Burnham Week 2009 Voted ‘One of the Best’ 7 Sep 2009
The verdict seems to be that Burnham Week 2009 was one of the best in recent years. The number of competitors was increased, despite both the gloomy financial situation and the start of the new school term, the weather over the first weekend was perfect and although the conditions later in the week caused some races to be abandoned, all fleets sailed on the final Saturday, rounding off the Week to everyone’s satisfaction.
The Week at the Royal Corinthian was varied and full, ranging from fairly formal dinners to a Pig Racing night in aid of the RCOD Restoration Fund, jazz on the balcony, lively bands on Sunday and Friday with class dinners providing the entertainment during the week when things were a little quieter. The numbers for the Prizegiving were over ninety covers thanks to a couple of members who brought in large parties and the insistence of the Vice Commodore that members who won prizes were expected to turn up to have them re-presented! The Squibs and the 707s arrived with flashing bunny-rabbit ears which added to the sense of carnival, the firework display, scheduled for 21:00, was perfectly on time and the memory lingered on in the form of the grass fires which caused considerable consternation to the local farmers after the super-dry conditions of recent weeks!
The weather at the start of the Week was ideal, sunny, warm with steady breezes, or, as one member put it, “one-design racing at its best!” The Squibs boasted the largest class of the Week, with 26 boats entered over the Bank Holiday Weekend and even when the numbers diminished to 16 for the midweek regatta, that was still a highly competitive fleet. Winners over the Bank Holiday were Marchant, Hutchings and Coyle, the same trio but a different order triumphed in the Week’s Points but Griffin’s Brutus upset the symmetry of the results by coming second in the Burnham Week Bowl on the Saturday.
The Dragons managed an entry of 13 for the first weekend with Ganador, Biff and Beauty & the Beast on the podium but the entry, a casualty of the return to school, dropped to just five for the week’s points, with Thomas Wilton’s Biff scooping the Daily Telegraph Cup on the Saturday.
Six RCODs came to the line on the first Saturday but that was the only result for Coriander who bent her mast on the Sunday in a close encounter with a 707. Although Peter hoped for a replacement before the end of the week, Coriander stayed ashore whilst the remainder of the fleet tried hard to beat Bobbie Melville’s Corinna. John Heathfield in Corpo Santo managed to do so just the once in a Week’s Points, sadly reduced by ‘excessive wind’ as the results page mildly put it. The ‘excessive wind’ was a Force Nine gale which kept most fleets ashore for Thursday and Friday; fortunately the gale had blown out by Saturday, enabling battles to recommence!
Six Corinthian 707s swelled the weekend fleet to fifteen, the largest number seen for some time but only Corinthian boats formed the fleet for the Week’s Points. Andrew Prestwich’s Pocket Battleship took firm control of the trophies, only allowing Paul Gray’s Beaver Hunter line honours on the final day of the Regatta.
Of our cruisers, Spangle sailed in Class Three, Amanda Louise in Class Four and Dangerous Moonlight in Class Five. David Hill’s Spangle took all but one trophy in a highly successful campaign and Len Cole surprised himself by winning the Marlow Ropes Trophy as the runner-up in the Week’s Points, particularly pleasing as Len had been rather doubtful about his promotion from Class Five! I should mention that the Heasleys, important members of the Corinthian cruising fleet, raced their Squib Sunshine as Star Swan is anchored elsewhere at present.