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West Kirby Sailing Club and Dee Sailing Club Regatta

by Lucy Storey 11 Jul 2019 08:40 PDT 4-7 July 2019
Star class during the West Kirby/Dee Sailing Club Regatta © Alan Jenkins

The weather gods were smiling kindly on Costa del Kirby this weekend! The 4th-7th July saw the annual West Kirby SC and Dee SC open regatta take place on both the Dee estuary and West Kirby marine lake.

The extended weekend kicked off with the Illusion regatta on Thursday morning. The unique one design class took to the marine lake and five back-to-back races saw Richard Cornah take home the trophy with a convincing tally of four wins.

Friday was an early start for those walking out to the tidal boats. Copious amounts of coffee and doughnuts at the briefing got even the slowest starters ready for the Round the Island Race. The windward-leeward course, up and down the Dee estuary, forced the all-important decision of when to cross the tide channel to reach the North Westerly outer buoy. Although not technically circumnavigated by all (you'd be brave with the draft of a Limbo 6.6), the site of 55 boats in the vicinity of Hilbre Island with spinnakers hoisted in a gentle force 3 was glorious to behold!

The breeze picked up for the end of the race and with outhaul and uphaul tightened the first boats crossed the finish line, after approximately 2.5hrs. Brimstage Brewery beers were distributed to all of the class victors and with a bit of Dutch courage on board a motley crew assembled to take on the local RNLI in a tug of war. A close fought competition but the RNLI crew proved their strength and took home the chalice! The evening concluded with a spectacular sunset BBQ on the terrace and DJs Giardelli and Whittle gracing the decks.

Saturday morning was a little overcast allowing heavy headed sailors from the night before enough time to rehydrate with the generously donated Spire sustainable water bottles. Dee SC hosted the racing and a flock of catamarans emerged to escort the tidal classes around the estuary. A perfect box course was laid under the expertise of Gareth Owen enabling simultaneous starts and finishes on either side of the committee boat. The fantastic turn out of tidal competitors kept the race officers on their toes with multiple starts, multiple courses and lots of lap times to be recorded.

The conditions proved to be almost prefect with some extremely close racing observed from the committee boats in all classes, in particular the Falcons and Hilbres where the finishing hoots were seconds apart. At 4pm the clouds finally cleared, just in time to bathe the Dee SC lawns in sunshine for a late afternoon and evening of après sail with fantastic acoustics by John Wynne plus plenty of drinks being consumed by all. The paella and hog roast went down so well that some of the 'fashionably late' stragglers were delighted to be left with only pints and pork scratchings for supper!

Sunday was another Factor 50 kind of day. Racing started on the marine lake with lots of juniors taking to the water alongside all the usual dinghy suspects and the odd World Champion! Racing was hotly contested but Chris Kameen, team racing and Firefly guru of Imperial Poona Yacht Club, took the win in both races. Several energetic dinghies then hotfooted it across the slip just in time for the afternoon tidal races!

A particularly cosy Falcon start gave our committee boat a challenge when two of the 16-strong fleet were pushed off the line by their compatriots.

The race was followed by a convoy of close to 100 kayakers who set off from Dee SC and paddled up the estuary for the afternoon in the company of Hoylake RNLI on a training exercise.

At the close of racing our ace in-house results team efficiently crunched the numbers to deliver a ten-class divided table. See the full results of the regatta posted at

An informal jacket-over-shorts prize-giving followed by a delicious sailing supper wrapped up the weekend and drew to a close the best 96hrs of sun sea and sailing this year has afforded us so far... Maybe the best is yet to come!

An enormous thank you to all of the competitors and especially those of you who visited the club from afar - we look forward to welcoming you back in the future! Until next year!

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