The St Mathew Cup Stays With Us! 8 Sep 2009
It is really cruel to expect a bright and early turnout to compete for the St Mathew Cup the morning after the BW Prizegiving but experience tells us that it is the only way to find enough people available to fill the teams necessary!
New members may not realise the significance of this trophy which was presented to the town by ‘The Officers, Men & WRNS Personnel of HMS ST. Mathew November 1943 – October 1945’ when the Burnham water front was taken over by the Admiralty as part of the war effort. The inscription continues, ‘To be competed for annually by a class selected by the Burnham Sailing Week Committee’ and that has been faithfully carried out ever since, in an unbroken line since 1947, when it was first won by BSC.
Robert Coyle’s report follows.
The St Mathew Cup was raced for on the 6th September under the burgee of the RBYC. The RBYC had decided to continue to use 707s as in the previous two years, with each club putting out a two-boat team, each crewed by four people. Spinnakers were not allowed. However, the RBYC introduced a new level of sophistication by running a round robin competition consisting of three flights of two races, with each of the four clubs racing against each other. The top two teams from the round robin then fought for the trophy in a 4th race, while the teams finishing 3rd and 4th raced to avoid coming last.
The RCYC team looking to retain the trophy won last year was Beaver Hunter sailed by Paul Gray, Ian Gray, Matthew Anthony and Alex Shanahan, and Pocket Battleship sailed by Jamie Mears, Mark Wade, Paul Buckley and James Wade.
This new format, introduced by the RBYC, produced excellent team racing and drew very favourable comments from those taking part, even if it was not their day. Some boats came to watch, and were treated to racing that was exciting and spectator friendly. The weather was kind and the Race Officer and his team did a great job, setting a good course and getting through the races in quick order. An excellent day for all involved, but especially for the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club’s team, being the winners of the St Mathew Cup for 2009.