2006 Squib Gold Cup 5 May 2006
With the 707 East Coast Championships being hosted by RCYC as well, it was not possible to have both committee boats set up in the same favoured area of the junction of the rivers Crouch and Roach. Therefore with a north, north west force 2-3 breeze blowing, forecast to shift, Race Officer Paul Noonan took the fleet on a fairly long haul down to the Inner Crouch Buoy area, where the River is wide enough to get a beat across its width and allow the course to be rotated if necessary. This also provided more consistent wind conditions than that reported from elsewhere on the river and Bryan and Jenny Riley of Waveney & Oulton Broad Yacht Club won both the scheduled two races by convincing margins.
Sunday produced a force 2-3 breeze again, shifting from north east, to east, to south east. The first race which was held not quite so far down river as the day before and along the south Foulness Island shore, saw the Rileys in Brimstone establish another good lead. However on the very last short windward leg from the leeward mark to the finish line, Chris Goodfellow in Trophoblast and about 100m behind, stayed out of the tide longer and by skirting close around the transom of the committee boat that was more out in the fairway, managed to clinch victory. With the flood spring tide at its height and the wind from the east, the course was moved over to the north shore, so that the beats would be in the more shallow water where the tide was weaker. The Rileys won once again and could almost feel the Gold Cup, with Robert Coyle in Humphrey coming in second.
The third race of the day saw the wind veer once again, to the south east and, with the tide turning, the course could be set diagonally across the river with little influence by it, but to the great relief of the fishermen on the north shore. This last race of the day produce the best racing on Sunday with the fleet gybing backwards and forwards and the two leeward marks being used fairly equally by the fleet. Nevertheless the Rileys won once more with Robert Coyle second, meaning it was unnecessary for them to sail on Monday, but being the good sports they are, this option was not considered.
A lively evening on Sunday night with a combined Squib Gold Cup and 707 Championship dinner saw most competitors dancing late into the evening to local band ?Men Behaving Sadly?. Monday morning produced a brisk force 5-6 south westerly to wake everyone up and the one race scheduled saw a true course with boats gybing regularly on the downwind leg while surfing on the waves and again using both leeward marks. Robert Coyle established a lead but on the last spinnaker run went onto a starboard gybe, whilst Dave White in Easy from Felixstowe Ferry S C opted to go to the north shore on port. When they converged at the leeward mark, Dave White was in the lead, which he held to the finish, Robert Coyle 2nd and Bryan Riley 3rd. The Rileys were therefore convincing winners of the gold cup, with four 1st places and a 2nd to count.
Thanks must go to Les White for the loan of his boat and the rest of the supporting team, not forgetting Paul Firmin who dreamed up the original
idea and donated the trophy, keeping in touch with the event via the website results. (“I’m not sure this instant results service is necessarily a Good
Thing!” complained Simon Griffin, a recipient of some of Paul’s more encouraging texts!)