Marco Polo Trophy 30 Oct 2012
It is many years since RCYC has competed for the Marco Polo trophy donated by Peter Gimpel as the prize for a pursuit race. Mandy Wade had been encouraging us all to enter but she had forgotten to consult her crystal ball to check on the weather…
On the coldest Saturday of the sailing season, the blustery conditions and showers during the morning and forecasts of worse for the afternoon, caused a number of entrants to make an early decision to stay ashore.
However by 14:00 the wind had moderated and became a good but still bitterly cold sailing breeze from the north. The Squibs lead the 17 boat fleet off from the start line in the Fairway opposite the club with a spinnaker reach down to Greenward before gybing onto a “windward/leeward” course between Roach and Redward, with some spectacular surfing in some of the gusts in the river Roach.
Dragons, RS Elites, a 707, an RCOD and cruisers followed. Amazingly boats from four different classes all finished within 100 metres of each other after 100 minutes, a credit to the handicaps sorted out by the Race Officer Edwin Buckley.
However none were to catch the Squibs which suited the conditions on the day, finishing in the first three places with Lady Penelope, Malcolm Hutchings, winning from Humphrey, Robert Coyle, in second place and Surprise, Duncan Grindley, third.
The crews which included teams from RBYC and CYC, were glad to repair to the clubhouse for the prizegiving and a hot drink, but despite the cold temperatures, everyone had enjoyed the event and felt those who made the early decision to stay in front of the fire had missed a great afternoon’s sailing.