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Matt Trophy at Alexandra Yacht Club

by Ian and Sue Simpson 9 Jul 2012 09:36 BST 7 July 2012

21 boats from 5 different clubs competed for the Matt Dear Trophy hosted by the Alexandra YC on the Thames Estuary at Southend on Sea. The fleet ranged from 29ers to a Spitfire, Dart 16s through to Lasers, Picos and Toppers.

Island YC showed great ingenuity arriving with a Pico, Laser 2 and 2 Lasers on the back of a lorry.

The forecast of 10mph SSE wind was a tad underestimated a fair breeze built up as the race went on, keeping the support boats very busy over the hour and a half long race. The race committee set a square course, hopefully providing the varied classes with something for everyone.

The obviously well-practised 29ers and Spitfire from Thorpe Bay YC hit the start line bang on, accelerating away from the fleet at great speed, closely followed by Dart 16s from Thames Estuary YC and another 29er from Essex YC. The race quite quickly settled into a pattern with various boats locked in battle for the whole race, the two 29ers from Thorpe Bay YC were only 20 seconds apart over the first four laps. The Spitfire was doing a lap in about 11 minutes, where as a tale ender in a Pico took 43 minutes obviously both having a great sail.

As with any race we lost a few boats along the way through missed marks and retirement, but I think they all had a good days sailing and I’m sure learnt something along the way, taking part away from their own club environment at an open event.

The 29er sailed by Seb Baucutt and Will Shields finished in first place, closely followed by the 29er sailed by Alex Farrell and George Warrington, splitting up the flying machines in third place was the Cadet, sailed by Alex Warrington and Laura Lloyd all from Thorpe Bay YC.

Special mention must go to the two young ladies in the Laser 2 helmed by Phoebe Howler from Island YC, who spent a considerable amount of time in the water and the Laser sailed by Tiffany Castes who capsized very close to Southend Pier, which can be a tad scary on a breezy day when the tide and wind are taking you towards it. Well done also to Bobby Solkham who managed just 2 laps in 1hr 45mins, great perseverance.

All in all a great day, with young people sailing together from 5 different clubs. Alexandra YC, Thames Estuary YC, Thorpe Bay YC, Essex YC and Island YC.

Top 4 Results:

PosClassHelm & CrewClub
1st29erSeb Baucutt & Will ShieldsThorpe Bay YC
2nd 29erAlex Farrell & George WarringtonThorpe Bay YC
3rdCadetAlex Warrington & Laura LloydThorpe Bay YC
4th SpitfireWilliam Thomason & Max DeuceThorpe Bay YC


Matt Dear died on 20th April 2009 after taking steroids to help him bulk up so he could join the Royal Marines. He was 17. The two men who supplied the steroids were charged with drugs offences and given community service.

Chris and Tina Dear now actively campaign about the risks of steroids and against their illegal supply :

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