Fate of WSSYSA Annual Regatta to be reviewed in July

The WSSYSA Executive Committee continues to meet regularly to discuss the running of the Annual Regatta at Cobnor in September as planned and to make all necessary arrangements on the basis that it will proceed.

However, we will continue to monitor guidance provided by the Government, the RYA, educational and outdoor activity organisations to determine whether the event may go ahead safely. A final go/no-go decision will be made at the end of July and communicated promptly on this website and directly to all member organisations.

WSSYSA Early Season Regatta cancelled

Perhaps not unexpectedly, the WSSYSA Early Season Regatta scheduled for Saturday 13th June at Arun Youth Aqua Centre, Littlehampton, has had to be cancelled due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic and lockdown conditions. We look forward to supporting a similar event in 2021!

Slow handicap regatta beats weather at Pagham

The forecast didn’t bode well, but despite the promise of strong wind and rain 15 young sailors from four different clubs joined together at Pagham Yacht Club on Saturday 15th June for a new event in the WSSYSA Calendar – a Slow Handicap Regatta.

With experienced weather watchers at Arun and Felpham the verdict was “no chance of sailing”. But at Pagham just a few miles west the conditions were excellent for racing! A good breeze but certainly manageable, even without a reef for most.

So, after a race briefing by the race officer, Ross Fisher from Felpham SC, the four safety teams set off to lay the trapezoid course with a start line off the club. The mixed fleet of Laser 4.7s, Teras, Toppers, Fevas and a Pico all launched successfully with the help of an experienced beach team and all was ready for the first race. Then during the five minutes to the start a sudden squall came through that tested sailors and safety crew alike. Visibility from the race office ashore plunged to very little, with comments being raised about the lack of wipers blades on the windows! By the time the first Laser (Miles Vidler from Crawley Mariners YC) had reached the first mark the squall had passed but both Chloe Robinson (Pagham YC) and Samson Cross (Crawley Mariners YC) in Toppers and Anna Collins and Joe Markworth in a Feva struggled and subsequently retired from the first race. After just that one squall the wind gods behaved themselves and the rain held off sufficiently long for four races to be completed.

Miles proved to be the one to beat showing mastery of his Laser 4.7 both on the upwind leg and on the awesome reaches. He achieved bullets in every race with the two following 4.7s of Jack Goodland and Zak Smith (both from Pagham YC) constantly vying for position, perhaps losing ground against Miles by chasing each other around the course — they certainly had a great day testing each other to see who could be fastest.

In the second race Mia Gray (Tera Sport) and Josh James (Topper 4.2), both of Felpham SC, were both over the start line by a huge margin. A prompt from a safety boat encouraged them to turn back from half way up the first beat to re-cross the line. Josh did this and went on the post a sixth place but Mia didn’t quite back track far enough so did not conform with the correct starting procedure. Rules is rules so she posted a DSQ on Race 2. Meanwhile the Laser trio blasted through to take the top three places closely followed by Edwin Cross (Crawley Mariners YC) with the best result of his day in fourth place.

Race 3 saw a rested Samson in his Topper bravely get back sailing after his DNF (with downwind shore recovery) and DNS in Race 2. Well done, Samson!

The first three races were timed to be around 30 minutes for the lead dinghy, but the last race was reduced to two laps and 20 mins as the weather was closing in.

One factor affecting all racers was the strong tidal flow east to west. Many competitors made a huge arc in going from mark 3 to mark 4 having not taken sufficient account of the effect of the flow. Only one racer (Josh) made a consistent straight track between these marks. A learning point for everyone else!

Four races completed on a decidedly grotty day was quite an achievement, so a big thanks to the race officer and his team, safety crews and the beach team for a smoothly run and fun day. The kitchen crew were also busy supplying hot drinks and hot food.

A big thanks to Vicky Collins (Rear Commodore Sailing, Pagham YC) for organising the event and to Pagham YC for hosting it. And big thanks too to the parents who hauled their children and dinghies over to Pagham.

The prizes were awarded in two age groups as follows:

1st – Miles Vidler, Laser 4.7 (Crawley Mariners YC)
2nd – Zak Smith, Laser 4.7 (Pagham YC)
3rd – Jack Goodland, Laser 4.7 (Pagham YC)

1st – Joshua James, Topper 4.2 (Felpham SC)
2nd – Edwin Cross, Topper (Crawley Mariners YC)
3rd – Mia Gray, Tera Sport (Felpham SC)

Team Race Taster Success

The winning Bosham team racers!

A team racing event hosted by WSSYSA at Bosham SC combined coaching and racing to give over 30 sailors and coaches a taste of a popular alternative to club fleet racing.

The event, which took place at Bosham SC on Monday 6th May, drew teams from Worthing SC, Crawley Mariners YC, Thorney Island SC and the hosts to battle it out in a two Fevas vs two Fevas format with the team whose boat finishes last losing.

Matt Wright from WSSYSA was on hand to provide coaching on boat speed and handling, and visiting coach and team racer Paul Kameen provided tactical coaching and on-the-water feedback. Event Director, Nick Rusbridge, provided sailors and attending coaches with  an overview of event management and an introduction to on-the-water umpiring.

With a fair wind and plenty of help from the team supporters, the teams completed a round robin and went on to sail seven races against opposition. Medals for podium places were awarded to: 1st, Bosham; 2nd, Crawley Mariners; 3rd, Worthing.

Many thanks are due to the teams attending for providing equipment and their time and helping to make it happen. Feedback from the teams was positive, and WSSYSA is looking to run a similar event towards the end of the year.

Update – Pagham YC regatta

The website has been updated to include the Notice of Race and Entry Form for the Pagham YC- WSSYSA Open Youth Regatta, which this year replaces the Topper Traveller of previous years.

The event takes place on Saturday 15th June at  Pagham YC and is tailored towards slow-fleet racing – entry is open to all dinghies with a PY of not less than 1207 (this includes Laser 4.7, Feva, Tera, Topper and Pico, for example).

The event is very reasonably priced at £5 per single-hander and £7.50 per double-hander and we’re hoping for a bumper turn-out.

Come along and join in the fun! Details on the website

RYA L&SE regional instructor training – 2019

The London and South East region is offering a host of instructor training opportunities in 2019 covering sailing, windsurfing and powerboating (see link below). So if you can’t find locally the training opportunity you’re looking for, why not consider something a little further afield – and take the chance to see how things are done in other clubs?

Bookings via Simon Winkley at simon.winkley@rya.org.uk, or online

RYA L&SE instructor training 2019

West Sussex Schools & Youth Sailing Association