RCYC Retains Caudle Cup 12 Sep 2016
Whatever the future holds for yachting on the River Crouch, last Sunday's Caudle Cup – the annual match race between the RBODs and the RCODs – was a vivid reminder that these classic boat one designs will always be the beating heart of the river and the clubs they represent.
Played out on the hottest September day for 50 years, a light breeze filled in after a one hour postponement to give a thrilling spectator sport to those watching from the promenade between the marina and the Crouch yacht club. For those not familiar with the cup, which is now in its sixth decade, the rules require four helms from each class competing against each other in both fleets. The RCODs, represented by the Waples brothers John and Justin, started first followed by the RBODs, represented by Malcolm Hutchings and Ant Law. The racing involved three windward leeward races. Whoever avoids being last in each race wins and this led to some very exciting racing as leaders went back to help partners not faring so well, resulting in 180 degree luffing matches (with an equal amount of verbal puff!).
For over a decade the Royal Burnham has dominated the event but last year the Royal Corinthian regained the trophy and was determined not to lose it. Hutchings and Law, who stepped back into a RBOD after a 50 year absence, demonstrated considerable flair by winning all three of their races.
The Waples brothers suffered at the hands of Paul Taylor who gave a master class in hunting down the opposition. But in a cliff hanging finish they managed to secure victory in the final race giving a four to two victory to the RCODs. A big thanks to Andy Wise the race officer, Alistair Munro who laid the marks and to Dan Wastnage for ensuring that bacon and egg rolls were available for breakfast followed by a splendid roast buffet to greet us when we returned to the Royal Burnham bar. Next year the RBODs celebrate its 85th anniversary and I would imagine that regaining the Caudle Cup will be an important part of those celebrations. It will be our turn to host and we want to make it three victories in a row.
It is encouraging to note that the Caudle Cup was presented in 1960 by Derek Caudle to foster strong relations between both clubs and the tie between these classic boats has never been stronger.
One final mention must go to the crews who helped the RCODs to victory. Ant was supported by his wife Sue and Julie Catesby; Hutchings had the benefit of having the highly talented Micky Wright and Ian Simons; John Waples had David Schapiro and class captain Barry Lewis and Justin had his boat partner Steve Rands and daughter Lizzie who celebrated her 14th birthday that day and what a great victory to mark it with! A final thank you to our lead RCOD angel Valerie Harrison who was supporting on the water in a prime berth on Liz Wastnage's beautiful tender.