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Teach Dinghy Sailing by Gaz Harrison
Teach Dinghy Sailing by Gaz Harrison

Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week 2016 - Day 5

by Fiona Brown 5 Aug 2016 12:19 BST 30 July - 5 August 2016

Day five of Learning & Skills Solutions Pyefleet Week 2016 brought more strong winds and some difficult decisions for the race management team. First thing the wind was regularly gusting up to 30+ knots, but the forecast was it to abate mid morning so a postponement was announced for the morning group.

By mid morning however, it was clear that the wind would not drop in time for the first session to be raced and so the Asymmetric Handicap, Brightlingsea One Design, Slow Handicap and Parent and Child Classes were stood down.

Fortunately by early afternoon the wind had begun to moderate and although still windy it was possible to start the Fast Handicap, Fireball, Laser, Wivenhoe One Design and RS700 Classes from the relative shelter of the club line in Brightlingsea Creek on a course that kept them relatively close inshore. The only afternoon class not to race was the Cadet Handicap as the wind was still gusting up to 20 knots.

With four races now completed for this group and two more remaining to sail the leader boards are starting to shape up.

In the Fast Handicap the Contender of James Spikesly and Piers Lambert and Tim Bees in their Merlin Rocket are now tied at the top of the leader board on six points thanks to their third and second places respectively in today's race. Race winner Chris Bannister in his Contender moves into third, a point behind the leaders and three ahead of fourth placed Edward Evans in an RS300.

A single point separates Roger Etherington and Jo Adams from Alan Carter and C Jessop at the front of the Fireball Fleet. The windy conditions kept Barrie and Rose Winship on shore, but they discard their DNC and still hold third place, five points adrift of the leaders.

The Laser Class is turning into a battle royal between Pete Kyne and Chris Rust who are both on four points with Kyne taking the overall lead thanks to his race win today. Rust came second in the race with Steve Williams third, which puts Williams into third overall as well with a five point delta off the leaders.

Eddie Bridle's dominance of the Laser Radial Fleet continued where he took his third race win of the series to lead the fleet by four points from nearest rivals Gary Pilgrim and Alexander Clarke who both count seven points overall. A single point behind them lies Tom Kyne who took second in the race and remains in firm contention for a podium finish.

Pete Purkiss has been equally dominant in the RS700 fleet and also counts just three points for his overall lead. David Bridle's third in the race puts him three points behind Purkiss in the overall standings, while Simon Redfern and John Payne are three further points back with Refern taking third on count back.

The Wivenhoe One Design fleet sailed a special upriver course for the race as their low freeboard makes them unsuitable for racing in large waves, and some of the boats opted to reef. On the water Nic Blower and David Tournay beat Nigel and Peter Cook with Rob Maloney and Peter Goldsmith in third. Overall Blower and Cook both now count four points with Blower leading the fleet on countback, while Maloney lies four points back in third overall.

The forecast for ARP and Specialised Fixings Friday is for a return to more moderate winds and sunshine, which will be a welcome relief for competitors and spectators alike. The Fast Handicap, Fireballs, Lasers, Laser Radials, Wivenhoe One Designs and Cadet Handicap will race in the morning. In the afternoon the race committee hopes to be able to run two races for the Asymmetric Handicap, Brightlingsea One Design, Slow Handicap and Parent and Child Classes to get them back on schedule after yesterday's missed race.

It's also Family Fun Friday at the club with all sorts of fun and games for the children. Magic Olly will be entertaining everyone with live magic shows during the afternoon and in the evening everyone will gather for a Beach Games and BBQ evening.

Racing concludes on Saturday 6 August. Further information about the event including full results can be found at

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