Please select your home edition
Edition
Ocean Elements 2016

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

Land Rover BAR Cap
REPORT OF THE MONTH SPONSORED BY Report of the Month sponsored by Henri Lloyd Nominate this article for report of the month for your chance to WIN a Land Rover BAR Cap for yourself and the author of the report that receives the most votes. Just fill in the form below!
Your name

Your email address

Why do you like this report?



Related Articles

Kippford Week 2017 at Solway
Including the Regatta Race, raising £1365 for the RNLI The local Kippford RNLI has a special relationship with the Solway Yacht Club, just up the village. Every year the Club holds a special Regatta Race as part of Kippford Week to celebrate the connection and raise money for the RNLI. Posted today at 2:46 pm
SpeedSix RS Aero UK Youth Nationals
30 young helms race at Burghfield SC The first ever RS Aero UK Youth Nationals has come to an end after some intense racing on day one and an unfortunate lack of wind on day two! Posted on 15 Aug
Irish RS200, RS400 & RS Feva Inlands
Over 40 boats race at Blessington SC Over 40 crews arrived at Blessington Sailing Club to the clubs usual very friendly hospitality to join the newly established local fleet of RS200s. Posted on 15 Aug
Bassenthwaite Lake Sailing Week final report
A range of conditions for the second half of the event After Wednesday's light winds organisers and competitors waited with interest to see what the second half of the week would bring. Thursday had a misty start and there was a brief postponement until the wind filled in from the West. Posted on 15 Aug
68th North West Norfolk Week
Fairly unique event held at multiple clubs This year saw the 68th North West Norfolk Week take place between the 5th and the 12 August. The week is fairly unique in that it comprises racing at a different venues most days at the top of the tide along the North Norfolk coast. Posted on 14 Aug
Ullswater Yacht Club Regatta
Including the Laser Lakeland and Far North Travellers Ullswater Yacht Club's annual August Regatta attracted an entry of more than 40 boats on August 12 & 13, including 21 Lasers taking part in a Lakeland and Far North one-day travellers event. Posted on 14 Aug
Bembridge Sailing Club Annual Regatta
A record 106 entries! The number of boats entered for the Inshore Regatta on Friday were a record 106 which certainly tested the race committee! Posted on 14 Aug
Champions hail Aarhus
After final day of snakes and ladders at Test Event If test events are all about checking how systems are working, then the Hempel Sailing World Championships Aarhus Denmark 2018 Test Event has confirmed that the Australians are still a well-oiled machine in the Laser. Posted on 13 Aug
Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week overall
Concludes in style with sunset prize giving Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week 2017 went out in style with a final race in perfect conditions, a sunset prize giving and a blow out last night party. Posted on 13 Aug
Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week day 6
Champagne sailing at last The sun and sea breeze made a welcome return for Brightlingsea Boat Park & Ride Family Friday at Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week 2017 where the 141 competing boats finally got to enjoy some true champagne sailing conditions. Posted on 12 Aug