Cruiser Fleet Eagling Trophy 21st Sept 2019 24 Sep 2019
Seven boats started and completed the race for the Eagling Trophy on Saturday. The handicap system was well and truly tested with boat lengths ranging from nineteen to forty six feet and the elapsed times ranging from just under three hours to just over five and a half hours.
The ESE force 4-5 breeze meant that single reefed sails were the norm for the beat from the start line west of the mouth of the River Roach to the Outer Crouch from where the first mark of the course (Sunken Buxey) could be fetched, but only just.
The most efficient boats to windward had the early advantage as Otra Vez soon left the pack followed by Voyager. With the flood now established the beat to Whitaker 7 required staying in the shallow water for the optimal time before leaving the north shore. The broad reach, with the flood tide, past Buxey 1 & Buxey 2 went all too quickly as the boats turned north to repeat the tactical beat round Sunken Buxey and Whitaker 7 for the last time.
The broad reach and run to the finish on the Club Line required constant sail plan experiments but gave some relief from the frantic tacking of the earlier stages of the race. It was on this leg that the Otra Vez crew spotted two ‘Harbour Porpoises’.
A big Cruiser Fleet welcome goes to Ed Bond and Miguel, both of whom were confirmed as full members at the GC meeting the day before the race. They will remember the Eagling Trophy Race as a wonderfully enjoyable introduction to the physical component of cruiser racing having spent most of their time afloat sprinting from the windward rail to the cockpit and back again whilst short tacking on Verlette.
More than thirty of us enjoyed a Bistro at the club in the evening followed by the traditional mini-quiz and Eagling Trophy presentation. Wendy and Mark Eagling were at the Bistro and Wendy spoke for a few moments on the history of the trophy before the presentation. Due to a prior engagement the winners, Andrew and Jude Prestwich of Otra Vez were unable to attend but in order to not miss the Eagling photo opportunity second placed Simon and Sarah Sanders of Voyager accepted the trophy on their behalf.
Big Cruiser Fleet thanks go to:
- George Winder for starting the race from committee boat Sprite who, as can be seen from the photo, is often mistaken for James Bond.
- The Club Staff for the excellent meal and service.
- Chris Nolan for calculating the results.
- Tom Keeper for organising and presenting the quiz.
Cruiser Fleet Captain
Tamarisk – James Napier & Iain Crombie
Sanderling – John Waterhouse and two crew on secondment from Sherpa, Alexia and Dave
Zelda – Chris Nolan, Dave, Anne & Arthur Heasley
Voyager – Simon & Sarah Sanders with Patrick Rogers
Otra Vez – Andrew & Jude Prestwich
Moon Dancer – Olly and Deborah Moon
Verlette – Steve Barham, Miguel and Ed Bond