It gives the Kent (high performance) team managers Mark Breare, Tim Seward and Sam Chick huge pleasure in reporting that the Kent team have won a fourth consecutive team trophy at the NSSA annual regatta. Sustaining consistent interest in great success is often hard however please think back to our huge excitement in Deal when we won the team trophy – our young sailors have now won four years in a row!
The week was sailed in varied and mostly gusty, shifty and very strong winds which didn’t always favour our team and beneath leaden rainy skies which definitely didn’t favour our adults.
Leading sailors came from a wide spread of clubs within Kent with top three results from; Alex Head (1st topper), Lewis Humphries (3rd laser radial), Heather Denbigh (1st laser 4.7), Samuel and Michael Dyer (2nd fast handicap), Stan Chick (1st laser standard and 1st medium handicap), Max Tullet (1st rookie handicap) and Luka Franklin (2nd rookie topper). In addition were the single handed trophy won by Alex Head, closely followed in second place by Lewis Humphries and the all-comers race won by Samuel and Michael Dyer in their 29er.
The overall team trophy was awarded after much arcane and complex mathematics with contributions from a wide range of sailors. It must be stressed that all our young sailors worked towards this fantastic result as a team.
Other awards went to Lewis Wright (the Winchester Tankard) for his gracious, selfless and dedicated behaviour towards his team throughout racing on Wednesday, Lee Windridge (leap-frog trophy) who was the most improved sailor of 2017 and Stan Chick (NSSA presidents award) having competed in both inland and annual NSSA regattas for 7 years and sailed with the KSSA since 2009.
Kent was by no means the largest team this year and the question was inevitably asked, how do Kent keep winning? Can this be attributed to the aggregation of marginal gains? Perhaps… whilst the team managers didn’t bring mattresses and pillows from home (well not all of us) nor ban the team from shaking hands, there is much truth in the idea of a committed group of talented sailors, strongly supported by dedicated parents and carers willing to input time throughout the year with training, regattas and larger events. During the week there was rarely a time when a Kent sailor couldn’t visit the team tent and find a parent / carer willing to fix a boat, feed them or simply find a coat to keep them warm. A huge thank you therefore must go to all our ‘support team’ and visitors throughout the week including Deb Thomas, Elena Setterfield, Mike and Marion Smailes and Isabel Emby.
Sincere thanks also go to;
our team captains Hannah Mumford and Stan Chick for their advice and help throughout the event
Kent parents and wider team who operated and staffed two safety boats throughout the week
Dave Ellis who transported the Kent rib to Graham and worked all week on the committee boats
Jon Hill who helmed the KSSA rib and Sandra Hill also working on the committee boats all week
our parents and sailors who tirelessly launched and recovered not just our own boats but all others who launched from our slip regardless of team
the older and / or more knowledgable sailors helping, coaching and advising their peers on and off the water
Please look out for emails from the KSSA secretary since we are already discussing improved and targeted training for the upcoming season and we look forward to our own KSSA annual regatta hosted by Downs Sailing Club on 16th September 2017.
I hope you will join the team mangers in congratulating our young sailors for this fantastic result!