Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Twenty boats took to the water at Burnham over the May Bank Holiday to compete for the prestigious Gold Cup, the last main event in the Squib calendar before the Nationals.
Nigel Grogan sailing with guest crew Ian Keely In Helmut Schoing II won comfortably with four firsts and two seconds, the other race winners being Phil Aspinall and Howard Enkels in Guy Fawkes, Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey in Lady Penelope and famously Simon Sanders and Hannah Tavener in Whats the Story, who led race 6 from start to finish, against the form book and held on to the lead despite a wall of Squibs hovering on their transom.
The two day event saw a range of conditions. On saturday the wind blew from the East between 8 and 15 knots giving great racing but tactically it was soon clear that tacking up the north shore out of the tide was the successful route.
Sunday saw less wind from the South with racing up and down the river Roach providing plenty of snakes and ladders. Big shifts meant that playing them as well as staying in the pressure was what counted- with the usual premium on good starting in a fleet where a lot of boats seemed to now be going at a very closely matched, fast pace.
Nick Tolhurst and Mark Rawinsky borrowing the injured Robert Coyle's Humphrey, came second overall with a consistent series of mainly thirds with a good second in the last race when they and Helmut where the only survivors of a last lap scrum at the leeward mark when the wind dropped and carnage ensued.
Lady Penelope were third overall after a mixed day on sunday with a good race race win followed by a 13th and a 9th.
Spoof with Micky Wright and Chris Dunn, last years winners could only make 4th overall with a best place 2nd in race 3.
Guy Fawkes fine win in race 1 on top of their spirited performance at the recent Eastern Championships was not matched by their sunday results, they appear to now fly in a breeze and falter in the lighter stuff contrary to how it used to be!
Leading visitor Neil Fulcher crewed patiently by wife Carina , had a good showing, leading race 2 for a while and showing , like all the Stone SC boats a steady improvement in pace.
Several other boats showed some good moments all of which bode well for the depth of ability in the RCYC fleet including a good 3rd in race 5 for Woody , the club owned boat, sailed well by Matt Gill and Dave Hyde.
Gear wise the top three in every race were sailing with Hyde Sails. Several boats were sailing with the new 2015 sails using the new cloth and showed great pace ( Nigel, Malcolm, Neil) The new cloth seems noticeably firmer which certainly shows in the jibs which appear to be maintaining their shape much better after a few races.