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Ocean Elements 2016

7th annual Matt Trophy

by Ian Simpson on 10 Oct 7 October 2017

This year's Matt Trophy seemed to be one of those races where everything was going to go against you. There is a great deal of racing going on for experienced sailors which can be very intimidating for the younger sailors. At the Matt Trophy we actively encourage the less experienced sailors and allow coaching during the race. Fun is the goal.

This year we visited many more sailing clubs and scout groups, publicising the event and its origins. The forecast was looking very bad with 25 to 30 mph winds expected on the day, too much for this race. The day dawned with strong winds but forecast to drop, it wasn't looking good. An hour before the start the wind dropped just enough although many of the less experienced had to drop out along with clubs who usually sail ¾ hour to get to the start.

With a westerly wind we were able to set a course relatively close to the Thames Estuary YC club house allowing a good view for spectators and supporters of the 13 boats to make the start. First disaster of the day ground tackle was lost, laying one of the marks, but soon replaced, so the race got underway. In 15mph winds Jessica Breavington (a previous winner) and Joe Denny (very new to sailing) in a Topaz had a fantastic start on port right under the committee boat, closely followed by the RS Feva sailed by Luke Chapman & Sam Weller with Daniel Brown (RS Tera) close behind. With this start Jessica and Joe were away in clear air building a substantial lead by the windward mark. The rest of the fleet followed with a VERY determined Henry Tierney (Pico) bringing up the rear.

The course was a trapezoid and all boats managed the first lap well. Coming in towards the club house, Luke Chapman (RS Feva) somehow managed to fall out the back of the boat, but managed to hold on to the mainsheet and get back on board.

As the leaders approached the start/finish line the pin end mark decided to go a wondering, one of the support boats managed to reset so no problem. Jessica & Joe were 2 minutes ahead after the first lap but the wind was building again with some pretty large waves down the run reported by the safety boats. Most of the fleet managed to cope quite well with the gybe mark but the run took its toll. Jessica & Joe had a pretty spectacular capsize followed by 5 others. Jessica & Joe struggled to right their boat allowing Luke and Sam (RS Feva) and Daniel (RS Tera) and the Quest sailed by Rose Collis and Miranda Turbin TS Implacable Sea Cadets to go past. This leg saw the first retirement Dominic Gal and Tom Duddridge. As the fleet came round to the clubhouse this mark decided to go on the move again saved by the support boats Henry Tierney (Pico) was finding going to windward increasingly difficult in the strong winds, eventually having to retire.

The (RS Feva) Luke & Sam now the first boat across the line followed by Rose & Miranda (Quest) and then Jessica and Joe (Topaz) and Daniel (RS Tera) 4th the battle was on for what would be the final lap.

The run on the 3rd lap didn't cause the same carnage as the previous lap it was now a race to the finish with Jessica and Joe (Topaz) pushing hard to make up lost ground. The first 3 boats to cross the line finished within 3 minutes of each other RS Feva, Quest, Topaz but obviously PY's would decide the final result. After the race the boats sailed their separate ways back to their own clubs to return later for the prize giving.

Overall Results: (with corrected time)

1st Luke Chapman & Sam Weller, RS Feva (TBYC) 0:13:09
2nd Daniel Brown, RS Tera (EYC) 0:13:36
3rd Jessica Breavington & Joe Denny, Topaz (TEYC) 0:13:55
4th Nick Pugh, Pico (TS Implacable) 0:15:05
5th Rose Collis & Miranda Turbin, Quest (TS Implacable) 0:15:25
6th Louise Woodley & Sam Edwards, Pico (TBYC) 0:15:48
7th Taylor Jones & Joe Hollister Frost, Pico (TBYC) 0:15:50
8th Isobella Rainbow & Sophie Sandford, Pico (TBYC) 0:16:39
9th Adam Jones, Laser 4.7 (TBYC) 0:16:48
10th Bobbie Solken, Pico (AYC) 0:18:01
11th Ellie Morgan, Pico (TBYC) 0:25:58
12th Henry Tierney, Pico (TBYC) DNF
12th Dominic Gal & Tom Duddridge, Pico (TBYC) DNF

TBYC – Thorpe Bay Yacht Club
EYC – Essex Yacht Club
TEYC – Thames Estuary Yacht Club
TS Implacable Sea Cadets
AYC – Alexandra Yacht Club

Well done to Luke Chapman and Sam Weller TBYC who were 6th last year for taking first place and Daniel Brown EYC who was second. Special mentions for Jessica Breavington who was third for taking Joe Denny out on such a windy day. A massive well done to Rose Collis and Miranda Turbin also Nick Pugh from TS Implacable Sea Cadets who sailed 40 minutes to get to the start in pretty horrible conditions getting 4th and 5th places. Bobbie Solken was presented with a special award for entering all of the Matt Dear races since the start 7 years ago.

I'd just like to thank everyone at the Alexandra YC who helped organise and run the race and provide the race committee. Thames Estuary YC for use of their club house/facilities, and Cheryl Wright for her help liaising with TEYC and all the clubs for entering and bringing their support boats, Summer Care for sponsoring the event and the Dear family for providing the BBQ.

This annual charity race was first held in 2010 in memory of Matthew Dear, who tragically passed away in 2009. The aim of the charity is to raise awareness of the dangers of anabolic steroids and appearance and performance enhancing drugs. See www.matthewdearfoundation.co.uk for more information.

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