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KSSA 'New Racers' at Margate Yacht Club

by Jon Bentman 17 Jun 2019 16:24 BST 15 June 2019

Fresh winds, gusting 17-19 knots, challenged the 13 youth sailors at the Kent Schools Sailing Association New Racers regatta at Margate YC on June 15th. However, with a flattish sea, radiating a sparkling Mediterranean blue in the warm bright sunshine, it proved perfect conditions for an exciting sail.

Sailing five races, with four to count, the morning was dominated by the pairing of Scott Wood and Sam Hammond (Downs SC) in their RS Feva XL; but as the winds increased in the afternoon, they were hunted down by the most unlikely assailant in the form of the slight-built Sophia Kyriacou in her RS Tera Sport. Broadstairs SC’s Kyriacou – who also competes in gymnastics nationally and internationally – maintained perfect control of her Tera, in everything from full-hike screaming reaches right through to the tricky high-wind gybes.

The competition was still wide open going into the final race and the committee boat was rewarded with the impressive site of Wood/Hammond, Kyriacou and Broadstairs SC’s Joe Baker crossing the start line together at full speed, practically on the start gun – impressive form for new racers. Wood/Hammond were struggling to keep control of their Feva XL in the gusts and wayward gybes cost them dear, while another Tera lost his chance of overall honours in a capsize. In the end Kyriacou kept a level head and perfect control to take the last race win and the overall victory.

Mention should also be made of the excellent performances of a trio of Teras helmed by Joe Baker (Broadstairs SC), Lewis Vandervord and Jason Collins (both Margate SC) who completed all the races (and well) in the high winds. A special prize went to the diminutive pairing of Jacob Wesdale and Winter Ihan (Margate SC) who bravely stuck it out in their RS Q’ba almost to the end before one capsize too many forced them to retire.

In all, an excellent event and a great confidence boost to the young rookies who’ll now be looking forward to more races to come at the KSSA’s Summer Regatta at the end for the month before their first outing at the NSSA national regatta at Weymouth in July.

Also: special thanks to Margate Yacht Club for their usual warm welcome and for helping the KSSA put on such a great event.

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