St Matthews Cup 6 Sep 2023
It was the turn of the RCYC to organise the 2023 ST Mathew Cup and it was great to see Creeksea Sailing Club competing for the first time. Graham Dale Jones is the Captain of the CSC and there were some familiar faces in his team. Teams gathered on the RC Sundeck and were greeted with well-deserved Bacon Baps and Coffee.
It was a grey and windless Sunday morning, competitors from the four clubs in Burnham, assembled to fight for the most important trophy of the year.
After a postponement to wait for the wind to fill in, crews went afloat to ready themselves in familiar, and not so familiar boats, in readiness for the 12.05 start. A clean, but exceedingly close start saw the majority of boats choosing to short-tack along the south shore, with a few boats opting for shallower waters and slightly more pressure on the north shore, however, the south shore paid off and Bill Blank, crewed by Noddy and Harriet Norden, led around Fairway No.5 for the run down to Fairway No.11, closely followed by Nic Tolhurst with his mix of veterans and Otters in the RCYC 707. The tidal gate stretched the fleet on the downwind leg, only to have it concertina up at the bottom mark as they all fought for every advantage in the fickle breeze and strong tide along the south shore. RCYC Captain Dan Wastnage, sailing a RBOD, was having a good fight with RBYC Captain Stephen Herring, sailing his RBOD Red Jacket. Eventually the fleet made it round the point by the BSC line and they made their way, slowly, along the shore with plenty of place changing, making the job of the race box team that much harder as they tried to monitor the teams from each club.
The format of a non-handicap fleet result meant every position on the water mattered, with Lasers covering keelboats and vice versa in their efforts to squeeze any advantage for their teams overall positions. With the course having been shortened to one lap it was nip and tuck between the RCYC and RBYC at the front, while Creeksea SC and BSC were battling just as hard over third and fourth places.
However, after the boats had (mostly…) crossed the line, the positions were checked, double-checked, and then checked again but the result was clear – a win for the Royal Burnham Yacht Club. Congratulations to Stephen Herring and his team which means that the RBYC and RCYC are tied on the most number of wins overall, so rest assured we’ll be back next year to try and take it back!
Homemade Sandwiches were supplied, It was a beautiful sun blessed afternoon and competitors congregated on the Balcony, telling their tales of Burnham Week 2023.
A great end to the week and we look forward to competing next year, where it is the turn of the RBYC to organise.
Special Thanks to Ian at Lonton & Gray for the flags.
Dan Wastnage, RCYC team Captain
Full results below:
Sailwave results for HMS St. Mathew Cup 2023 at Royal Corinthian Yacht Club 2023