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Tideway Challenge Cup & Rosebowl at Blackwater Sailing Club

by Danny Lindsey 24 Jul 2008 18:21 BST 19-20 July 2008

18 Tideways gathered at the Blackwater Sailing Club to compete for the Tideway Challenge Cup (Crewed) and for the Rosebowl (Single Handed) which was held on the 19th and 20th July with the current holders Brian Hoolahan with daughter Evie, and Roger Puttock travelling up from Bosham to defend their trophies.

Whilst waiting for the tide on Saturday conditions steadily worsened until the fleet launched for a 1pm start with the already high winds being aided by strong gusts, the conditions presenting quite a challenge to these boats of which a number are approaching 50 years old. Once out of the shelter of the clubhouse the fleet felt the full effects of the winds and minds were concentrated as the boats manoeuvred for a good start position whilst attempting to stay upright.

Surprisingly the fleet got away cleanly first time and were soon on their way down to the first mark off Heybridge Lock the mark being rounded in a variety of ways with everyone striving to avoid a gybe. On the way back up past the clubhouse two of the single hander’s Andy Calcutt and Marion Hobden succumbed to the winds and capsized needing assistance from the BSC rescue boat. When the fleet emerged from the shelter of the BSC buildings to round Northey Island a number of boats decided discretion was the better part of valour and returned to the slip.

The remaining fleet were led down river by the crewed boats TW1 ‘Andante’ (David & Debbie Phillips) with TW352 ‘Mouse (Brian & Evie Hoolahan) and TW299 (Mary Davies & Pat Thomson) in pursuit whilst the only remaining single hander TW150 (Roger Puttock) was in fourth a great effort when he had to sail and bail, and they finished in that order.

After consulting the crews it was decided to abandon the racing for the rest of the day in the hope of better weather for Sunday. Unfortunately Sunday dawned with only marginally less wind than Saturday but it was decided to try for the two remaining races of the series the start of Race 2 having been bought forward to perhaps allow for the third.

A reduced fleet launched to sail a shortened course for the second race with crewed 1st, 2nd and 3rd being the same as for race one with the single hander TW150 being the only survivor coming in 1st in his class. The fleet came ashore principally to remove large quantities of the Blackwater from inside the boats and a yet further reduced fleet launched for Race 3.

Sailing the same short course the winner was TW299 helmed by Pat Thomson previously the crew, who had obviously tired of acting as the spray shield for Mary Davies, 2nd was Peter Barnett and Dean Sephton in TW383 whilst in 3rd came Martin and Joe Mitchell in TW432.

After a quick mop down the crews attended prize giving which was held in the splendid BSC clubhouse. With the official silverware was a range of ‘special’ prizes devised and awarded by the organiser of the meeting the outgoing TOA Chairman Richard Colley the event was closed with a vote of thanks to the BSC for the use of their facilities and for their help and kindness in hosting the event for the TOA.

Challenge Cup Results:


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