West Mersea Yacht Club Squib open meeting April 23rd/24th.

Monday, April 25, 2016

A sunny day with a cold northerly 12-18 knot breeze greeted the fleet of 15 visitors and 6 local boats for day 1. It was always going to be a tricky day with the wind blowing directly off the island shore and the course being laid near the beach in order to even up the cross tide element.

With the tide and some pin end bias there was only one end to be at the start. It was Jack Grogan and Sam Lightfoot in 221 who managed to get away cleanest. Tacking onto port and crossing the fleet. They held their lead, however it was consumed quickly by a huge squall on the last beat, which resulted in 1 local boat Geoff Payne a Julian Lord taking a swim as they broached so violently. However, Malcolm and Jackie in 819 finished a close 2nd with Bryan and Jenny Riley grabbing 3rd from local helm Lee Child who is OK national champion guest helming Aquabat.

Race 2, was a tricky race with the tide changing. Lee and Steve w-s in Aquabat seemed to have the race in their hands however a misjudgement by sailing for the spreader mark and not the windward mark saw them just loose out Nick Tolhurst and Mel Titmuss, with the ever consistent Malc and Jackie in 3rd.

With the final race being very interesting by the way of the 3 races and 1 discard element it meant lots of boats had a chance of winning. At the top mark it was the Riley’s, who had managed to overtake Nigel Grogan and Ian Keely in 881 who had won the start. By the bottom however Aquabat and Jack and Sam had managed to sail round the fleet leaving the series wide open. On the beat Jack and Sam gambled, going for glory, in the fading breeze and went right however this was not the correct decision. Aquabat manged to hook into a huge lift and increased pressure and take a few places leaving it a straight fight for the line between them and Riley’s, at the finish it was the Riley’s who secured the win and event for day 1. Showing their inland water skills by managing to dodge the snakes and stay on the ladders.

The Riley’s took home the Ginesta Trophy.

1st Bryan and Jenny Riley WOBYC

2nd Lee Child and Steve Warren-Smith RVYC

3rd Malc and Jax Hutching’s RCYC


Day 2, with a different format being used it being a single race being sailed around the cans in the local river, an element used to help the visiting boats and also help the class practice for Cowes week. Plus incorporating a new yearly trophy to be raced in squibs between the local clubs to race for the Seahorse trophy, which is presented for the best combined score of the 2 highest place finishing boats from each club.

The start was pin end biased it was Nigel Grogan and Ian Keely winning the pin however they were overhauled by Jack Grogan and Sam Lightfoot on the beat to be 1 and 2 around the top mark, unfortunately Jack an Sam encountered problems with their spinnaker letting Nigel and Ian through. Nigel and Ian extended and sailed around in their own race as they were that far ahead until the last reach where Nic and Mel put them under some serious pressure but not quite enough. Nigel and Ian won, Nic and Mel 2nd with Neil Fulcher and Ricky, tearing their way through the fleet to end up a convincing 3rd meaning the Seahorse trophy was awarded to the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, by dint of Nigel and Ian winning and Nick and Mel coming 2nd.


With respects to equipment used it was very interesting. We had a range of boat numbers being used and also the Rondar boat being sailed by Gerard and Tony. This combined with having the GPS tracking on boats showing boat speed gave a new perspective.


Firstly, boat number 221, which is deemed a bad era for Squibs managed to come 4th overall and win race. It did not seem to have any trouble holding its own. This is great news for any sailors wanting to join the fleet it DOES show you can spend £1,000 and be competitive!

Secondly, the racing was conducted in windy conditions, not hugely but what we would all say sitting out nearly all the time. The new Rondar boat, despite having a ‘bad’ keel from boat number 443 actually had the highest top speed throughout the regatta. It hit 7.31 knots…

Thirdly, Hyde Sails were 1,3,4,5 Batts were 2nd.

Finally, I would like to add that WMYC squib fleet has only just formed this year and now with 8 local boats shows what the class can do with a bit of enthusiasm. This has been helped certainly with  this event by the kind help of Simon and his Sail racer team supplying the trackers which was showed how close the racing was and made it accessible to all.

Watch all the races back here:

One more thought to leave you with West Mersea Yacht Club will be hosting the 2017 East Coast Championships, hopefully in the more normal tropical weather we are used to on the island.

Hyde Sails Ltd, Harbour Building Office A, Hamble Point Marina, Hamble, Southampton SO31 4NB

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