After a night of driving rain and gales and a sinking feeling that the Rum Race on Sunday January 10 would have to be cancelled, we awoke to a quieter morning, albeit with dark grey overcast skies. We were on for the Rum Race which once again this year was sponsored by Skipper Rum.
Hopeful participants turned up early all keen to rig their boats in readiness for the race. Eleven dinghies signed up for the race, four of which were entered by members from Hastings and St Leonards Sailing Club. It was great for the club to see so much interest in this event.
The showers were relentless, but the wind remained favourable giving around 17 knots from the SW. There was a heavy sea running out in Rye Bay which meant the race would be run up river towards Rye.
Simon Marsh, Officer of the Day (OOD), briefed all participants before the race and shortly after 11am the race started. The rescue boat and The Carey Marsh were on duty, but there were no reports of any capsize.
Our volunteer cooks, Jen Tomkinson and her daughter Charlotte, had prepared a feast of sausage and bacon baps, soup, chilli con carne and meat hot pot to help warm up the contestants after the race.
The results were as follows – in third place Hugh Ashford in a Radial Laser, in second place Philip Blurton in a Tasar, and in first place Eric Zon in a club Laser. He was presented with a bottle of Skipper Rum and a Skipper Rum T-shirt. After the presentation all dinghy participants, over 18 years of course, were given a tot of Skipper Rum.
It was a great day with some 60 – 70 people in all attending the event, giving a real buzz at the club to an otherwise cold and damp day, and we raised £95 in entry fees in aid of the RNLI. Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help on the day and make this event such a success and our very grateful thanks to our sponsors, Skipper Rum.
Photos: KT Bruce and RHSC