Please select your home edition
C-Tech 2021 SnuffAir 728x90 TOP

Alton Water 2020 Fox's Chandlery & Anglian Water Frostbite Series - Week 8

by Jenny Pavey 28 Feb 2020 05:25 PST 23 February 2020
And they're still smiling - week 8 of the Alton Water Fox's Chandlery & Anglian Water Frostbite Series © Tim Bees

After two weeks of cancelled racing due to storms Ciara and Darren, the forecast for week 8 of this nine-week series wasn't looking much more promising. It was forecast to be very windy yet again but with the likelihood of it dropping around lunchtime and, unlike the previous two weeks the Highways Agency had no plans to close the nearby Orwell Bridge, which is a good indication of how windy it is.

So, this week the decision was made not to call off racing the day before but to see what it was like on the day and whether enough people were keen to race. Another indication of whether the conditions are sailable is whether the Race Office is able to lay the marks beforehand or whether it was too extreme to be able to do that safely.

An apprehensive group of sailors turned up to find that the Race Officer had indeed been out and laid a short square course that would keep the fleet fairly compact and would allow short races with a quick turnaround. With assurances from the Alton Water staff that there was plenty of safety cover, a show of hands indicated that there were enough people willing to brave the elements to run a race.

As numbers were considerably down from the 60 boats that have raced previous weeks in this series, the decision was made to have an all-in start instead of the usual five fleets and, with the exception of a couple of RS200s and a Laser Vago, all the participants were in single-handers. The Race Officer briefed competitors beforehand, stressing that there would only be a second and third race if enough people stayed out for them, with no expectations of completing the planned three races.

The first race started in a 25 mph west-south-westerly with some much stronger gusts. There were several capsizes but most of the sailors handled the conditions well and an RS200 and the Vago were even confident enough to use their asymmetrics.

The sailors enjoyed the first race so much that all but one stayed out for a second race. It started in similar conditions but halfway through the wind picked up and a line of horizontal rain considerably reduced visibility, but it was fairly short lived and on spotting some blue sky out to the west and beginning to dry out, the sailors stayed out for the third race of the day, which was a catch-up race from the previous weeks. The sun came out and the breeze moderated enough for all but one of the starters to finish the third race.

Special mention must be made of Graham Seabrook and his crew in the Laser Vago who capsized so many times the Committee Boat crew lost count, but crossed the finish line of the third race with a loud whoop, promptly moving themselves up to third the Asymmetric fleet rankings. Credit also to young sailors Noah Fitzgerald in his Topper and Max Shiel in his Laser 4.7 who both sailed well.

It was another good day for Tim Bees, our series photographer who took some exceptional photographs and managed to have his zoom of doom focussed on people at just the right moment.

It's all change at the top of the Laser and Medium fleets with Rheanna Pavey who won all three races and Ben Powell in his RS Aero 7 who also enjoyed the breezy conditions now taking first place. The leaders of the other three fleets remain the same.

This Sunday (1 March) is the last of the series, with two races planned, followed by prize-giving. If two races are sailed, a final discard comes into play, so anything could happen and to add to the anticipation the current overall series winner is not being revealed this week.

Tim Bees' photos can be seen at and there are more photos on the Alton Water Sailing Facebook page.

Race results to date can be found on the Alton Water Frostbite Results Facebook page.

Results highlights for this week (all-in, not fleet results):

Rheanna PaveyLaser RadialStour SC111
Noah FitzgeraldTopper Tattingstone Valley SC522.5
Ben Powell RS Aero 7Tattingstone Valley SC432.5
Harry WallheadLaserRoyal Harwich YC244

Series leaders after eight races:

FastAdy PellsFinnHarwich Town SC
AsymmetricStephen Videlo/Ethan DaveyRS200Waldringfield SC
Laser Rheanna Pavey RadialStour SC
MediumBen PowellRS Aero 7Tattingstone Valley SC
SlowAndy Webb/Evie MayRS Feva XLHarwich Town SC

Related Articles

Seldén SailJuice Winter Series news
New event at Alton Water, Burghfield postponed Due to the latest COVID situation, the Burghfield Brass Monkey has been postponed to 20th February. Meanwhile a new event is coming in for the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series, due to take place at Alton Water in Suffolk on the weekend of 27 & 28 March. Posted on 19 Dec 2020
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 9
Conclusion to what will be remembered as the windy series We have come to the end of what will always be remembered as the windy series, with none of the usual Frostbite snow, ice and bone-chilling winds, but this time interrupted by Storms Ciara and Darren and a near miss by Jorge. Posted on 5 Mar 2020
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 5
A windy series so far, and this week was no exception This has been a windy series so far and this week was no exception. The day started fairly benignly with a steady south-westerly but the wind picked up towards the end of the first race. Posted on 7 Feb 2020
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 4
The Race Officer's intention was to start on time, but... A return to grey skies and a south-westerly breeze, forecast to veer to the west, greeted sailors for week 4 of this nine-week series. There was a fairly gentle breeze as the course was set and some sunshine at first. Posted on 29 Jan 2020
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 3
Fifty-three boats took to the water and there were a few capsizes Week 3 of this popular series brought a chilly but bright and breezy day and with a good imagination you could almost convince yourself it was summer. With a breeze from the north-westerly the sailors didn't have to sail very far to the start. Posted on 22 Jan 2020
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 2
Some vicious gusts of 30+ mph Week two of this popular nine-week series brought a brighter, mild day with the wind from the same direction as the previous week but with more of it, plus some vicious gusts of 30+ mph. Posted on 16 Jan 2020
Alton Water Frostbite Series week 1
51 on the water for the first two races this year With new management at Alton Water Sports Centre, no-one was sure how this popular Frostbite Series would be organised this year, but with some good teamwork a seamless operation was possible. Posted on 10 Jan 2020
Zhik UK Cadet Class Inlands at Alton Water
A reshuffling of the pack as younger sailors start to find their feet For the UK Cadet Class the Inlands are traditionally held in the Autumn as the first of two selector events for much sought after places in the winter squads. Posted on 27 Sep 2019
RS Teras at Alton Water
Eastern Region Traveller Series Round 1 We had some great racing to start the RS Tera Eastern Region Traveller series at Alton Water Sailing Club, Suffolk, despite some tricky conditions. Posted on 20 May 2019
Phantoms at Alton Water
Fleet alive and kicking in South East Suffolk Sixteen Phantoms competed in the Phantom open at AWSC, sponsored by Fox's Chandlery, to show that the fleet is very much alive and sailing in South East Suffolk, as in other places in the country. Posted on 9 Apr 2019
Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 728x90px1 BOTTOMDoyle Sails 2020 - Pure Brilliance 728x90 BOTTOMSea Sure 2020 - FOOTER