Please select your home edition
Leaderboard new launch 2023 Spring

Mersea Week 2021 at West Mersea Yacht Club

by Chrissie Westgate 17 Aug 2021 21:22 BST 8-13 August 2021
Tumlare 'Zest' spinnaker reaching - Mersea Week 2021 © Chrissie Westgate

Following the 2020 event having to be cancelled, this year's Mersea Week saw competitors return with great enthusiasm to enjoy some very competitive racing on the River Blackwater estuary in Essex. Despite the first day's racing being lost to strong winds, the full schedule of races was completed, and in a variety of conditions, peaking out with 20+ knot gusts on the final day to fully test both crews and their boats.

The 47th running of this popular East Coast week had the usual cruiser classes, along with Smacks, IRC Sportsboats, Sonata ODs, Classic Yachts and Gaffers, Mersea Fisherman's Open Boats and three dinghy classes, and this spread contributes to the continued high entry numbers which enhance the success of the week.

Entries in the Smacks class were a little down this year, but the boats made their usual spectacular sight, especially downwind when setting a cloud of sail. Three race wins saw CK52 Kate skippered by Will Crossley win the class, ahead of the other race winners CK318 Alberta (Richard Haines) and CK171 Peace (Angus Milgate), with CK395 Puritan (Charlotte Cock) next up and top of the Slow Division.

Winning all but one race, the clear winner of the IRC Sportsboats class was Toby Ramsay's self-designed and built one-off Mojito, with the leading Cork 1720, Alison Banks with No Excuse in second and the Clifton family's SB3 Super Bazooka third.

In the Sonata class, with five race wins, Tony Hawkes and Pat Hill's Aubie Too was another clear winner, ahead of the Jess Gozzett, Harriet Shipton, Abbi Roberts and Kate Banks all-girl partnership with Wet Endeavour and Roger Sydenham's Parody.

A fifteen strong entry in the Classics & Gaffers class ranged from Ross Wey's beautifully restored 47ft Alfred Mylne yawl Gudgeon to Richard Ham's 22ft gaffer Fanny of Cowes, built in 1872 as an Itchen Ferry boat. The top three overall positions went to boats in the Fast Division, with Julian Lord's Tumlare Zest coming out well on top, ahead of Simon Lewington's Brittany class Droleen II and Flicka II, Scot Yeates Nordic Folkboat.

Zest and Mark Montgomery-Smith's Stella Lodestar were the only individual race winners. In the Slow Division, the Buchanan ECOD Tasman of Peter Clarke was first, with two gaff cutters next up - Nancy Harrisson's Nesta and the David Hillyard designed Iskra of Keith Muncey.

The main locally handicapped cruiser entry was divided into 'A' and 'B' classes. In the former, Stuart Howells Beneteau 31.7 Wookie took the overall win on tie break after winning the final race, with Greg Dunn's YW Diamond Black Diamond just missing out. Placed third was the Projection 762 Bananaman of Bruce Woodcock and Joe Billing.

The 'B' division saw four boats needing to be separated on tie-break after finishing the week tied on points. The outcome was that Barry Ashmore's C&C27 Algonquin was the winner, with Richard Holroyd's MGC27 Tearaway, the Sigma 292 Dura (Shirley Swann and Alan Mason) and a second MGC27, Vic Prior's Skybird in the next three positions.

With an entry of 18 boats, the White Sail class enjoyed some close racing, and a single point separated the top two - both in the Fast division - Rob Smith's Beneteau Oceanis Clipper 323 Tamarisk's more consistent results enabling him to win from Andrew and Jill Stebbing's Hanse 311 Seahawk, despite the latter's three race wins.

Third overall was the leading slow division boat, Bob Mercer's Hustler 25 Ufo, with Jon and Penny French's Oyster 26 Sea Pie fourth overall and third in the fast division. Next in the slow division were Steve and Deb Johnson's little Beneteau First 211 Bear and Mark Trebilcock's Rustler 31 Skebawn.

The Mersea Fishermans Open Boats were the usual wide range of sizes and sail areas, with the 24 strong entry split into Fast and Slow Divisions. The Fast and Overall winner was Tom Bowman's CK59 Mystery, with WM33 Prince (Will Montgomerie), OZ1 Joanne (Chris Green) and WM25 Merlin (Brian Sargeant) the next three. In the Slow division, Graeme Provan's WM27 Willotte took top slot, ahead of ILCA7 sailor Will Powell with WM7 Eden and Bev Philpott's WM60 Vicuna. Rob Lee's WM700 Genesta recovered from a first race capsize and near sinking to take fourth.

