Warming Pan heralds the start of new term

Ben Daigneault and James Powell-Cullingford on the water

Ben Daigneault and James Powell-Cullingford on the water

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MEMBERS of Eastbourne Sovereign Sailing Club have kicked-off the 2014 season with their traditional Warming Pan Series of races.

The boats were split into two fleets, with both racing on a handicap basis. The Asymmetric Handicap Series (competed for by boats carrying asymmetric-shaped spinnakers) was a closely-fought affair.

Gary Smith and Holly Batchelor won the opening race by some margin in their Spitfire catamaran, with Dave Vercoe and Carol Whitcher, also in a Spitfire, just edging the RS800 of Ben Daigneault and James Powell-Cullingford into third place.

The second race of the series had to be abandoned owing to a large squall coming through which caused most of the fleet to capsize in the cold waters. It was wisely decided to abandon the race so that everyone could come ashore and warm up!

The third and fourth races were dominated by Daigneault and Powell-Cullingford, who claimed victory in both races, which was more than enough to give them victory overall in the series.

Vercoe and Whitcher finished very worthy runners-up and club Commodore Graham Tomlin came through to finish third overall in his Shadow catamaran.

The Conventional Handicap class was dominated by Peter Dives in his Contender dinghy. Peter won all four races in the series, with his pre-season training on inland lakes paying off handsomely. Ben Gosling-Davis, who showed tremendous improvement last season, continued his good progress by finishing second in the series, followed by Colin Gates in third.

The club’s season now continues with the Spring Series and its popular Wednesday Evening Series, and the recent improvement in the weather bodes well for some good sailing ahead.

The club is running an open day on Saturday May 17 from 11am-4pm from its clubhouse on Royal Parade and is very much looking forward to welcoming members of the public to the club, where they will be able to find out more about how the club can help them get into sailing.

Try Sailing sessions will be available (weather permitting) and there will be an opportunity to sign up for the 2014 training programme.

Please visit the ‘open day’ page at www.sailing-at-eastbourne.co.uk for further information.

Warming Pan Series results - Asymmetric fleet: 1st B. Daigneault & J. Powell-Cullingford; 2nd D. Vercoe & C. Whitcher; 3rd G. Tomlin. Conventional fleet: 1st P. Dives; 2nd B. Gosling-Davis; 3rd C. Gates.