KSSA 2017 Annual Regatta Downs Sailing Club
The KSSA Annual Regatta at the Downs Sailing Club, Deal saw 51 boats from all over the South East on the water, in northerly winds with sunshine. The largest fleet as ever were Toppers, but there were Fevas, Lasers, Radials, 29er, RS200s and Optimists.
There were two races scheduled for the morning and two for the afternoon. Good sport was had for two hours before lunch with the two fleets, less experienced sailors were identified with red streamers but did not seem daunted by the distance out, let alone the famous deep water at Deal.
Sam Chick was at hand with his dustbin sized camera to capture what was a very colourful scene, and boats off-shore had video footage. There were countless rescue boats, a committee boat, beach teams and seemingly swarms of activity around the clubhouse.
The Kings School, Canterbury were well represented and brought with them some delicious packed lunches which l must confess l ate a few left overs! Pre-ordered hot food was ladled out from the DSC canteen and homemade cakes were available after the event. This came sooner rather than later as only one short race was held before the fleets returned to shore, with lack of wind in the afternoon.
Amazingly only one Laser missed a start with a broken rudder, there were no upsets and nobody returned to shore to text message. The only real hazard was a particularly steep beach after recent gales, but as the tide receded during the day the landings were easier.
One parent arrived with a twisted tow bar assembly and even this was duly replaced by Richard Winters on site. With Martyn Styles acting as ‘regatta organiser’ everything was so efficient: his omnipresence and fine-tuned attention to every need, be it sorting out a tangled winch or rounding up the prize-winners for a photo, made sure the day flowed like a finely-tuned, taut sailboat. Commodore Stuart Bradbeer gave a relaxed race round up and prize-giving, and by this time, huge burgers and sausages were already sizzling on the BBQ.
For several sailors it will be their last KSSA event having turned 18 and off to university. This included Ryan Winter, Stan Chick and Joe Lord, the later two’s passing shot was to take the school prize for Chatham and Clarendon House Schools. It would seem that Stan might well be amongst the overall winners on the day in his Laser. As Debbie Thomas – KSSA Commodore – who recounted how Stan’s great commitment and love of sailing began in a Moses basket on his family’s boat in Cornwall, celebrated all that he has given to KSSA by awarding him The Chairman’s Cup for endeavour. He received this prize for commitment from County Councillor, Chairman David Brazier, who gave a charming account of his own fond memories of sailing at The Wilsonian Sailing Club and emphasised how sailing is a marvellous sport for excitement, independence and developing resilience in young people.