Day 4 of Pyefleet Week 2014, in Brightlingsea, Essex, was epic in every sense with a record turnout of Brightlingsea One Designs for their first race of the series, some awesome sailing with monster gusts and shifts, a spectacular high speed all in handicap Big Wednesday Gold Medal race and a rocking beach BBQ and reggae party.
Pyefleet Week 2014 - Day four
Day four of the regatta at last brought sailable conditions for the historic Brightlingsea One Design Class (BOD) and twenty two of these 18' day boats which date back to 1927, thought to be the largest number of BODs ever to race together, came to the line for their first race of the series. Conditions were extremely tricky with an average wind speed of around fifteen knots from the northwest, but violent heavy gusts into the mid twenties and shifts of up to 40 degrees.
Jeremy Newman, Chris Rust and Ollie Newman, sailing C32 Avocet, made a good start and sailed a blinding first beat up the river to lead at mark one by a generous margin. From there on they sailed a beautiful race to claim victory by a comfortable margin. But behind Avocet the pack was tightly bunched and with a strong flood tide and tricky conditions to contend with the place changing was constant as the fleet battled for positions.
Sailing in only his second ever BOD race, Cherub National Champion and Eighteen Foot Skiff sailor Graham Bridle, sailing C24 Endeavour with son Will Bridle and Graham Eales, got a fantastic start at the pin end and followed Avocet round the first mark. Hot on his heels were John Payne in C11 Graying, Alan Hicks in C54 Storm Petrel, Colin Willett in C8 Egret and Phil Rust in C16 Dulcet. Malcolm Goodwin, sailing C4 Cormorant, had a lousy start and first beat to round almost last - a position from which recovery seemed unlikely.
On the long reach out to sea Endeavour and Grayling began to drop back a little while Cormorant began to make gains. At the leeward mark Storm Petrel had moved up into second and, along with Avocet, chose to stand on to the left side of the second beat. Dulcet chose to tack off early and it proved to be a smart move jumping them up into second place with Storm Petrel now third. The leading three held their places around the first lap and half way around the second, but Cormorant was relentlessly grinding her way through the fleet and passing boats on every leg. On the final beat Cormorant squeezed past Storm Petrel and was catching Dulcet on the way to the finish, but she simply ran out of runway and had to be content with third.
2 - Pyefleet Week 2014 - Day four
Once the BODs were home it was time for the main feature of the day, the Big Wednesday Gold Medal Race. This race is run in memory of the late Reg White, Olympic Gold Medallist, double Tornado World Champion, five time Little America's Cup winner and lifelong Brightlingsea resident. Following his death, from a heart attack whilst sailing his BOD, Reg's family established the Reg White Memorial Fund, which supports sporting programmes for young people in Brightlingsea. Big Wednesday helps to raise awareness of and money for the fund.
The average wind speed had moderated a little, but there were still regular strong gusts and plenty of shifts as the massed fleet came to the line. Hundreds of spectators thronged Brightlingsea’s famous beach hut lined Promenade to enjoy the spectacle and the sailors did not disappoint. Off the crowded start line the best start of all went to two of the youngest sailors, Tom and James King, sailing an SL16 catamaran. They showed the entire fleet how it should be done and then went on to sail a lovely race to finish ninth overall and win the Cadet Gold Medal Trophy.
Simon Hisckock's International Moth held back at the start, but then sped through the fleet rapidly overtaking first the monohulls and then the catamarans, but gear failure sadly forced him to retire early. Graham Bridle also brought his Eighteen Foot Skiff to the line, but having selected their big rig based on the average wind speed, they found the heavy gusts too much to handle so were also forced to pull out of the race.
Conditions were absolutely perfect for the cats and as the boats rounded the first mark Rupert White, grandson of Reg, and his crew Nikki Boniface had taken the lead in their Nacra 17. With kites hoisted the cats flew out to sea leaving their nearest monohull rivals trailing in their wake.
The sun shone, the blue sky was dotted with scudding clouds, and the sight of the fleet hurtling around the course at break neck pace kept the spectators enthralled from start to finish.
On the line Rupert White and Nikki Boniface took first place with Will Sunnucks, sailing an F18 with Rupert's brother Freddie second. Third were Nick Barnes and John Payne in a Viper and fourth was another of Reg's grandchildren, Henry White, also sailing an F18. The first mono hull was Chris Bannister's Contender in fifth with Pete and Tom Kyne's Fireball sixth.
After racing everyone repaired to the beach where prizes were presented, the rum punch flowed, Reg's family, led by sons Robert, Mark and David and daughter Sally, cooked a spectacular sunset BBQ and everyone danced late into the night to a live reggae band.
The forecast for tomorrow is for lighter winds which will come as a welcome relief to many in the fleets, and Pyefleet Week continues until Saturday 16 August.
