Squib Gold Cup 2019 5 May 2019
Wow, what an exciting Gold Cup!
The weather gods were not kind with their offerings, however that did not stop the 23 squibs from having some fantastically close racing. With a number of visitors joining the local Burnham fleet, it was going to be tough to call this one.
Racing on the Saturday did not exactly go to plan. Shortly after the first start, the fleet was hit by a series of squalls, topping out at 38knots, and following a number of incidents – 2 broken rudders, 2 sinkings, competitors taking mainsails down to weather it out– the decision was made to abandon racing and ensure everyone got back to the club safely. Both sunken squibs were recovered later that day thanks to the sterling efforts of club members and it was great to see everyone back on the water the next day.
With no racing on the Saturday, 5 windward leeward races were scheduled for Sunday. This meant there was no hanging around for the first race of the day which started bang on time and caught some people unaware. Indeed, Spoof (811) was still running down to the line with their spinnaker up in the final minute, dropping the kite at 10 seconds to go and rounding the pin with clear air – their best start of the day! With the clear air and hitting the Foulness shore (out of the tide) first they went on to lead round the course and hold off Helmut Hydeing (905) till the end. Following them into the finish were Supernova (605) and Lady Penelope (819) who were promoted up a place as it was discovered that Helmut Hydeing were OCS – a difficult score to carry when there were no discards.
Race 2 saw not much space at the pin end as boats were keen to get into the shore and out of the tide. This time it was Helmut Hydeing who got it right and took the honours, closely followed by Lady Penelope and then Squiggle (142) who just held off a late charge from Spoof. However it was now Supernova’s turn to post a heavy score, making their chances that little bit tougher.
However, Supernova quickly bounced back with a win in Race 3 having fought hard to hold off Pani Munta (128). For those a little further behind, a cheeky wind shift enabled them to sail straight down the middle and turn positions on their head. Again it was still all to play for in this competition especially with Helmut Hydeing taking third place – could they win even with an OCS?
The tide had started to change by the time we got to Race 4 and it was no real surprise that we had the first general recall of the day. The fleet managed fairly well starting under the U flag the second time round however this time it was Humphrey (823) who fell foul of the flag and found themselves OCS. The remaining boats found the tide made a real impact on the course as a number found themselves bumping round the inflatable marks (a reminder to all that you must do your turns!!!) Helmut Hydeing were clearly starting to get into the swing of things as they led the whole way round the course. Particular mention should go to David Pinner and Jonno Baker in Discord (91) who came second in this race – it was their boat who had gone full Mary Rose the day before- they are clearly going to be strong competition at next week’s East Coast Championship! Bacchante VII (52) took third place as they continued to post strong results and put themselves into contention.
By Race 5, tiredness was creeping in and even affected our esteemed Race Officer who, in his radio call to the fleet renamed us Dragons (he can be forgiven – he had been up all night rescuing the sunken squib). Unfortunately, the tide and the impatience of everyone to get going meant there were numerous restarts- perhaps it was time to dust off the dreaded black flag? Eventually we set off and it was Nemesis (806) who led from the start, holding off many challenges this time from Crossfire (797) and Humphrey amongst others. It was a very long (and somewhat painful) spinnaker run along the Wallasea shore keeping out of the tide and trying to keep the kite flying in the fading breeze. Places were won and lost by how easily it was to find clear air and hug the shore (whilst avoiding the mud) but we were all grateful to cross the line and get back to shore and a cold beer!
With 5 races in one day and after the exertion from the day before, it was unsurprising that no one had figured out the final results (other than the Race Committee and all those on shore looking at results being posted realtime!). In the end Spoof (Micky Wright and Alex Porteous – RCYC) had managed to snatch victory away from Bacchante VII (Joe Henry and Roly Wilson – RNSA) on countback. Third place (just one point behind) was taken by SCYC’s Dave Best and Steve Allso in Crossfire (who last sailed on the River Crouch in their Cadets in the 70s!) In the Silver Fleet, it was Outlaw (Ian Scott and Iona Martin) who were victorious with Magic Roundabout (Jason Phelps and Carl Anderson) having got a fifth in the last race – as well as a piece of Phoebe’s flagstaff – taking second place ahead of Atalanta (Andy Wood-Hill and Richard Henshaw) in third.
Overall a fantastic event and many thanks to everyone who made it so successful. Particular thanks must go to the guys who assisted on Saturday in the strong winds – George Winder, Mark Eagling, Nick Matthews, Roger Mant, Justin Waples and Paul Buckley, and to those who also assisted with the recovery of the sunken squibs – Mark Wade, Nigel Cole, Carl Anderson, Jason Phelps as well as the boys from Rice & Cole! It was thanks to these guys that all competitors were able to race the next day.
Now just a quick wash of kit before we’re back on the water for the next event in the calendar – the Squib East Coast Championships held by Haven Ports Yacht Club – hopefully with a bit of sunshine!