Dragons at Medway 14 Jun 2022
Visitors to Medway Yacht Club are struck by its snug position on the River Medway surrounded by woodland and in sight of the historic Upnor Castle. For the unfamiliar, the Club’s location is 4 miles distant from its regatta race course which offers competitors a wide expanse of water surrounded by the flat vista of Kent marshland. A perfect setting for 8 windward/leeward races set over the two Bank Holidays of the Platinum Jubilee.
Thursday morning dawned grey with a light easterly wind and with an adverse tide some of the 8 Dragons failed to account for the 90-minute sail required to reach the race course. The Race Officer was in no mood to wait for stragglers and racing commenced at 10.30hrs, less one unfortunate crew.
Day One saw a slowly building easterly wind however, the dominant feature was the tide which made for tactical windward legs as competitors fought to gain the benefit of the slacker tide found in the shallower waters. Crews choosing an early break to the windward mark paid a heavy price as the tide pushed boats out into the 2-3 knot tide. This pattern featured over three of the days four races, with the tide only slackening as race 4 got underway.
Day One racing conditions provided the RCYC Dragon near perfect conditions with Hands Off, crewed by Andy Moss, Teresa and Tim Wilkes, taking three firsts and a second place. Toby Atack was the top Medway Dragon on day One, sailing competitively in every race.
Day Two saw stronger winds and some tired crews who had enjoyed Medway Yacht Club’s hospitality the previous evening. Racing proved extremely competitive, a stronger breeze and some aggressive starting saw the Medway fleet push RCYC’s team hard in each race. A weaker tide and a shifting wind saw more of the race course come into play leading to more tactical considerations. Medway Dragons won three of the four races with Howard Patterson in Taniwha winning races five and six.
Second places in races five and eight, together with a first in race seven cemented a regatta winning position for the RCYC team. Toby Atack (Medway) finished second and Chris Brearly (Medway) finished third.
Our thanks go to Medway Yacht Club for their hospitality and assistance with rigging, launching and recovery.