Great results for the Bewl Barbarians - a fantastic reward for a lot of hard work!

A lot of daylight behind Saskia as she gains a bullet in the last race!

As ever the battle bus headed down from the South East for the penultimate event in the IOCA calendar and goodness did the kids do us proud! From the outset windguru was telling us it was going to be a weekend of two halves - a prediction that certainly came to be. With the wind shrieking through the rigging and cracking through the sails as 30 knot gusts hit the compound - Charlie's prayers of at least one event with light wind races certainly weren't answered! It was a day that was always going to suit the heavier sailors but to their credit the whole fleet hit the water. This included our newest sailor Joe racing for his first time in a major event - certainly a baptism of fire for him but with smiles at the end of the day from him he certainly took it in his stride. Over to the main fleet and Saskia and Jesse were certainly enjoying the conditions - Jesse in particular had all results in the top 10 and finished with a personal best of a 2nd which really put a fire under his championship. A slight confusion in the second flight of the second race concerning which mark needed to be sailed around caused some controversy as around 40 sailors were disqualified - which was fortunate for Jamie who saw a discard be converted into a top 10 result. The wind ran out of puff for day two and some time was spent bobbing around albeit under some nice blue skies waiting for the wind to come in. The lighter sailors certainly breathed a sigh of relief and a lot of the BBSC sailors were seen to be trading places at the top end of the fleet - in particular it was wonderful to see Matthew, with limited main fleet experience, right up there. For the first race of the day Thicome discovered his speed and took line honours - much to his delight. With an interesting running repair on the water to replace a missing batten (using part of a plastic lunch box!) it certainly didn't seem to do Saskia any harm as she finished a clear first in the last race of the day. In the final flight Freddie sailed out of his skin and was just pipped to the post finishing second which secured a huge grin on his face!

As this was the final ranking event the overall result were published which resulted in 3 sailors (Saskia, Jesse and Jamie) being offered National Squad places and a further 2 (Thicome and Freddie) Intermediate places. I think I can safely say it's been a long time indeed if ever the South East has produced such a talented group of sailors. All of this has come not only from the dedication the sailors have given but also the wonderful foundation that was created by Vagelis and the team principles he instilled in the sailors - a huge thank you to him. The great news, as was born testament to by the kids, is we have found a fantastic new coach in Aaron Holman who has taken on the baton and there is a lot of excitement going into the winter of what can be achieved and even more importantly there are some great new sailors waiting in the wings to inject life blood into the team.

South East Youth Sailing seeks to foster the next generation of sailors. We are looking to achieve this by helping young sailors progress in a great learning environment from Optimist beginners through to the larger RYA Youth pathway boats. South East Youth Sailing offers the tools and support necessary for our sailors to reach their full potential and introduce new families to the joys of sailing. Click here to see our training schedule.

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Tunbridge Wells, Kent

Bewl Barbarians Sailing Club

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