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50th Anniversary KSSA Annual Regatta at Downs Sailing Club

by Kevin Lord 18 Sep 2011 10:09 BST 10 September 2011

Downs Sailing Club, at the picturesque Kent seaside town of Deal, hosted the 50th Anniversary Regatta of the K.S.S.A in September.

The 'Kent Schools Sailing Association' was formed by teachers and pupils in the late 50's and held their first regatta in the country's only Royal Harbour at Ramsgate in 1961. It was sailed in home/school made wooden dinghies. Heron, GP14, Enterprise & Mirrors were popular boats in those early years with few single-handed boats. It was revolutionary at the time as there was no national youth sailing or training programme available.

Today the K.S.S.A runs a busy racing and training programme throughout Kent open to all.

On the day 22 schools were represented from 14 different clubs in 10 different classes. Forty five boats took part but would probably have been more had the conditions, with a F4 gusting 6 throughout the day, been kinder to the smaller competitors.

In first two of the races nearly half the fleet were unable to register a result with numerous capsizes and the infamous Deal tide. But everyone took home a wealth of experience.

Regatta organiser and long standing member of the K.S.S.A Martyn Styles invited his son Hugh (British Olympic team member) to do coaching in between races using footage shot on the water. At the presentation of results he also enthralled the young audience with a candid look at life on and off the water as an Olympian.

Overall Results:

1st Tom and Oliver Goody RS200, Dane Court School
2nd Meia and Elin Harnett, 420, Queen Elizabeth's school
3rd Michael Calvert, Laser Radial, Borden Grammar

  • Alex Lane of Dover College took the Prelude Plaque for a competitor in their first year of competition
  • George Hyett of Sir Roger Manwoods who was sailing a Topper came 9th overall and took the Hampton Pier YC Trophy for the highest placed Under 14 sailor
  • Top School Team for the year was Sir Roger Manwoods School, Sandwich.
  • The top award for the year - The Chairman's Cup - given for special endeavour throughout the year - went to Sam Rowe for his life long services to the K.S.S.A and the R.Y.A in promoting youth sailing.
For the full results go to

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