Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Malcolm Hutchings on ‘Lady P’ takes the title after a weekend of close racing
The Mike Flint Trophy, held in Burnham on Crouch, saw 11 boats starting the first race to the west. Places changed
so many times that everybody lost track of who was where, in the end Humphrey got away and won, Guy Fawkes after
being very lonely on the western bank, sailed around the floundering fleet in the Creeksea hole, to come second, Frodo
took a similar route to finish third.
On Saturday afternoon the fleet raced to the East. A fair tide beat to No1 saw Lady P first followed by Brutus, Spoof and
Surprise. Places changed throughout the fleet, but the front four managed to keep their distance. The last mark was
Horse Shoal, which gave the decision of which side of the river to go for the finish. The three on the north shore had a
close downwind tussle to the finish with numerous gybes in the shallow waters, with Brutus first, second going to Spoof,
very closely followed by Surprise and Lady P, only 23 seconds between second and fourth.
Easter Sunday started with a race the East. Lady P got away on the start to leeward of the fleet and took the race win,
behind places changed a bit on the reaching course, Spoof finishing second and Chequemate being the biggest mover
in the race came back from being last to third.
Sunday afternoon saw the fleet racing to the East. Spoof and Surprise got away on the spinnaker reach to Greenwood,
but by the time the fleet had got to Jubilee the positions had changed, Lady P rounded first followed by Surprise, Spoof
had taken the east side of the Roach and came in with Brutus, Guy Fawkes and Chequemate, Spoof went low leaving
Brutus and Guy Fawkes to their own battle which let them slip through to third. The race continued in the strong ebbing
time to the last mark, Holiwell, which left a very long creep along the north shore as the wind dropped off, Lady P still
leading now closely followed by Spoof, then Surprise, Frodo, Chequemate, Brutus, Guy Fawkes, What’s the Story and
Crackers, Guy Fawkes found their sweet spot and sailed through the chasing fleet in the decreasing breeze catching
Surprise towards the finish, but the breeze picked up and Surprise was able to keep third behind Lady P and Spoof.
By the last day, the points at the top were close, Lady P and Spoof were both on six followed by Brutus on nine. Eight
squibs headed out in the overcast and breezy weather starting to the east. Surprise got a great start and pulled away
from the fleet in some great surfing conditions, Guy Fawkes lead the rest of the fleet with Spoof and Lady P vying for
position to try and win the regatta. Lady P broke loose getting into second and kept nibbling away at Surprise’s lead until
eventually she crept inside at Roach buoy, keeping the lead back to the finish first by four seconds and win the regatta.