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Mersea Week 2015

by Jackie Stubbs 27 Aug 2015 17:02 BST 16-22 August 2015
IRC during Mersea Week 2015 © Patricia Forrest

Mersea Week 2015 took place in August on the sheltered waters of the Blackwater estuary, hosted and organised by the Dabchicks Sailing Club and West Mersea Yacht Club. The lovely summer weather held for the week providing good sailing and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the many social events. Sparkling water, colourful spinnakers and the topsails of classic boats from another era provided a stunning picture as the boats sailed along the Mersea shore.

150 boats took to the water for five days of racing in classes ranging from Fishing Smacks to IRC Yachts, classic yachts to fast and slow dinghies and more than 400 sailors competed in the 15 different classes. The week began on Sunday 16th with light easterly winds but the direction changed and winds increased during the week producing varied courses and conditions and some close and exciting sailing. The last race on Friday 21st being the decider in many classes.

With prizes for every day, two club regattas and overall trophies there were too many winners to mention them all and full results can be seen on the Mersea Week website www.merseaweek.org. However there are some that stand out.

In their last year of sailing this boat Paul Gosling and Rob Smith won the slow handicap cruisers in their Malbac 240 'Evita' and were also awarded the Newman Trophy for the best cruiser overall.

In the Smack class Richard Haines swept the board with four 1st places in CK52 'Kate'. Jonathan Hewat and Lucian Stone came from the Medway to win the Sonata class in 'White Noise' and the White Sail class was won by Andy & Jill Stebbing in their Hanse 311 'Seahawk 2' In the dinghies Matthew French had a clean sweep in the Laser class also winning the M&M trophy for the best dinghy overall with four 1st places. Will & Rachel Head in an RS200 and Michael Iszatt in an RS600 took 1st in medium and fast dinghy classes but a special mention needs to be made of some of the younger sailors.

Madison and Charlotte Allen, 10 and 9 years respectively, were the youngest competitors and won the slow handicap dinghies in a Pico, followed by Will Gibson in a Tera and Emily Sanderson and Phoebe Fuller in another Pico. Abbie Clarke sailing in her first regatta did very well to achieve 4th place in her Topper. The medium class was won by Ryan Bailey and Lucy Newman in an RS Feva with Edward Gibson and Ollie Latham taking 3rd place in a Topaz. Watch out for these names in the future.

A very successful week of sailing afloat and partying ashore was only made possible with the support of the sponsors and the hard work of the more than 50 volunteers who gave their time and effort. We are already planning for Mersea Week 2016 and hope to see even more boats enjoying the excellent sailing conditions that the Blackwater offers.

You can see more pictures of each days racing at www.patriciaforrest.co.uk.

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