Results BIG Wednesday 2014 Brightlingsea Sailing Club Big Wednesday R1 Start: Start 1, Finishes: Place
|1||Gold Medal||NACRA 17||120||BSC||Rupert White||Nikki Boniface||662||+1:18:10||4||1:58:05||1.0|
|2||Gold Medal||F18||501||W. Sunnucks||F White||670||+1:21:24||4||2:01:30||2.0|
|3||Gold Medal||VIPER||239||BSC||N. Barnes||J. Payne||695||+1:28:26||4||2:07:15||3.0|
|4||Gold Medal||F18||6||BSC||H. White||670||1:27:24||4||2:10:27||4.0|
|5||Gold Medal||CONTENDER||708||C. Bannister||985||+1:04:50||2||2:11:38||5.0|
|6||Gold Medal||FIREBALL||14860||P. Kyne||975||+1:04:11||2||2:11:39||6.0|
|7||Gold Medal||TORNADO||6||P. Mines||S Smith||638||+1:24:37||4||2:12:38||7.0|
|8||Gold Medal||MERLIN-ROCKET||3671||P. Lambert||980||+1:05:07||2||2:12:53||8.0|
|9||Gold Medal||SL16||791||T. King||J King||796||+1:19:25||3||2:13:02||9.0|
|10||Gold Medal||SCORPION||2003||BSC||S. Gillow||1058||+1:12:31||2||2:17:05||10.0|
|11||Gold Medal||RS 200||1126||A. Bines||1071||+1:13:31||2||2:17:17||11.0|
|12||Gold Medal||LASER||172807||Edd Slack||1120||+1:19:39||2||2:22:14||12.0|
|13||Gold Medal||LASER RADIAL||179834||Julie Eeles||1150||+1:22:14||2||2:23:01||13.0|
|14||Gold Medal||MERLIN-ROCKET||3620||BSC||O. Newman||980||+1:10:08||2||2:23:08||14.0|
|15||Gold Medal||FIREBALL||14774||BSC||R. Etherington||975||+1:09:47||2||2:23:09||15.0|
|16||Gold Medal||LASER RADIAL||146441||B. Richardson||1150||+1:23:42||2||2:25:34||16.0|
|17||Gold Medal||LASER||186353||S. Carr||1120||+1:22:51||2||2:27:57||17.0|
|18||Gold Medal||BOD||C27||C. Matthews||1150||+1:25:20||2||2:28:24||18.0|
|19||Gold Medal||SPRINT 15||1240||D. Swan||945||+1:10:08||2||2:28:26||19.0|
|20||Gold Medal||RS 700||761||BSC||Peter Purkiss||845||+1:03:10||2||2:29:30||20.0|
|21||Gold Medal||LASER||204979||S. Parsons||1120||+1:23:59||2||2:29:58||21.0|
|22||Gold Medal||DART 16||9||BSC||C. Rust||910||+1:08:58||2||2:31:35||22.0|
|23||Gold Medal||TOPPER||10961||Josh Elson||1370||+53:41||1||2:36:44||23.0|
|24||Gold Medal||TORNADO||403||R. Amerson||638||1:18:33||3||2:44:10||24.0|
|25||Gold Medal||C20||C20||BSC||J. Bray||1150||+1:34:28||2||2:44:17||25.0|
|26||Gold Medal||RS FEVA||6||S. Phillips||1200||+52:07||1||2:53:43||26.0|
|27||Gold Medal||BOD||C53||BSC||M. White||1150||+1:41:50||2||2:57:06||27.0|
|28||Gold Medal||TOPAZ||10333||BSC||S. Fisher||1278||+58:13||1||3:02:13||28.0|
|29||Gold Medal||TOPAZ||17||A. Reed||1278||+60:09||1||3:08:16||29.0|
|30||Gold Medal||WOD||17||Wivenhoe SC||R. Maloney||1180||+59:20||1||3:21:08||30.0|
|31||Gold Medal||LASER RADIAL||200654||J. Ferber||1150||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||LASER RADIAL||173532||H. Parsons||1150||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||FIREBALL||14471||R. Mander||975||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||LASER RADIAL||85848||Jacob Elson||1150||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||MERLIN-ROCKET||3584||J. Spikesley||980||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||TOPAZ||2380||BSC||C. Walker||1278||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||TOPPER||44351||BSC||L. Walker||1370||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||LASER 2000||22321||BSC||C. Jordan||1133||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||420||48843||M. Mansfield||1100||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||NACRA 17||162||BSC||Maddy Anderson||Ollie King||662||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||MUSTO SKIFF||52||BSC||G. Bridle||845||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||RS 800||1073||BSC||D.Conlon||805||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||RS FEVA||6||BSC||Stuart Phillips||Thomas Phillips||1200||DNF||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||F18||424||BSC||E. Carr||T. Carr||670||DSQ||46.0|
|31||Gold Medal||MOTH - FOILING||3985||WPNSA||Simon Hiscocks||650||DNF||46.0|