Dinghy classes in Mersea Week

The new Chairman of Mersea Week is Greg Dunn – also the editor of the club magazine Windward. As part of his new role, Greg is keen to encourage more entries of dinghies in Mersea Week and the organisers are offering a GP14 class start if we can get sufficient entries. Here’s a message from Greg:

Mersea Week 2012 – Dinghies

Hello everyone, as some of you may know, I didn’t step backwards fast enough and was dropped into the seat of chairman of Mersea Week. What I hadn’t appreciated before was how large the dinghy fleet has become, and is still growing, whereas the cruiser fleet is static in terms of entries. The dinghy and the cruiser classes have different start lines and different courses, each with a committee boat, a race officer, timekeeper and several spotters.

I had a meeting with Peter Fitt last night, specifically about the dinghy element of Mersea Week 2012. Peter is Race Officer for the dinghy fleet, who has a very impressive pedigree as an international sailing judge. He is keen to improve on what all the dinghy sailors tell me is a fantastic week’s racing, and he backed that up with a commitment to offer a class start for GP14s if there is enough interest (and why not pull in other GP14-centric clubs?). Oppies, Toppers, Lasers, the whole panoply of dinghy classes race in four separate dinghy starts, with the fifth being that iconic local breed, the brigs (Mersea Fishermen’s Open Boats, or MFOBS). There is also a suggestion of two races per day, which is yet to be decided upon.

This year, the week runs from Sunday 19th to Friday 24th August, racing Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, so five days of racing. The Tuesday is put aside for the traditional Round the Island Race, which many of you compete in anyway, and Saturday 25th August is the Town Regatta, which is a stand-alone event for dinghies and cruisers.

So what is on offer is a week-long series of dinghy races, supported by eight safety boats, run by a management team to international yacht racing standards, and there’s a good chance you’ll be rubbing shoulders with our local (hopefully Gold Medal-winning by then) Olympian sailors!

What better way to round off the summer holidays?

If you are interested, please put it in the diary now. The Mersea Week website is soon to be updated, and there will be an online entry form to print off.