Burnham Dragons head ’round the corner’ to the Medway 5 Oct 2016
The Dragon East Coast Championship, usually held over the late May bank holiday, was this year hosted by the Medway Yacht Club from 30th September to 2nd October. Six Burnham Dragons Avalanche (Mark and Mandy Wade, Andrew ‘Noddy’ Norden), Beauty and the Beast (Peter Marchant, Katie Cole and James Howard), Flame Again (David Hall, Geoff Butcher and Julie Thomas Page) Ganador (Martin Makey, Tim and Teresa Wilkes), Quicksilver (Rob Campbell, Jonathan Hill and Lukas Malissa) and Scorpio (Ian Gray, Ian Simons and Paul Plat) together with boats from Belgium, Abersoch, Solent and Medway made up the 20 strong fleet. It was a weekend of mixed conditions on the water and a welcome social gathering on land.
Sailing in autumn can be lovely and most of the time it was true of the weekend. The first four races on Friday were sailed with some sunshine and a light to moderate breeze but the strong spring tide made conditions testing for the race officer and the competitors. In the fourth race Scorpio, helmed by Ian Gray, saw the opportunity to make a port end flyer and crossed the fleet to lead the race all the way finishing first ahead of Quentin who had won the previous three races. Leading overnight was Quentin Strauss sailing Gorgeous Worgeous, Mark Wade in Avalanche in second place and Rob Campbell sailing Quicksilver in joint third with Tom Vernon in Badger.
On Saturday as predicted the weather changed, rain and no wind so the fleet were kept ashore until midday when the wind built a little. There was a ‘sprint’ fifth race that was shortened due to wind changes and after race six there was a clear leader but still an opportunity for changes further down the fleet. Avalanche and Quicksilver were in contention for the Corinthian Trophy with Beauty and the Beast, Scorpio, and Ganador all in the top half of the fleet.
Sunday was a glorious Autumn morning with sunshine and a good breeze for the final two races. It was an eventful day and the wind shifts kept the fleet on their toes with a change of places through the races. Three boats lost crew over the side in the final race, all safely recovered but unfortunately David Hall sailing Flame Again was one… needless to say that he finished the race!
The East Championship was won by Quentin Strauss in Gorgeous Worgeous, second place Tom Vernon in Badger; third place, winners of the Corinthian Trophy and highest placed RCYC boat was Rob Campbell in Quicksilver crewed by Lukas Malissa and Jonathan Hill. Avalanche finished 4th, Beauty and the Beast 5th, Scorpio 6th, Ganador 8th and Flame Again 15th.