Lady Penelope wins Squib East Coast Championships 30 May 2016
Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey in Lady Penelope returned from the Medway Yacht Club as Squib East Coast Champions after a closely fought regatta with three RCYC boats in the top 4.
The initial race of the six race series followed recent trends when Nigel and Jack Grogan in ReHyderated secured a victory in typical, east coast estuary conditions. Things started to change after that when Phil Aspinall and Howie Enkel in Guy Fawkes won the second race and the Grogans slipped to fourth. Between them were the ever consistent Lady P and Stu Rix and Steve Warren-Smith in Aquabat, a South Coast boat seeking to spoil the RCYC party. Aspinall threw away another top three finish by selecting the wrong shore which allowed Hutchings to start score his only race win of the championship. In the light shifting wind and changing tide the top six places regularly changed hands with Nic Tolhurst and Melanie Titmus in By The Lee entering the fray.
The championship wasn't decided until the final nerve wracking race which saw Lady P over the line at the start when needing a 2nd to beat Aquabat who glided away to an unassailable lead. Hutchings got the wind shifts right as others battled amongst themselves for the other podium place. By the final mark the 2nd place was secured, the championship was in the bag by just one point and consistency was rewarded with nothing higher than second to count.
All in all a great regatta well managed in excellent conditions with very close racing at the top of the field. Overall numbers were disappointing with only a few local boats supporting the visitors.
The final analysis showed the Grogans in 3rd, Aspinall/Enkel in 4th and Tolhurst/Titmus in 6th….all a positive sign for the forthcoming Jimmy Starling Regatta in mid-June.