championships, a three-time winner of the Little America's Cup and a legend in the local Brightlingsea One Design class. Reg was a great supporter of Pyefleet Week and, following his death inn 2010, Reg's family created the Big Wednesday Gold Medal Race and annual Celebrations which now form the centre piece of the week and his children Rob, David, Mark and Sally and their families continue to run the evening's festivities.

The Big Wednesday Gold Medal Race is a massed start all in handicap race which does not count towards the overall points. With heavy rain and a fickle breeze to contend with, races officers Alan Hicks and Craig Bond and their team did a terrific job of setting a great course despite the tricky conditions. Unsurprisingly the atrocious weather put off a lot of crews, but 36 hardy teams refused to let a little bit of dampness ruin their day. Those who didn't race took shelter at the club to watch the fun.

Although the wind was relatively light and very fickle, there was always sufficient to race and after a short postponement the fleet was underway. The local Brightlingsea One Designs (BOD), which this year celebrate their 90th Anniversary, were specifically designed with very big rigs to cope with the often light breezes encountered racing in the River Colne and its associated creeks, and so it was perhaps not surprising to see members of the fleet doing well in the race, particularly as the wind went lighter during the latter stages.

After a terrifically close battle victory and the Reg White Gold Medal Race Trophy went to David Conlon, Ed Gibbons and Sarah Bines sailing BOD C27 Rebel. Brother and sister Jessica and Chris Rust sailing an RS200 took second place with Danny Fox, Tim Hearne and Bob Hedger and sailing BOD C8 Egret.

The Gold Medal Race Trophy for the first Cadet was awarded to Rebecca Bines and Connie Hughes sailing an RS200 who finished in sixth place overall.

Ashore the organisers were facing a tricky dilemma. Almost 400 tickets had been sold for the Big Wednesday Beach BBQ and for a while it looked like the event could be a complete washout. But Brightlingsea Sailing Club is famed for being run entirely voluntarily by the members and those members are a resourceful bunch.

With Regatta Chairman David Gibbons overseeing operations, extra marquees were loaned by members to provide covered dining areas on the beach, extra tables were set up in the cadet room and upstairs lounge, the big BBQs were moved under shelter, food service was transferred to the galley and the band set up in the club instead of outside.

With the majority adding wellies to their Caribbean beach party outfits somehow they all managed to fit into the club house and marquees and the atmosphere was amazing. "I'd always said that if we got bad weather we'd be forced to cancel, but actually this has probably been one of the best Big Wednesday Parties ever." Said Rob White during a brief break from the dancing. "It just goes to show what the club can do when we pull together. I can't believe how well its gone." Added a relieved David Gibbons who had worked his socks off with the team to ensure the evening still went ahead.

Thursday will see a return to series racing and once again the entrants will be divided into two groups with one racing in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The forecast is for the rain to finally retreat around mid-morning and for the north/north-easterly wind to range from 12 gusting 20 mph in the morning to 10 gusting 15 mph in the afternoon.

Further information and full results are available from www.pyefleetweek.com

Related Articles

World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan overall
Typhoon Lan approaches as five more champions crowned Five more World Cup Series Japan champions were decided in Gamagori as the inaugural World Sailing event in the land of the rising came to a close. Posted today at 1:17 pm
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 5
Typhoon approaches as first medals decided The first medallists at the inaugural World Cup Series event in Japan have been decided after a wet Saturday in Gamagori. Posted on 21 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 4
First set of sailors book Medal Race places The line-up for the first set of Live Medal Races, on Saturday 21 October, were confirmed today at the World Cup Series Japan in Gamagori. Posted on 20 Oct
Lasers at Hayling Island
Noble Marine Autumn Qualifier 2 The second of the Autumn Qualifiers returned to Hayling Island SC last weekend, with the Laser 4.7 ladder running alongside making for a crowded beach but lively atmosphere, even if the weather was mostly overcast. Posted on 19 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 3
Japanese sailing legacy born Another frustrating day at World Cup Series Japan, as the wind never really materialised meaning that no racing took place across any of the eight Olympic events present in Gamagori. Posted on 19 Oct
RS Aero UK events coming up this Autumn
The season is a changing! We have some great RS Aero events coming up - make the most of them before the weather turns colder! Posted on 18 Oct
Roger Battersby Remembered
A tribute race at Sutton Bingham SC to be held on 5th November On Sunday 5 November Sutton Bingham Sailing Club are hosting Roger Race, a tribute to the life of Roger Battersby, a long time member of the club who sadly passed away suddenly back in August. Posted on 18 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 2
World Champions come to the forefront Current World Champions in five Olympic sailing events are coming to the forefront and shining after two challenging days of light breeze at Sailing's World Cup Series Japan in Gamagori. Posted on 18 Oct
World Cup Series at Gamagori, Japan day 1
Sailors battle on light wind, wet opening day Olympic medallists, World Champions and Continental titleholders were all battling at the front of the packs on a wet and light wind opening day of Sailing's 2017-18 World Cup Series in Gamagori, Japan. Posted on 17 Oct
RS Aeros at Chelmarsh
On the 110 acre reservoir near Bridgnorth On Saturday 14th October, 2017, Chelmarsh Sailing Club held their RS Aero Class Open on their picturesque, 110 acre reservoir near Bridgnorth, Shropshire. Posted on 17 Oct