Drifting and Close Racing for the Squibs- 17th October 27 Oct 2020
We’re never certain the John Lewis Memorial Trophy is going to go ahead with only one successful event in the past three years due to the weather and this year there was a real concern that the weather gods were going to conspire against us once more. A strong tide and very little wind left organisers pondering whether to go ahead with the event however competitors were keen and 9 boats set off down to the Roach last Saturday morning for the start of this one day regatta. A short postponement and then racing got underway.
The first race was won by Dan Wastnage and Charlie Matthews in Heartbeat, leading from the start and never being troubled. Phil Aspinall, crewed by Duncan Grindley (having dried out from the week before) took 2nd in Guy Fawkes place whilst Ian Gray and Ian Simons in Cheque Mate made their way through the fleet to take 3rd place. For others, positions were won and lost at mark roundings and in port & starboard situations (just ask Brutus!)
Race two again saw Chequemate and Heartbeat battling it out but this time it was Chequemate who got away. Unfortunately, Heartbeat was on the wrong side of 3 part/startboard calls as they attempted to cross the line on the first lap and Spoof, Guy Fawkes and Sophie were able to sneak ahead and it was in those positions that the race concluded.
By the end of the second race, it was great to see Sunshine (newly acquired by Nick Milton and Gavin Kemp) out on the race course and ready for the start of Race three. It looked like the fleet were on course for a general recall with a lot of activity at the pin end, however, a clear line was called. A wide mark rounding by many at the gate enabled By The Lee to sneak round and follow Chequemate into second place whilst Spoof held off the rest to keep hold of third place.
Race four took a little longer to get going as the wind continued to swing and a decision was made to head out of the Roach to Redward for the last of the races. With the tide streaming, a couple of the boats decided to go round the front of the committee boat, Phoebe, and dip the line. This worked for some but unfortunately the wind died as Spoof attempted it and instead were left waiting for a space to appear and the tide to take them the correct side of the line. Those on the line, unsurprisingly did best and Heartbeat took their second win of the regatta, followed by Sophie and Guy Fawkes.
With two wins apiece it was clearly going to be between Chequemate and Heartbeat for the win however it was Chequemate who were successful after discards and took home the trophy! Third place went to Guy Fawkes who just lost out to Heartbeat by one point, very close!
A great regatta and it was lovely to have John’s partner, Debbie, awarding the trophy in a socially distanced manner to the winner.