Squib Gold Cup 2022 5 May 2022
Squib Gold Cup 2022
With an impressive entry list of 33 including visitors from as far afield as the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, the 2022 Gold Cup promised to be a vintage event at the RCYC Burnham on Crouch. Club members effected a slick launching procedure seeing the fleet ready to go on Saturday morning with eight races scheduled.
A windless River Crouch set the tone for the racing with a long postponement which was accompanied by equally lengthy hangovers for most of the participants after the excesses of class stalwart , Malcolm Hutchings 60th birthday the night before.
Race officer Edwin Buckley and his slick team, patiently waited for a southerly sea breeze of around 5 knots to fill in from the south enabling the fleet to race windward leeward courses in bright sunshine in the River Roach. With the tide ebbing ever more strongly short tacking up the bank was the key skill….matched by an accurately calibrated echo sounder. Many boats overdid it at some point and struggled to escape the notorious Crouch mud, Flynn Davies and his crew James Kelly in Naruphar narrowly missing out on spending the night in the trench they dug on the western shore.
Those that chose the eastern bank were dumped to the rear of the fleet with Jack and Nigel Grogan, the current Cup Holders rounding the first mark last by miles , with other local experts such as Nemesis, Ray and Petru, Humphrey, Robert and Mark, and What’s the Story, Nick and Ross creeping round at the back. Eight boats managed to be timed out or retired.
At the front end of the fleet however, visitors David Pinner and Jono Baker in Discord from Haven Ports got it right and had an impressive win. Previous Nationals winners Stu Rix and Steve Warren Smith were second from Jono Brown and Chris Agar in the spectacularly renovated all black Blood Eagle.
Race two was complicated by a U flag start which denied the fleet the option of dipping the line from the course side, which with the spring ebb now running at full speed meant many boats were timed out by not crossing the line within five minutes of the gun. Most boats had now worked out that right was the only way to go, but getting the lay-line call for the windward mark was a big challenge with many boats having to tack mid stream to make the mark and some having to do it gain for the spreader mark. David Lloyd and Mark Stones in Seven won by a big margin, threatening to lap the tail-enders despite being visitors. Behind them was another beautifully restored old Squib Rojo, the three times championship winning Squib was sailed expertly by visitor to the class, Paul Fiske with Richard Tucker, son of original owner and class legend John, crewing. Another visiting team and former Musto Skiff World Champion, Dan Henderson and wife Hattie were third.
Woody was chartered by the youngest competitors of the fleet of the Gold Cup (Niamh Davies and Greg Kelly) which was great to see, but unfortunately there was a sudden loud bang across the river and soon to find out in the bar, that their battery had exploded!
In the bar the class proceeded to drink the club out of Spiced Rum, Doombar and weirdly, Bailey’s while overnight leader David Lloyd allegedly wrote his victory speech.
Sunday dawned grey and windless with another postponement until a decent south westerly filled in allowing a spectacular race right in front of the town. After one recall, Micky Wright and Alex Porteous in Spoof won from Blood Eagle and Aquabat. Sadly the wind then evaporated and racing was abandoned.
Overall it left Jono and Chris as well deserved winners, Micky and Alex second and Dan and Hattie beating David and Scarlett to third place on a tie break.
Nigel and Jack were Silver Fleet winners.
The prize giving dinner followed by more drinking and a band was a raucous affair ably presided over by Commodore Phil Aspinall and Class Captain and organiser of such a great event, Dan Wastnage. We were also entertained by stalwart Malcy Hutchings in his red stilettos (see picture).
The East Coast Championships in June promises to be even more fun, with even more entries at our wonderful club.
The next event is the CYC Trophy, Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May at our club. Committee boat start eight race series. Dave Hyde is running the event as he was a CYC member. It’s also Dave Hyde’s birthday and he’ll be organising a social or two…so watch this space!
Kindly written by ex-Squib Class Chairman, Nigel Grogan.