Saturday 13th August 2022

The Sussex Yacht Club (SYC) Cup was back for another bumper entry in 2022 on a hot Saturday 13 August. A total of 14 boats took to the water to contest the two-part event. By combing the popular Pursuit race format with a single fleet race, the SYC Cup provides a variety of competition to the members of Sussex Yacht Club.

The forecast was for light winds of 7-12kts but the day started even lighter – no wind! As the bulk of the fleet prepared to head off for the pursuit, it was a shame for the early starters on the Pursuit race, with some boats having to start well before the nominal start of 11am. They sat for some time with almost no breeze. As the starts continued across the following 30 minutes the breeze filled in and as most of the chasing fleet started, a stronger 9-12kts filled in.

So, a challenge for the early starters to keep ahead. But a great opportunity for the chasing faster boats to hunt down the leaders, around a course that took the boats around nearly all the SYC marks. Come the finish, Moose (First 33.7 – Antony Tomkins and Chris Hawkes) had managed to get the lead, closely followed by Expresso (Albin Express – Phil Methold) and a youth crew on one of the club Sonars, Clewless skippered by Charlie. The Pursuit race was started under NHC.

Onto Race 2, which was to be a fleet race of hopefully around 90 mins. Once the fleet had regathered race officer Martin O’Sullivan made a start for 13:40 with an upwind/downwind course. This proved another exciting challenge, as the breeze was now starting to drop off. The route was almost NE/SE in direction and made for challenging tactical decisions. Stay in-shore and head East before making out into Sussex Bay for the mark or head out straight, in what might be stronger breeze. In the end, those that stayed in-shore probably had a small advantage. The ever-lighter conditions proved challenging to the those that had competed the 2nd race and unfortunately, the appeal of the bar and prizegiving won over some for an earlier retirement. A leading pack of 3 boats fought hard for the finish, in the light winds. Line honours in R2 again went to Moose very closely followed by Zonpuka (JPK 960 – Giles Mayley sailing single handed) & Delfina (First 34.7 – Justin Barber). Notable mention must go to Expresso whose crew stuck out the light wind to be the 3rd (and final) finisher on IRC.

Race 2 was scored both under NHC and IRC. For NHC, 1st overall was Moose, 2nd Zonpuka and 3rd Delfina. For IRC (not all club boats carrying an IRC certificate currently), 1st Moose, 2nd Delfina and 3rd Expresso.

Racing on the day was followed by prize giving at the SYC club house. Thanks again to North Sails and Musto for kind donations of prizes which included sports holdalls and clothing. Prizes, including the much-liked SYC Cup bar tokens, were available for podium finishes in each race and the overall trophies available for both NHC and IRC.

In IRC Class, the overall SYC CUP results were determined on the basis that these boats would lose their NHC overall finishes.

The overall IRC results, were;

1st Moose – Skippers Antony Tomkins and Chris Hawkes

2nd Expresso – skipper Phil Methold and

3rd Delfina – Skipper Justin Barber.

In NHC Class, after IRC finishers removed, the SYC Cup was awarded;

1st Zonpuka – Skipper Giles Mayley

2nd Krac On – Skipper Kevin Headon (SYC Commodore)

3rd Clewless Skipper Charlie & SYC Club.

Thanks to all the hospitality staff at SYC for again a stellar effort to feed and serve all the returning the sailors (especially while there was another large private event ongoing at the club).

Thanks to all the skippers, crews, and onshore support of everyone involved at SYC that made such a fantastic day on the water.

Thanks, must be said to Warwick Baker for once again being on the water to capture some images. Competing crews are encouraged to check out the selection at

Photos also credit Martin O’Sullivan (on water) and Gemma Hawkes (prizegiving) and Gemma Hawkes Art (Poster).


Article by Chris Hawkes


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Posted: September 1st 2022