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Zhik Pyefleet Week at Brightlingsea Sailing Club - Day 6

by Fiona Brown 8 Aug 2015 08:49 BST 1-8 August 2015

Kate Taylor & Rob Austey win SigneT Nationals

The penultimate day of Pyefleet Week 2015 supported by Zhik, which was sponsored by Aluminium Roofline Products and Specialised Fixings, saw the conclusion of the SigneT National Championship and tight racing in glorious sunshine for the fifth race of the other fleets.

The SigneT Class finished their National Championship with a fun crew race in the morning followed by their sixth and final championship race in the afternoon. This delightful 12'6" Ian Proctor designed plywood chine dinghy was sponsored by the Sunday Times on it's introduction in the mid 1960s - hence the capitalisation of S and T in SigneT. They had to content with some rough conditions and strong winds early in the week, but it was champagne sailing all the way today. Pat Overs and Steve Whiteside claimed the final race and were followed across the line by Mike Overs and Mark Cowlingh. Overnight leaders Kate Taylor and Rob Austey chased them in for third, which was just enough to give them the championship by a single point from Mike Overs and Mark Cowlingh. Pat Overs and Steve Whiteside's race win secured their position on the third step of the podium.

Speaking at the prize giving Rob Austey paid tribute to his fellow competitors and thanked both the Class and Brightlingsea Sailing Club organisers for a great fun and hard fought championship. But he kept his most fulsome praise for Kate, noting that the two of them had swopped roles in the boat this week making their victory particularly sweet.

For the other classes tomorrow will bring one final deciding race. In the Cadet Handicap victory is already assured for Matt Smith and Issy Taylor-Jones in their RS Feva as they added another bullet to their score card today and lead the fleet with four points while discarding a first place. However the battle for the remaining podium places will be fierce with the Laser 4.7 of Connie Hughes and the RS Feva of Josh Davies and Blake Tudor both on 15 points and Ryan Thomas's Laser Pico just four more points adrift in fourth place.

The Fast Handicap will go down to the wire with only three points currently separating the top three boats. Sam Curtis and Ben Clegg took their first win of the series today and now lead the class by a single point from the Merlin Rocket of Chris Matthews and Sarah Bines, with Piers Lambert and Derek Gentry, also sailing a Merlin Rocket, a further two points back in third.

Elaine and Warren Tudor and Rhys Lankester and Dave Gibbons are squaring up for a final race showdown in the Fireball Class. Thanks to a race win today the Tudors lead the class by two points from Lankester and Gibbons who had their worst results of the series today with a fifth. With 15 points to their name, Richard Mansfield and Dawn Jasper can't climb any further up the table, but will be hoping to hold off a late charge from Rowland Smith and Jack Permenter, who are currently just three points behind them.

Pete Kyne won today's Laser race, but having missed several races earlier in the week he is not in contention for the podium. Instead Steve Williams and Chris Rust will slug it out for the overall honours. Williams took second today and now leads Rust by a single point with both boats discarding a fifth. Ollie Newman is lying in third, four points behing Rust and nine ahead of Edd Slack.

Alexander Clark made the Laser Radial fleet his own today with a fifth straight win, but only a single point now separates Brandon Hastings and Ben Eeles for second and third. These two have been alternating finishing positions all week and neither will give up without a fight.

There are just three points between the three leaders in the Wivenhoe One Design Fleet where Nic Blower and Cassie Catchpole snatched victory on the line from Rob Maloney and Janine Ford/Peter Goldsmith today. Despite this Maloney continues to lead the fleet by a single point from Blower with George Brown and David Tournay just two further points back in third.

With four wins to count and a second currently discarded Paul Mines and Stuart Smith have the Cat Handicap all sewn up in their Tornado. Barry Arnison has secured second place with his Tornado and the F18 of Paddy Carr and Mark Dyvie/Sophie Carr is confirmed as third.

Also counting four wins and discarding a second are Melissa Heppell and Louis Hiscocks in the Dads & Little Ones Fleet, which means Louis is assured victory over big sister Amelie Hiscocks who is sailing with Tim Ashworth. Amelie and Tim are safe in their second place regardless of tomorrow's result, but third will go down to the wire as Stephen and Willow Cross, who at four years old is the youngest competitor in the regatta, and Stuart and Tom Phllips go head to head one final time. Team Cross beat Team Phllips by a single place today and the two boats are separated by just a single point, so it's going to be a nail biting finale.

Despite finishing fourth in today's race, their worst result of the series, Chris and Gillian Jordan, sailing a Laser 2000, have none the less won the Slow Handicap fleet with a day to spare thanks to the four first places they are counting. Tomorrow's final race will see Chris and Helena/Cathy Fish take on Emma and Martina Barry to decide the remaining podium positions. Team Fish won today's race which gives them a single point advantage over Team Barry going into that last race.

The youngsters in the Tera fleet have impressed everyone with the quality of their sailing this week and none more so that Josh Davies, who today secured his Pyefleet Week victory with his third win of the week. Jack Oakley goes into the final race with a four point lead over Blake Tudor so will be hoping he can hold onto second place.

After a somewhat inconsistent week, Phil Rust crewed by son Chris and Mark Self finally hit form today and romped home to victory in the 23 strong Brightlingsea One Design Class. The dog fight for second place was eventually won by Malcolm Goodwin, sailing with Graham Sanderson and Georgina White, who moves into the overall lead as a result, leapfrogging over Dan and James Willett and Fraz, who had their worst result of the series with a fifth and are now two points behind Goodwin and three points ahead of defending Pyefleet Week BOD Champion Jeremy Newman, crewed by Ollie Newman and Piers Lambert, who managed fourth today despite being over the line at the start and having to recross. The racing in this class has without doubt been the closest of the regatta and sailors and spectators alike are all awaiting tomorrow's final face off with baited breath.

The weather forecast promises more hot sunshine and light easterly winds tomorrow morning, which will clock and build to the mid teens through the day. The regatta concludes with a final race for all remaining classes and tomorrow evening the Pyefleet Week 2015 champions will be declared.

Our thanks to Dave White for the sailing images used in this press release.

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