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KSSA 50th Anniversary Coastal Training Camp & Regatta

by Jamie Blair 20 Jul 2011 17:17 BST 2-3 July 2011

KSSA “Youth Sailing in Kent” 50th Anniversary Coastal Training Camp & Regatta, 2/3 July 2011. The 50th Anniversary Coastal Training Camp & Regatta of KSSA “Youth Sailing in Kent” was hosted by Sandwich Bay Sailing & Water Ski Club. The Club located between Ramsgate and Dover has generously held this regatta over the last 20 years.

Jim Jeffery (our President) welcomed all the sailors to this action packed weekend, which formed a major part of the KSSA 50th celebrations in 2011. As with all the events during 2011 we welcomed previous members of KSSA as Ambassadors. One of these, Jenny Johnson (Heeley), who has been part of a 470 Olympic campaign after the university sailing route, gave a brief talk on her sailing career. She encouraged the young sailors to enjoy their time on the water and spoke about how her early years with KSSA were invaluable. Jenny and her husband Dom Johnson stayed all weekend to assist the coaching team who were all previous members of KSSA. Sunday’s Ambassador was Jon Waite, who recounted his involvement with GBR Paralympic sailing, with special reference to Beijing in 2008 when he was part of the GBR Sailing Team.

The format for the weekend encompassed coaching sessions on Saturday with Mark Heather, Tim Ellis, Sam Rowe who were supported by our “Ambassadors”. These were followed by the 50th Anniversary Race under the banner of the Littlefield Trophy for all current and past sailors of KSSA. Saturday evening was planned around the annual barbeque. Sunday involved a number of races with a vast array of prizes.

The weather was spectacular; with a steady force 2-3 SE giving the three groups (Topper, Laser and RS 200) a very suitable breeze for excellent coaching. After the official cake cutting for the 50th Anniversary the sailors took to the water to compete for the Littlefield Trophy. This has always been a race where donations are collected for the Kent Air Ambulance and we thank their representative, David Fagg, for his involvement. He reinforced the important part the helicopter and team play in rescue and recovery within the ‘Golden Hour’. We were lucky enough to see the helicopter in a fly past on route back to base.

The competitors in the Anniversary Race were current and ex-members of KSSA including the majority of the day’s coaches. A total of 44 boats started the race using average lap time format, all showing eagerness in the countdown to the start. A figure of eight course was set by last year’s winner, Chris Thomas, which needed good concentration at the crossover in the middle.

The racing was close across all classes. The winners were Mark Heather and Ed Cowell in a RS 200, with Paul Turnill and Stephanie Wicken second in a RS 400. First of the current KSSA sailors and winners of the Littlefield Trophy were Tom Marks and Lucy Harris in a RS 200, with Kirsty Greenslade and Jenny Pearson-Farr second. The RYA RS Fevas had been made available for the weekend and all three boats were out in force.

The barbecue was a roaring success, with the remainder of the evening spent recapturing some of the tales of the past 50 years. A photo presentation provided some amazing pictures from the past and stimulated a competition of who could be recognised.

Sunday started early with breakfast and briefing for the programmed four races. The weather provided a SE - S 2-3 breeze with lovely sun throughout – the “Joan Temple” with Ted Temple and helpers acted as Committee Boat.

Racing was kept close to the shore to offer the spectators a perfect view. There were 44 boats on the water with 58 sailors and on Sunday afternoon 150 plus people watching from the shore. Rivalry within classes was intense and places changed repeatedly.

At the prize giving the Anniversary Regatta trophies were presented by our President Jim Jeffery, Vice President Derek Crouch. Janet Burgess paid us a special visit to present the silver Burgess Bucket filled this year with 'naughty but nice’!

The Burgess Bucket and overall winners for the day were Chris Thomas and Dan Fenn, second Tom Marks and Lucy Harris, third Seb Hansell and Jackie Whitney; all sailing RS 200 dinghies. The winners of the adult fleet were Mark Heather and Ed Cowell repeating their victory of Saturday, finishing just ahead of Tim Ellis and Lucy Preston.

After a happy and exciting weekend all the competitors left Sandwich Bay driving past the tented village of the British Open Golf. We hope the golfers enjoyed their competition as much! A huge “Thank You” to Sandwich Bay Sailing & Water Ski Club, to all the sailors, to all the coaches and of course to the organising and management teams (especially Jim Jeffery, Martyn Styles and Elena Setterfield) for which this event would not happen. We look forward to next year’s event at Sandwich Bay.

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