Sussex Police
Previous Sussex Police Open Regattas


Sussex Police Regatta
Wednesday, 5th August, 2009
Venue: Bexhill Sailing Club,
Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex

 The writer, having succumbed to an injury, previously incurred, failed to sail. Thus, the following is somewhat a blow-by-blow account of the regatta observed from the club balcony...

This regatta takes place during Bexhill Sea Week, so this year, the first race saw a number of club boats also afloat gathering behind a start line set between the Outer Distance Mark and a Triangle set on shore. The police regatta participants were given the privilege of starting five minutes ahead of the club starts. The wind was very light indeed but all six police boats were waiting somewhere around the line at the start.

Race One course

Race One. At the gun Pete Goodman in the Albacore was right on the line with Ken Daniels in the Phantom the last to cross. Boats soon spread out in the barely noticeable wind, trying to find their way through the tide which was almost at its highest. It was going to be a struggle with decisions to be made how to tackle the tide. So, 25 minutes gone and the first police boat was nowhere near the first mark whilst a number of club boats behind were going backwards in the tide heading gently westwards towards Pevensey Bay. It didn't take too long for Rob Jones to decide to retire and hope for better wind later. Boats were making long tacks searching for the best route. Hug the shore-line for less tide maybe?; further out, more chance of wind. Around 45 minutes after the start a slight breeze came in from the sea allowing those who had committed themselves to the right-hand side of the course to pick up the wind first and approach the mark on a close reach. Those who opted for the shore - with perceived less tide - lost out. Wind direction veered and the second leg became a beat. One hour gone and the Phantom, still trying to squeeze round the first mark, failed to avoid contact and paid the penalty. The Albacore arrived next with the two Laser 2000's further behind. By the third leg of the course Dusty Miller in the RS400 had established a firm lead and eventually crossed the finish line after nearly 1hr 25 mins. A while later the Albacore and the Phantom rounded the last mark virtually together to prepare for a tacking dual but local knowledge prevailed with Goodman tacking on every slight wind-shift to get over the finish line over two minutes ahead of Daniels. It had been a struggle but the wind then came in a little more to allow the Laser 2000 with Steve Rigby & Freya Carter to finish better than anticipated. On corrected time Pete Goodman was first, Dusty second, Steve Rigby third. The results elicited an early comment from Freya, "It's the first time I've seen Rob's bottom"...

Course for Races 2 & 3

For Race Two the course was altered, reduced in size slightly and started virtually on time with the police boats having the course to themselves. It was a close reach start. At the gun no-one was on the line but soon the wind picked up enough to send the fleet on their way towards the first mark which, due to a slight change in the wind direction, became somewhat superfluous - the second mark now also to windward becoming more relevant. Thus by the second mark Dusty had established a healthy lead as the wind had increased just a little more. The Phantom also got going together with the RS700. In 16 minutes the lead boat had completed the first lap, then the Phantom, the RS700, the Albacore - all within a minute of each other with the two Laser 2000's once more bringing up the rear. By the end of Lap 2, the RS400 with Dusty Miller & Andy Bullen had taken 29 minutes and was setting about lapping the 2000's. The RS700 was still behind whilst the Phantom had dropped back behind the Albacore having lost his way during the last beat. Dusty was striding ahead but the wind was just not enough for Rob Jones who ended his day giving himself a little dunking in frustration and sailing ashore for his second retirement. Shortened course was sounded and the 2000's finished after 2 laps whilst the Albacore and Phantom did 3 laps. This time, all done in 50 minutes.

Race Three was sailed 'back-to-back' and would be crucial for the RS400 and the Albacore; both on 3 points. Third position overall would rest between Ken Daniels (Phantom) and Steve Rigby (Laser 2000). This time the club boats were also out for their race though police still had the separate first start. A close reach start. At the gun another splendid start by the Albacore whereas the Phantom was lost somewhere in the club racers and started late. At the second mark the Albacore was nicely in the lead with Dusty some 50 yards behind. Steve Rigby next with the Phantom trying to catch up. By Lap 2 the wind began to drop and leading boats endeavoured to tack close along the shore Owen Popplet - his first time in a 2000 - had really struggled having lost his way up the very first beat. Tacking at the right time and place had become so crucial. As lap 2 drew to a close Dusty had overtaken the Albacore but there was just not enough wind to get the benefit of his big, black jennaker which stayed full, more as a token effort than a positive effect on speed. The Albacore finished about two minutes behind with the Phantom third. On corrected time Pete Goodman first, Ken Daniels second and Dusty Miller third.

Crews came ashore looking pretty drained. It had been a long day in exacting conditions where mid-afternoon, the temperature had been over 27˚. With umpteen boats floating about in little wind the Race Officer, Malcolm Brooks and his staff had got everything right. Prizes were presented by the Bexhill SC Commodore, Geoffrey Furlong. Congratulations to Pete Goodman and his crew, the owner of the Albacore, Bee Frost. I first sailed against Pete in the mid-70's. Great to see him still competing; a worthy winner.


Click Here for
Regatta Results

Click Here to View

Pictures of the Event

Event Contact 2009:
 Paul Miller Tel: 01424 842375

or the Sussex Secretary,
Bob Trevis, Steyning P/Stn.


Sussex Police Dinghy Sailing Club now have their new website and this can now be viewed at:



New website for Sussex Police Offshore Sailing Club:

The Sussex Police Sailing Section's own web site for this year's PSUK Offshore Championships is now up and running at:

The Sussex Police contact for the 2009 PSUK - Offshore Sailing Championships is Terry Clothier whose details are:
Work address; Sussex Police,
Arundel Police Station,
The Causeway,
West Sussex. BN18 9JJ
Tele 0845 6070999 extn. 86297 fax. 01903 883962




Click here to view results from 2002-2008


Sussex Police Sailing Club now maintain their own Internet websites at:

New website for Sussex Police Dinghy Sailing Club:

New website for Sussex Police Offshore Sailing Club: