No less than 358 superb photos from last weekends mid-summer training and regatta have been uploaded to the gallery. Our grateful thanks to Jonathan Bentman who spent the weekend on various ribs and boats with his camera. Watch out for his forthcoming Yachts and Yachting report,⛵️
By Jon Bentman
Fresh winds, gusting 17-19 knots, challenged the 13 youth sailors at the Kent Schools Sailing Association New Racers regatta at Margate YC on June 15. However, with a flattish sea, radiating a sparkling Mediterranean blue in the warm bright sunshine, it proved perfect conditions for an exciting sail.
Sailing five races, with four to count, the morning was dominated by the pairing of Scott Wood and Sam Hammond (Downs SC) in their RS Feva XL; but as the winds increased in the afternoon, they were hunted down by the most unlikely assailant in the form of the slight-built Sophia Kyriacou in her RS Tera Sport. Broadstairs SC’s Kyriacou – who also competes in gymnastics nationally and internationally – maintained perfect control of her Tera, in everything from full-hike screaming reaches right through to the tricky high-wind gybes.
The competition was still wide open going into the final race and the committee boat was rewarded with the impressive site of Wood/Hammond, Kyriacou and Broadstairs SC’s Joe Baker crossing the start line together at full speed, practically on the start gun – impressive form for new racers. Wood/Hammond were struggling to keep control of their Feva XL in the gusts and wayward gybes cost them dear, while another Tera lost his chance of overall honours in a capsize. In the end Kyriacou kept a level head and perfect control to take the last race win and the overall victory.
Mention should also be made of the excellent performances of a trio of Teras helmed by Joe Baker (Broadstairs SC), Lewis Vandervord and Jason Collins (both Margate SC) who completed all the races (and well) in the high winds. A special prize went to the diminutive pairing of Jacob Wesdale and Winter Ihan (Margate SC) who bravely stuck it out in their RS Q’ba almost to the end before one capsize too many forced them to retire.
In all, an excellent event and a great confidence boost to the young rookies who’ll now be looking forward to more races to come at the KSSA’s Summer Regatta at the end for the month before their first outing at the NSSA national regatta at Weymouth in July.
Our special thanks to Margate Yacht Club for their usual warm welcome and for helping us put on such a great event.
Some pictures are available in the gallery.
More pics in the gallery
The Topper Team Racing was held at Westbere Lake near Canterbury this year with a forecast of sun and a light NW breeze. Seven teams came from across the county with ambitions of taking the Shield home and representing KSSA at the NSSA Team Racing finals.
As is nearly always the case at Westbere the breeze took its time to settle into a consistent direction, this gave the race officer a head ache and the competitors some challenging conditions. Once the breeze had decided which direction it was going to blow some great Racing was had by all that took part.
Going into the final race the Top 4 positions were still to be decided. After the scheduled 21 races were completed a Sail off between the top two teams was needed to decide the winner. As the spectators watched on it came down to the final leg, and boats changed places many times before Whitstable Oysters took the win with Kings just missing out on the line.
Results as follows:
1st Whitstable Oysters
3rd Whitstable Seals
4th Team WMR
Joint:- 5th HBSC Kings
7th Whitstable Pirates
Many thanks to Kings School, Westbere Sailing Opportunities and all that helped out on the day to make it such a success.
KSSA were delighted to be able to present a donation to Richard Gaskell, Commodore of Westbere Sailing Opportunities to support their excellent work in providing sailing opportunities and experiences to many groups in the Kent area.
Entry is now open for the Kent Team (KSSA) for the NSSA National Youth Regatta at Weymouth.
Please click here to go to the event page for further information and to download the application form.
Please note, all entries and payments need to be be received by Sunday 2nd June.
We have received the information below from NSSA regarding bursaries available for the forthcoming NSSA regatta at Weymouth. Please contact the Commodore (Sarah) or Team Manager (Brian) if you would like to apply or discuss this in confidence.
The National School Sailing Association are pleased to be able to offer a limited number of bursaries to assist deserving youngsters who due to financial circumstances would not normally be able to take part in the NSSA National Youth Regatta at Weymouth this year.
We have two different ways to help youngsters:
- Laser Performance will be providing six z420 dinghies to be used in the Mount Haes event this year, and as the boats will be on site throughout the week, Laser Performance have agreed that these boats may be used during the week for a limited number of sailors who would not otherwise have a boat to sail at the NYR.
