Bexhill Asymmetric Open Meeting - Sunday 5th June 2011

Serenity, Sticky and Miss Revitt traveled to Bexhill SC to their Asymmetric open meeting. With no sailing on the Saturday, we made a leisurely, 11am start and took the A27 along the south coast. Bexhill is an Edwardian Seaside town on the Eastern region of the South coast. We arrived around 14.30 and as we wheeled the boat down the ramp from the promenade we were greeted by some of the local sailors who helped us pull the boat to a spot amongst the club boats on the beach.

The beach is a large pebble bank and we were warned not to try moving the boat without assistance. It takes 3 or 4 people to pull a boat through those pebbles! It was blowing F5+ Northerly off the shore and some club boats and a group of the visiting RS200's were having a blast so after erecting the mast, Sticky rather hopefully tried to persuade Miss R to go out for a practice sail. Apparently it was a rest day, so instead, we went up to the Bar to make friends and Sticky was, in the end, quite pleased. The local beer from Harveys of Lewes, was excellent and exceedingly well kept. Sitting on the clubhouse balcony in the sun overlooking the beach and watching the boats out in the bay was about as near to bliss as one can get without a wetsuit on. Having found Barrington's, our B&B, and freshened up we returned to the club for the evening's social curry event and commenced strategy by making friends with the race officer and the rescue team (we like to hedge our bets).  We quickly became known as "The VISITORS" since apparently we were the only visiting boat for the Asymmetric open meeting. Having negotiated the first day without breaking anything we retired to Barringtons for a night cap - Ali displaying flag India - "I am altering my course to Port" and Sticky wearing flag Whiskey - "I require medical assistance".

 Sunday dawned overcast but still quite windy and there was some delay before race officer Claire Day would let us afloat. After another cup of tea, we were dragged down pebble mountain and launched into the surf. Once away form the shadow of the tall seafront buildings we found F4/5 and long rolling waves to surf down. The Asymmetric fleet consisted of Serenity, a B14, a Laser 2000 and five RS400's. The course consisted of an initial beat and then reaching off to an auxiliary windward leeward loop to one side, away from the RS200's. We set off up the beat climbing up and crashing over the waves and found ourselves following Mike Adams (a former National champion of the RS400 fleet) and David Steadman with Kevin Watts and BobPalmer in another RS400 following us. On the second lap there was some confusion over the course and everyone followed Mike and David up around the initial windward mark. With the same thing unfolding on the third lap Serenity had the courage of her convictions and tacked off to the correct course and then to the finish line. Kevin and Bob followed us and just caught us on handicap so that Serenity was second. During the interval, waiting for the RS200's to finish, the wind and waves were building and at times it was difficult to remain hove too and we had to resort to some fun screaming and surfing on the big rollers. For the second race, only Serenity and three RS400's remained. The race followed the pattern of the first with Serenity close behind Mike and David in the lead RS400 followed by Kevin and Bob, but this time everyone was using the correct windward mark. On the third lap Serenity failed to get the kite up quick enough and trawled it into the back of a wave. After a brief capsize and loss of the spinnaker mast block, Serenity was back on her foils and chasing the same leading RS400's who had decided to put in an extra lap. Serenity decided to stick to the Race officers suggested number of laps and headed straight to the finish line to take first place. With the wind and waves still building and no spinnaker, Miss Revitt gave the instruction to call it a day. We struggled in, beating against some mountainous waves and crazy windshifts coming through the streets of Bexhill. The remaining RS400's completed a third race with Mike and David finishing ahead of Kevin and Bob. With one discard being allowed, Serenity and the two leading RS400's were equal on three points. On countback Serenity dropped to third due to the DNS. After refreshments and prize giving we thanked the club for making us so welcome and headed home. Miss Revitt was absolutely delighted with her hand-blown Bexhill SC glass and once more eagerly altered course to Port.

 

Results:  http://www.bexhillsc.co.uk/race-results/rs-200-open-2011.html

 

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