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Squib Gold Cup at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham

by Phil Shanahan 5 May 2017 07:51 BST 29-30 April 2017
Micky Wright and Alex Porteus making the most of the weather on the second day of the Squib Gold Cup at Burnham © Roger Mant

The 2017 Squib Gold Cup was hosted by the Burnham Squib Fleet and organised under the Flag of The Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, over the May Bank Holiday. Trapezoid courses were set to accommodate the 707 East Zone Championship which was raced off the same starting line.

Three visitors from Waldringfield, Stone and Tollesbury joined the nineteen local boats to make an impressive fleet for the first event of the Squib Traveller Series. Saturday morning, and the crews gathered for a briefing in the Royal Corinthian with barely a breath of wind and a strong flood tide. After a 1 hour postponement, the fleet headed for the river Roach to gather for a further postponement. The wind was Southerly, as forecast, and the course was set in the Roach with a fair tide beat. The 707s got away cleanly but soon after the Squib start the wind backed to the East and most of the fleet layed the windward mark on port tack. The PRO, Edwin Buckley, let the race run its course, pleased to get one race under his belt. The race was won by Malcolm Hutchings and Andy Ramsey in Lady Penelope. It was all change for the second race.

After some delay waiting for the wind to settle from the South East, the fleets gathered in the river Crouch on the north shore, this time for a foul tide beat. There was a bias on the pin end close to the shore, with the Squibs barely making way over the tide. Most of the fleet stayed close to the line. There were four general recalls before the PRO reached for the black Flag and the second race was finally underway. After the first beat, the tide had changed and during the two lap race gained strength with numerous boats changing places as the marks were misjudged in the strong tide. The second race was also won by Hutchings with the National Champion Nigel Grogan and Ian Keely in Helmut Shoing in second place.

The third race got away cleanly and once again places were won and lost on judging the tide at the approach to the windward mark. The race was won by Nick Tolhurst and Mel Titmus in By The Lee. The fleet headed home for the night, after 8 hours on the water, with Hutchings just one point ahead of Grogan. Raymond and Deborah Althorp, from Tollesbury (Nemesis), had a similar overnight one point lead in the Silver Fleet.

On Sunday morning there was a complete change in the weather as the PRO faced another challenging day with winds gusting 30 knots. It was 2pm before the wind moderated and the Committee boat headed up river to set a windward / leeward course with another foul tide beat. Most of the fleet battled it out in the shallow water of the North shore while Ian Gray in Chequemate tried the South shore with deeper water but clearer air. It was the North shore that paid. Nigel Grogan was first to the windward mark and kept the lead until the end of the fourth race. Grogan was now leading the event.

The last race of the day was started just ten minutes before the time limit of 16:00. The whole fleet gathered on the North shore for some close short tacking, but it was a port and starboard between the two contenders for the trophy that proved decisive. Nigel Grogan headed for clear water to take his penalty, a manoeuvre that was difficult to recover from in the strong tide. Mike Probert, sailing with Duncan Grindley in Surprise, took the honours in the final race, but Hutchings took 3rd place which was enough to secure the Gold Cup.

Mark and Ian Knights sailing Quids In won the Silver Fleet with Jason Phelps / Carl Anderson (Magic Roundabout) runners up.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameFleetHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1819Lady PenelopeGoldMalcolm HutchingsAndy RamseyRCYC1143312
2105Helmut Shöing IIGoldNigel GroganJack GroganRCYC3221816
3868By The LeeGoldNick TolhurstMel TitmusRCYC5615421
4760SurpriseGoldMike ProbertDuncan GrindleyRCYC6377124
5811SpoofGoldMicky WrightAlex PorteousRCYC9436224
672Guy FawkesGoldPhil AspinallHowie EnkleRCYC28104731
7823HumphreyGoldRobert CoyleMarc RawinskyRCYC41482533
8157Cheque MateGoldIan GrayIan SimonsRCYC10558634
9880QuidsinSilverMark KnightsIan KnightsRCYC & BCC1791110956
10736Magic RoundaboutSilverJason Phelps/Carl AndersonJason Phelps/Carl AndersonRCYC2071291159
11806NemesisSilverRaymond ApthorpDeborah ApthorpTollesbury SC19106131260
1240RubySilverDavid CannellPeter GreatrexWaldringfield SC111213121361
13727MosquitoSilverBen LuddingtonAmy SpareRCYC211514111475
1483EasySilverIan BrandNick PeelRCYC141716231080
15595OutlawSilverIan ScottIona MartinRCYC18139232386
16815AtalantaSilverAndy Wood‑HillRichard HenshawRCYC161117232390
1725CrackersSilverPhil ShanahanNoel SutcliffeRCYC151615232392
18779What's the StoryGoldSimon SandersSarah SandersRCYC72323232399
19883Just in TimeGoldNeil FulcherRicky IdeniseStone823232323100
20862BrutusGoldSimon GriffinDave HydeRCYC1223232323104
2121TomboSilverBill JonesAlex PorteousRCYC1323232323105
22232BaldrickSilverMick KingBob TranterRCYC2223232323114