Light airs, overcast but warm weather and lots of fun were the order of the day on AOC and Just Trays Big Wednesday at Pyefleet Week 2015 supported by Zhik. Big Wednesday is one of the highlights of the week and is run in memory of the late Reg White, Tornado Olympic Gold Medallist and life long member and supporter of regatta host Brightlingsea Sailing Club. The day features a spectacular all in handicap race for the entire fleet, plus a celebration Beach BBQ with rum punch and a live reggae band in the evening.
After the strong winds of the previous two days the sailors were relieved to have a day of light airs sailing. With the breeze rarely above six knots and a steady flood tide running it was clear that a little bit of local knowledge went a long way.
It was Sam Curtis and Ben Clegg sailing a 49er who proved to be the most adept at picking their way around the course and they took victory by almost two minutes from Chris Rust sailing an RS Aero 7. Piers Lambert and Peter Nicholson sailed their Merlin Rocket to third place, just ahead of the RS300 of Mike Bees.
Sixth place went to 80 years young Bob Fisher racing with his grandson Chris Matthews and family friend Jessica Rust aboard Chris’s Brightlingsea One Design (BOD). Bob grew up sailing Brightlingsea One Designs and although he hasn’t set foot in one for decades it was clear he’s lost non of his touch. Indeed their speed was so impressive that when they accidentally clipped the committee boat with their transom on the finishing thanks to the light wind and strong tide, they actually had time to take their penalty and re-cross the line and still beat the next BOD by almost 30 seconds and claim fifth place overall.
The prize for the first cadet entrant to finish went to Matt Smith and crew in an RS200 who also took sixth place in the overall standings.
Tomorrow the teams will return to fleet racing for the fourth race of the series. The weather forecast promises a southeasterly wind in the mid to upper teens which is likely to freshen a little as the afternoon wears on. Racing continues until Saturday eight August with up to six races scheduled.
by Fiona Brown