The dinghy entries were divided into three fleets, with ILCA4s making up the entire Slow class, and dominated by Alex Canham, ahead of Lindsey Allen and Alex Clarke. With a final race second place, Brian and Linda Cummings Enterprise took the win in the Medium class, with the ILCA6 of Poppy Lowe second, followed by the Solos of Brian Lamb and Viv Fox.

The Fast class saw Dan Woodcock's RS400 a clear winner, ahead of Henry Wells B14 and the RS600 of Michael Iszatt. has the full results for cruisers/smacks and dinghies/MFOB.

Mersea Week would like to thank our weekly sponsors; Adnams Brewery, Marinestore Chandlery and West Mersea Marine. Also, our daily sponsors; West Property Management, Catering Elite, Mersea Island Watersports, Fenn Wright and Mersea Homes. Without the ongoing support from these business's Mersea Week would not be the marvellous event it is.


You didn't have to be a competitor in Mersea Week to enjoy the festival atmosphere. There was lots to see and do throughout the week and observing the array of boats sailing by from one of Mersea Island's beautiful beaches, was pure delight. To conclude the week and following the final prize-giving, all present were treated to a spectacular firework display, courtesy of the Mersea Week committee and Mersea Homes.

Related Articles

Mersea Week - in a class of its own
Celebrates 50 years of Sail with a Different and Distinctive Logo The design of the commemorative logo a 'wavy' M and a 'wavy' W on a background of sea blue is envisioned to represent the Spirit of Fifty Years of Mersea Week and the timespan of holding our sailing regatta on the River Blackwater. Posted on 5 Feb
Mersea Week 50th Anniversary preview
August 2024 will see bumper edition The organisers of what is probably the biggest sailing event on the East Coast, Mersea Week, have announced the dates for their 50th Anniversary: Sunday 18th - Friday 23rd August 2024. Posted on 25 Oct 2023
2023 Mersea Week is biggest in years
A bumper entry of over 130 boats The 49th annual Mersea Week, hosted jointly by West Mersea Yacht Club and Dabchicks Sailing Club, saw a bumper entry of over 130 boats, including a good number of visiting yachts, smacks and dinghies. Posted on 25 Aug 2023
Mersea Week 2022
A bumper entry of over 130 boats The 48th annual Mersea Week saw a bumper entry of over 130 boats, including a good number of visiting yachts and dinghies. Five days of racing took place on Essex's River Blackwater estuary in a range of conditions. Posted on 23 Aug 2022
Get your entry in for Mersea Week 2022
Taking place from 14th to 20th August at West Mersea YC and Dabchicks SC Mersea Week in its entirety is organised and run completely by volunteers and this year promises to be another fantastic event. Posted on 10 Jul 2022
Mersea Week 2021 set for early August
Organised jointly by West Mersea Yacht Club and Dabchicks Sailing Club Mersea Week is a sailing regatta organised jointly by West Mersea Yacht Club and Dabchicks Sailing Club on Mersea Island in Essex. Posted on 25 Feb 2021
The legendary Mersea Week will be back in 2021!
Please put the dates in your diaries Stormy Seas may have rocked our boats this year, but next year NEVER! The legendary Mersea Week will definitely be back in 2021 bigger and better than ever. Posted on 17 Jul 2020
Mersea Week 2020 Cancelled
The committee hugely disappointed to have to make this annoucement The Mersea Week committee had really hoped it would be possible to hold the successful regatta that has become the highlight of the summer sailing season for many. Posted on 1 Jul 2020
Mersea Week 2020: Current Plans
Working tirelessly towards running another successful regatta The Mersea Week committee, on behalf of the West Mersea Yacht Club and Dabchicks Sailing Club, confirms that plans are still in place to run Mersea Week 2020 during August (16th-21st August 2020). Posted on 19 Apr 2020
Mersea Week 2019
46th edition held in pretty tough conditions on the River Blackwater estuary The 46th annual Mersea Week finished on Friday 16th August, and like most sailing around the country, the racing was held in pretty tough conditions - quite a contrast to the sunshine and sea breezes enjoyed by competitors last year. Posted on 17 Aug 2019