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West Kirby Sailing Club Regatta

by Jean-Louis Simons 28 Jul 2018 14:02 BST 13-15 July 2018
Illusion fleet racing downwind, led by Peter Bramley, during the West Kirby Sailing Club Regatta © Alan Jenkins & Alan Dransfield

The annual regatta started on the Friday 13th July with racing for the Illusion class followed by an evening of fun sailing and entertainment ashore. Dee Sailing Club regatta was held on Saturday 14th, with West Kirby SC taking over once again on the Sunday 15th.

The Illusion fleet raced a five-race series on the lake, attended by 6 of the 7 resident Illusions. The racing was, as always, very close and the winner hung in the balance until the final race, when Peter Bramley nosed ahead of rival David Pilling in 4th and 5th place respectively to take the Regatta honours by 1 point. Alan Irving finished the series in 3rd overall.

Also afloat in the freshening wind conditions were the majority of the International Canoe fleet, for whom Tony Marston had organised a training day by National Champion Gareth Caldwell who travelled from Blithfield SC for the weekend. Two hours of tacking, gybing, reaching, running, beating and swimming later, the candidates were declared fit to compete in the Fast Handicap class of the regattas and retreated to bed to recover for the following day.

The evening progressed with many beginners sailing for fun on the lake whilst others enjoyed the West Kirby terrace with well deserved refreshments, BBQ and music till late.

The Saturday and Sunday races were held over two separate Olympic courses on the river Dee, with additional inner windward and gybe marks layed out for the slower classes on the dinghy course. A very welcome addition to the Dinghy Medium Handicap fleet were eleven RS Aeros visitors who had travelled from as far as Whitstable, Ullswater, Nottingham, Oxford, Maidenhead, Covenham and Yorkshire. We also welcomed once again Glynn Purnell from Leigh & Lowton SC sailing his laser radial. Despite wind shifts keeping the Race Officer and his team on edge, 2 good races were had in a Northerly 4 to 5 knots, increasing for the longer second race to around 8 knots. Several helms were caught out by the strength of the tide, some adjusting their course and almost running down to the finishing line once they realised they were rapidly heading for Ireland. Everyone came back ashore smiling.

On the second Olympic course, the Traditional West Kirby classes were joined by the Opera class from Hoylake SC, Dart 18's and Handicap Catamaran from Dee SC, and the Liverpool Bay Falcon OD from Fiddlers Ferry SC. 2 races were held, in the light airs. The Race Officer took advantage of the high tide to its fullest extent, to give 2 good races to all competitors.

Once ashore, the sailors were treated to a magnificent buffet lunch and many beers were had trading racing anecdotes of the day. I would have... I should have... If only... Still a great week end of sailing, racing and catching up with old friends.

Full results on

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