- If sailors are not able to pay the fees required for attendance at the event, they may also apply for a bursary to include the entry fee, camping, and meals on the event designated campsite.
Applications must be received by Friday 14th June. Nominations for bursaries will be considered by the NSSA Executive Committee and Team Managers will be informed by Friday 21st June.
Things did not look hopeful on Saturday; a thick mist hung over the reservoir as the keen sailors rigged. However, exactly as Bough Beech’s Rear Commodore, Guy Marks, promised the fog lifted and light winds and sunny conditions made for a perfect day on the water.
Lead coach, Gemma Gibson, had the laser fleet practising their roll tacking, trying to build their confidence in bringing the boat fully to leaward before reaching upward and flattening out; ensuring that momentum through the water is maintained.
Toppers and Teras were in the capable hands of Elliot and Stan where the focus was on improving their boat handling skills and reading a start line for a port or starboard bias to know which is the best end to start.
Michael coached a mixed fleet of double handers, including a RS200, Feva, 420 and 405 who managed trapeze and fly their kites in the small bits of breeze they found.
Whilst the sailors made the most of the light breeze many parents enjoyed watching the sailing in the incredible February sunshine from the club balcony.
Thanks to Pierce (Team Captain) for announcing the sponsorship deal he has managed to arrange with Rooster.
Look forward to seeing everyone at the last of our winter training sessions on the river at Medway YC on 23rd March.
More pictures in the gallery
You can now pay for KSSA event entries and membership using PayPal. Just select PayPal as the payment method during the checkout process.
You can use most debit and credit cards. Please note, you don’t need a PayPal account to do this.
We encourage all members to pre-enter for events as this helps with event organisation and safety cover. It is also cheaper than entering on the day. We also encourage our sailors to pay online at the same time that they pre-enter as this helps with admin at the Registration desk on the day of the event. We will refund entry fees if you are unable to attend an event. For full details please see our Refund Policy
The Kent Schools Sailing Association (KSSA) was delighted to receive British Youth Sailing (BYS) Recognised Club status from the RYA at a presentation at Chipstead Sailing Club on 8 December.
The BYS Recognised Clubs initiative is part of a new RYA scheme celebrating excellence in developing sailing stars of the future. It sees the RYA working alongside sailing clubs around the country to promote grassroots sailing and support junior and youth sailors as they develop racing skills.
Helen Hoffman, chair of the RYA London and South East regional team, presented the award. She said: “This award by the RYA is a recognition of KSSA’s continued commitment to encourage youth dinghy racing and support young people with the opportunity to enter local, regional and national level race events. Thanks must go to the KSSA committee, volunteer team and the support of parents for their continued dedication in helping young people in the sport.”
KSSA commodore Sarah White responded: “I’m delighted to receive the award and pleased KSSA is able to work so closely with the RYA. I feel KSSA provides an important stepping stone on a young sailors’ ladder as they progress from club racing to the open circuit and we provide local racing opportunities for those sailors who travel the country for Squad coaching and National competitions.
“As we are seeing an increasing number of sailors joining our events with parents who are new to sailing we aim to provide friendly events where both sailors and their parents can gain help, encouragement and advice.”
KSSA, which started in the early 1960s “to promote youth sailing in Kent”, currently has 140 members between the ages of 8 and 18 years. Whilst schools still bring their sailors, most members are independent sailors from clubs who wish to train and compete at regattas on the reservoirs, rivers and sea venues that Kent is able to offer. There are monthly training sessions and regattas throughout the year at host clubs across Kent with the help of a hard-working and dedicated committee.
Sarah adds: “KSSA won the National Schools Sailing Association Regatta each year from 2013 to 2017. In the past KSSA sailors have gone on to be Olympic sailors and coaches. As part of our newly awarded status we train our members and encourage them to participate in the BYS Regional Championships and take advantage of RYA Youth Squads.”
Chris Atherton, the RYA’s senior high performance manager, says: “The key challenge for our sport is to encourage more young people to start participating in sailing and progress into racing. This is best done at club level and a successful junior and youth training and racing programme will enable a club to flourish.
“The BYS Recognised Club status distinguishes those sailing clubs with a commitment to the development of junior and youth racing and race training, which is delivered in a safe and fun environment.”
Find out more about KSSA here
Find out more about BYS here