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KSSA Annual Regatta 2019 at Whitstable Yacht Club

by Jon Bentman 19 Sep 11:41 BST

The Kent Schools Sailing Association Annual Regatta at Whitstable Yacht Club on the September 14 attracted a healthy entry of 44 boats, 61 sailors. The wind was a late entry, coming in just before lunch, so the sailors enjoyed an afternoon back-to-back three-race programme in a freshening wind, under a perfect blue sky.

As it has been for much of this year, it was Broadstairs SC's Pierce Seward -outgoing KSSA team captain - who ran away with the big silverware. For Seward this was his last KSSA regatta as he's now turned 18. The win came not without a mighty tussle, his opposition coming from Downs SC's Abbey Mumford and Evie Herrington in their 420.

Going into the final race it was a win and a second apiece, so the third race would decide overall victor(s). Seward got clean air at the start and drew away from the fleet only to capsize on the downwind leg, allowing Mumford/Herrington to close up. At the finish Seward was ahead but not by much and everyone waited eagerly the outcome of the handicap calculations.

Only the calculations weren't needed as Mumford/Herrington were handed a BFD for their last race. It seems the sailors hadn't spotted the black flag flying over the final start and the 420 duo - along with 10 other boats - were caught course-side within that last minute.

With Mumford/Herrington (and others) relegated down the finishing order, the runner-up positions were taken by the Laser Radials of Sam Dyer from Herne Bay SC (another sailor in his final year with the KSSA) and Downs SC's Alex Head.

First double-hander was now Medway SC's Charlie Baker and Lewis Wright (420) in 9th overall, while best Topper and first under 14 Helm was Redoubt SC's Ben Sharp in tenth - likewise a surprised winner after his opposition was also caught by the black flag. Sophia Kyriacou in eleventh, a rising young star from Broadstairs S,C won first RS Tera and first girl. In the rookie fleet Phoebe Davis from Downs SC took the win in her Topper.

The Annual Regatta concludes the KSSA's racing for the year and the youth sailors will now start upon their autumn training with three events scheduled in October/November. New sailors are always welcome, the KSSA ask only that sailors can sail a triangle - the association's coaching will bring them on from there! For more details visit www.kssa.co.uk

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