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Mersea Cadet Week is ready for fresher winds
Mersea Cadet Week has taken to the water once again.
The week-long sailing event – organised by Dabchicks Sailing Club and West Mersea Yacht Club – begins yesterday and runs until Friday.
More than 140 young sailors from the two clubs, ranging from eight to 18 years old, will descend on the West Mersea to compete.
Cadet Week chairman Will Crossley said: “It is going to be a very busy week but we are looking forward to some really good racing and hopefully a lot of fun.
“It is one of the biggest club cadet regattas in the country, I think there is only one, on the south coast, that is bigger.”
The competitors are spilt into inside and outside fleets, with further subdivisions in each group.
The inside fleet is made up of the younger sailors in optimist dinghies, split into Diamond, Emerald and Ruby, which is based on sailing ability and age.
The outside fleet includes Gold (optimists) and the slow, medium and fast handicaps, the older sailors in the single and doublehanded boats.
Crossley said: “What is really good this year is that in the medium handicap there are a lot more children with the same boats, so we can split it into three classes.
“With less handicap racing, the sailors will be able to match themselves against each other and this will improve their skills as they can see what they are doing against each other.”
Last year’s theme for Cadet Week was the Olympics but this time it is Around the World.
Crossley said: “The idea behind the theme is that there are many opportunities around the world for sailing.
“You don’t have to own a big yacht to sail or own a big business.
“There are lots of people with big yachts - if you can sail then, for example, someone may need crew for Antigua Week.
“You can get yourself out there and have a free week in the Caribbean.
“If you can sail well in Mersea then you can sail well anywhere.
“If you can understand the tides and wind here then it doesn’t get any more complicated anywhere else around the world.”
Apart from the sailing there is a week of social activities culminating in prizegiving on Friday night at the Yacht Club.
The prizes will be presented by Simon Talbot, a skipper in the upcoming Clipper Around the World Race, who learnt to sail at West Mersea Yacht Club.
There will also be a flying display from Essex Helicopters, weather permitting, at 6.45pm and a fireworks display later on.
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