National Squib East Coast Championships 2012 15 Jun 2012
The weekend started on Friday afternoon as visitors and local boats queued to be craned into the river with a strong southerly wind making conditions less than ideal. However all of the boats were soon launched and ready for a full weekend of racing.
On Saturday the wind consistently blew south westerly Force 5. The vast majority of the 22 entries enjoyed some close but demanding racing. Two helms decided against leaving the shelter of the Clubhouse and a further two retired after assessing the conditions on the course. During the second race Brutus (Simon Griffin) retired for the day after an incorrectly adjusted spinnaker caused a lot of water to flow the wrong way over the side deck resulting in the loss of a floor board and a much loved toolkit.
The Race Officer Edwin Buckley was able to set an excellent Windward/Leeward course in the mouth of the river Roach which only needed some minor tweaking over the four races scheduled and duly completed on the first day.
Alchemy (Gerard Dyson) visiting from the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club made a great start to the defence of his title by winning the first race with Burnham Squib Lady Penelope (Malcolm Hutchings) second. The second race was won by Pani Munta (Mike Probert) visiting from the Royal Victoria Yacht Club with another Burnham Squib Spoof (Micky Wright) in second place. The third race was won by Lady Penelope from Easy (Dave White) visiting from Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club and the fourth race was won by Spoof with Hussar (Martin Harrison) also a visitor from RVYC securing second place.
The leader at the end of the first day was Mike Probert in Pani Munta (3-1-3-4). Malcolm Hutchings in Lady Penelope (2-3-1-7) thought an OCS likely in race one but the confirmed second place gave him the number two slot overnight.
As soon as the boats were back on the moorings the wind subsided and a splendid sunset was the backdrop to an excellent evening including a Hog Roast on the Club balcony and dancing into the night.
There was concern on Sunday morning as the wind had all but died however as the boats were rigged a Force 2 from the southeast made for a leisurely fetch to the course with the last of the ebb assisting.
A variable wind made Edwin’s job harder and the course needed to be completely re-set for the third and final race as the wind, true to forecast, gradually backed to the east. With the wind strength averaging Force 2 the increasing flood tide required greater consideration by the competitors. Boats that made the smallest of errors in their approach to, and whilst rounding, course marks paid a high price. Places changed rapidly as concentration and patience had become the keys to success. The north bank, still a lee shore, became the favoured side for the beat and short tacking saw some grounding as a less strong tide in shallower water was sought.
Brimstone (Bryan & Jenny Riley) visiting from Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club won race five with local Squib Chequemate (Ian Gray) second. Race six was won by Chequemate with Easy in second place. Race seven saw reigning champion Gerrard Dyson demonstrate that chivalry is dead and buried as he sent his crew Mel Titmus into the water to spin Alchemy around in the mud and re-launch on port tack.
Lady Penelope won race seven and that secured her the Championship (11-8-1) 22 points, Surprise (Duncan Grindley) having contributed much to the organisation of the weekend had a well deserved second place in this the last race of the Championship. Dave White in Easy came second overall in the Championship (4-2-4) 25 points with the lowest discard (9) of the weekend. Having not won a race Dave showed that consistency in all of the conditions does reap rewards. Third place in the Championship went to Spoof (Micky Wright) (8-4-9) 27 points.
In the Silver fleet Black Mark (David Black and Mark Rowntree) visitors from the Medway Yacht Club won with 82 points followed by Burnham Squibs Magic Roundabout (Carl Anderson and Jason Phelps) and Wombat (Piers Stanbury) both on 83 points.
The prize-giving was held promptly on return to the Clubhouse and the impressive contribution to the prizes from the sponsors was appreciated by all.
With the visitors’ boats back on their trailers and waved goodbye it remains only for the RCYC to thank all of the competitors, particularly those who visited making such a great contribution to the success of the Championship weekend both on and off the water.