Dinghy races set the pace

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This year’s first series of dinghy races at Rye Harbour Sailing Club have been characterised by the good weather. Of the eight races to date, only two have had to be held on the River Rother due to poor conditions.

Alison and Jeremy Short in their Laser 4000

Bank Holiday Sunday, though not as bright as previous days, was warm with a fairly light wind. Eleven competitors turned up to race in Rye Bay under the control of the Officer of the Day – Simon Marsh. Of the 11, eight were sailing Laser dinghies which made a striking sight as they sailed down the Rother to Rye Bay.

With the number of boats on the water, jostling for a good start position on the start line demanded the best in boat handling skills and concentration (bumping into each other incurs significant penalties). At the off a few boats had achieved the important advantage of being on a starboard tack (giving right of way over those on a port tack). After a flurry of cries of ‘starboard’ to give warning, things settled down into a steady race where individual pairs were fighting it out to achieve a better position. Boats could be seen attempting to turn early to head off other boats at the turning marks amid cries of ‘hold your course’ as boats were being overtaken.

Jeremy and Alison Short took and maintained an early lead in a Laser 4000 dinghy coming first – no repeat of a previous capsize in rougher conditions here. George Short came second and John Powell third, both sailing Laser dinghies.

As ever with Rye Harbour Sailing Club, the emphasis was on fun – after the race competitors were able to clean up and get changed in the brand new changing facilities which will be formally opened on July 1.

Competitors ranged in age from 14 to over 60, a healthy mix of male and female reflecting the club’s intention to become more inclusive. It is to be hoped that we will soon start to see less well abled sailors competing as the ‘Sailability’ charity that the club supports begins to have an effect.

 

Photos: RHSC

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