Lyme Regis Sailing club held their Regatta Series handicap and Championship of the Day races, 17 in all, over two days at the weekend, in ‘champagne sailing’ conditions. LRSC members were joined by 12 visitors in the RS800 class, Merlins, and Fireballs practising for their imminent championships. Club boats made up a Cruiser class, visitors from neighbouring clubs unable to make it in the strong winds with the prospect of an overnight stay.
Saturday was marked by strong breezes and dramatic wind shifts making setting fair courses and starts difficult for Race Officer Stuart Gurney and his team.
Lyme’s Cameron and Darroll Moss, left, pursue the leaders Luke and Emma McEwan, at the leeward mark as spinnakers are dropped. Photo by Jess Douglas
‘Sailors who are used to gauging wind angles wondered what was happening as one end of the start line was favoured then the other,‘ said Stuart, ‘but eventually we got them away‘. Impressive speeds of the RS 800s meant that these skiffs were given a separate course to obviate collisions with slower dinghies. ‘Even so, at one point, Nick Marden in his Solo had to gybe quickly to avoid being run down, and by the time he resumed his course, the 800s were 100 meters away!’ Stuart added. The ribs were kept busy with multiple capsizes, all dinghies were returned safely to harbour.
Sunday saw a steadier wind direction and the 5 races ran more smoothly. Series on handicap for the main classes were held, but it is class racing which is the most fairly competitive.
The current national champions in the RS800 class also took the honours in the Championship of the Day, Luke and Emma McEwan from Royal Lymington YC heading other RS800s and Lyme’s Cameron and Darroll Moss made 7th place. Fireball crew Russell Thorne, helmed by Kevin Hunt made 8th, and locals Will Broom and Joe Joyner 10th in a fleet of 39.
In thanking the club, Luke said the claim that Lyme has the best sailing waters in the country had more than a grain of truth in it.
A donation of the entry fees was made to the Regatta and Carnival Committee by past commodore David Beer. Prizes were presented by Rear Commodore Tony Fastnedge. Race Officer Stuart Gurney thanked his team of 30 helpers and invited the visitors to return next year.
4 Race Regatta Series (one discard)
Fast Handicap Class
1. Christian Birrell and Vyv Townsend, Fireball, Bough Beech SC, (1,1,1)
2. David Hall and Paul Constable, Fireball. Black water SC (2,5,3)
3. Kevin Hope and Russell Thorne, Fireball, Notts County and Lyme Regis S C, (5,2,3)
Medium Handicap Class
1. Jeff Vander Borght, K1, LRSC ( 1,1,2)
2. Nick Marden, Solo, Boigh Beech SC (3, 2,1)
3. Ian Jay, Finn, Sutton Bingham SC (2,2,3)
1. Jeremy White and Rob Walker, Devon Yawl, (1,1,1)
2. Andrew Willoughby and Mike Moore, Medina, (2,2,2)
3. Richard Salt and Mike Sale, Medina (3, 2,3)
Championship of the Day General Handicap
1. Luke and Emma McEwan, RS800, Royal Lymington YC
2. Andy and Allyson Jeffries, RS800, Eastbourne Sovereign SC
3. Ralph and Sophie Singleton, RS800
Tony Fastnedge, right, presents Championship,of the Day Regatta Wheel to winners Luke and Emma McEwan
Sharon of Regatta and Carnival Committee, accepts donation from Dave Beer, LRSC