Bewl Windsurfing Midsummer Regatta Report:
On Friday 29th June Bewl Windsurfing held their annual Junior Regatta. Despite deteriorating conditions throughout the day with strong winds and heavy rain showers, Jill White of Bewl Windsurfing, and her team of instructors organised the informal fun event for windsurfers under the age of 18 to have a taste of racing, whatever their ability. First time sponsors Kent Trust for Youth Sports and K.C.C Sports Development Unit witnessed an exciting and enjoyable event at Bewl, and their contribution was a great help for the event’s success.
During the day Bewl saw strong winds of above Force 5 with heavy rain which dissipated in time for 30 young people to enjoy perfect conditions. Race officer Adam Sims, despite having almost no voice, kept them on their toes with two slalom races, a box course race and a freestyle fun event. Due to the high number of very young and small sailors, he added another class for 2.5 sq m sails and under, with someone as young as four competing on a Mini-Bic with a 1.8 sail.
The first slalom race started in confusion with some eager sailors jumping the gun of the ‘le mans’ style start, running in front of the starting runner. However with the 4.5’s and 5.5’s having to head out into the middle of the reservoir to round their mark and the 2.5’s and 3.5’s having a closer buoy, many of the 3.5’s finished first, whilst Rupert Munro-Faure on his 6.8 was sent out further upwind. This lead to many exciting finishes with people jumping off their kit and racing up the beach to the finish gate to beat fellow competitors, some from different classes. The next race saw a cleaner start and even closer finish and the final race to count was a box course. A very tight finish between 5.5 leader, Tim Ellis, and 6.8 sailor, Rupert, saw them pumping to the finish and racing up the beach for the final gun, with Ellis just taking the lead. To finish the regatta all competitors competed in a freestyle fun event with even more prizes; tricks ranged from sailing kneeling down to heli-tacks and sail 360’s, but despite not many tricks being completed all competitors gave it their best shot, with Rupert coming in 3rd for pulling off an impressive chop hop, heli-tack Jonny coming in second and first place went to Alex Paine for trying and completing a number of tricks that he may not be aware of having done but still showing sheer naïve talent. Other prizes went to first girl, Lucy for some impressive kneeling down sailing and Hamish for his guts and determination to pull off some precarious tricks but always falling in.
The day finished off with a grand BBQ and thanks to parents and sailing club members, and a prize giving with goodies from Blue Chip, Da Kine, Pacific Blue, Windsurf, and and Bewl Windsurfing shop. Bob’s very own Trophy, The Bob Whitehair Perpetual Achievement Award went to Tim Ellis. Thank you to all who helped and supplied food for the bbq and a final big thank you to Jill and Bob and their team for running such a good event. Bring on 2008.