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Kemp Sails Swanage Regatta 2021

by Doug Horner 14 Aug 17:45 BST 6-8 August 2021

After the obvious gap of last year, 2021 was the second edition of the revamped Swanage regatta. Sponsored again by Kemp Sails, the weekend started off with a pre-racing Gin night on Friday evening to get everyone in the right mood for the weekend.

Saturday dawned and the sailors were briefed on the new scoring system for the event. The standard low points system was to be dropped and instead an overall corrected time classification was to be used. Simply playing it safe if in the lead now wouldn't be an option, as you would need to keep pushing the boat to its max in order to get time in the bank.

For anyone behind, a well timed tactical "corner-banging" gamble could gain valuable minutes for anyone who dared to try. New racing options were presenting themselves, and maybe one day a major dinghy championship will be willing to try it too.

Race one started with a reaching start, bearing away onto a run with the Dart 18s naturally flying away in the 17-20 knots of wind. With it being an offshore breeze, the gusts and shifts made for challenging conditions for all the boats with multiple capsizes across all of the classes of boats racing.

A rapid turn around in between races presented the sailors with a completely different course for race two. With the course design such that boats on different legs would cross each other at various points, everyone had to have their wits about them at all times. With constant place changing between boats of similar types and of course the odd capsize thrown in for good measure, everything was going according to plan and the fears of the event being blown off were gone from memory.

Then of course a massive squall came through... The race officer immediately began finishing boats and tried to get everyone back to shore as safely as possible.

Once on shore all the racers were greeted with free beer and cake, and as the evening rolled in it was time for the BBQ.

After drinking late into the night, sailors returned Sunday morning looking a little bleary eyed and the increased wind of 20-25 knots wasn't the sight they were quite hoping for.

After a quick on-the-water safety check of the conditions, sailors were released for some more racing. Again with a completely different course to previous races, the sailors were clearly at their limit and only one short race was managed. Everyone clearly fatigued as they crossed the finish line to head home.

After all that, Ben Whaley in an Aero 7 was the winner on an overall corrected time of 1:10:37 followed by two Dart 18s. Mark Groome and Wendy Bobbit/Kate Michie finished on a time of 1:15:30 and Richard Miller and Michelle Stracey on an overall time of 1:16:20. After three races, only 50 seconds stood between second and third place!

Again, thanks has to go Kemp Sails for adding all the touches to the event that made it a real complete weekend event rather than just some races.

Next year the regatta will be back with no shortage of ideas on how to make it a bigger and better weekend away for everyone attending.

Full results at goskipper.co.uk/results/swanage-sailing-club/swange-regatta-2021

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