Royal Corinthian retains the St Mathew Cup in 2013 2 Sep 2013
There was no let up for the racing sailors after a busy Burnham Week as the Sunday morning following is the traditional slot for the Interclub Team Race for the St Mathew Cup. This year the organising Club was the RBYC and the 707 fleet provided the boats, eight of them, two for each Club, BSC, CYC RBYC and RCYC.
The conditions were perfect for the event with a windward/leeward course being set immediate off the Burnham Sailing Club in a WNW force 3 to 4 breeze, with the starts commencing on the top of the tide. The RCYC team was Paul Gray, Jamie Mears, Bill Wright and Marion Aspinall, sailing Beaver Hunter, with Micky Wright, Nigel Cole, Katie Barr and Chris Dunn sailing Pocket Battleship.
The format for this year’s event was for each club to have two 707s that was run as a team race, with a Round Robin consisting of six races with a final race of the top two teams from the Round Robin. The RBYC had also organised two RYA umpires that was to prove to be essential to the close quarter engages that followed during the contests.
The racing got under way at approximately 1030 with the RCYC being drawn for its first race against the Crouch Yacht Club, with the RCYC winning. The RCYC then raced the Burnham Sailing Club, with again the RCYC coming out on top. The RCYC then came up against the Royal Burnham Yacht Club, which saw the most competitive pre race action so far, between these two teams, with the RBYC winning the start by creating a penalty against Beaver Hunter which immediately put the RCYC on the back foot and unfortunately never recovered, giving the win to the RBYC.
The result of the Round Robins meant that the final was between the RBYC and the RCYC and once again there were some extremely competitive and close pre start manoeuvres, which was very exciting to watch and the umpires were certainly earning their supper for the racing that was taking place.
The start was pretty even with Beaver Hunter shadowing Paul Taylor’s Blowfish and Pocket Battleship engaging with Richard Bavin’s Racehorse. There was a lot of close encounters between these teams and was certainly a final not to be missed by the many spectators spread around the course. The deciding moment in this race was when Beaver Hunter had a coming together with Blowfish on the first upwind leg, which after deliberation the umpire awarded the penalty against Blowfish which meant that as Blowfish did not accept the initial protest made against him by Beaver Hunter that she then had to do two penalty turns, which put her at the back of the fleet. Although the two RBYC boats tried to attack the two RCYC boats, our team had an unassailable lead which they maintained to the finish and therefore the St Mathew Cup was retained by the RCYC in perfect style.
The Trophy was presented by the Town Mayor, Neil Pudney at the Royal Burnham Yacht Club, where the RCYC team along with team captain Peter Marchant proudly received the St Mathew Cup Trophy.
Peter Marchant, RC Sailing
During WW2 the Burnham waterfront was taken over by the Admiralty and known as HMS St Mathew from 1943 to 1945. The yacht clubs were used to billet naval personnel. Before vacating the premises, a subscription raised enough money to purchase the Cup which is inscribed thus…
The first race took place in 1947 and it has an unbroken record of taking place right through to this year – a fact of which the four clubs can be justly proud.