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Bourne End Week at Upper Thames Sailing Club

by John Dighton 31 May 2014 09:40 BST 24-28 May 2014
The Thames A Rater 'Adventurer' at Bourne End Week © Tony Ketley

Bourne End Week Regatta has been taking place on the Thames at the end of May for a hundred years and this year there was a mixture of both windy and calm days to test the river sailing skills of participants.

The regatta was sponsored this year for the first time by Squire Furneaux Maidenhead, the local Volvo dealer, who were promoting the Volvo RYA deal and Aberdeen Asset Management who provided sailing kit which was awarded as race prizes and awards for volunteers. The week was also supported by Andrew Milsom Estate Agents, and online chandler Virtual Rigger, who sponsored Junior Bourne End Week as well and provided useful on-site support throughout.

The Thames A Rater National Championships took place over the five days. Thirteen boats took part with some vintage boats dating back to the early days of the regatta.

The highlight and final race of the week was for the prestigious Queen's Cup, which was presented to the club in 1893 by Queen Victoria. The race was won by Adventurer, a new Thames A Rater, which led each lap of the race. She was helmed for the first time by Simon Blake with Jock Wishart and Jamie Stewart as crew. This crowned off a magnificent week for the new boat which had been repainted and had modifications made over the last year.

Thirteen boats competed for eight significant trophies and six of the Thames A Raters went home with a cup to round off an enjoyable and spectacular week with the honours being shared widely. The Rater winners were:

  • Queen's Challenge Cup – Adventurer (Simon Blake, Jock Wishart, Jamie Stewart)
  • Vintage Rater Trophy – Scamp (Jonathan Smith, Matt Dean, Adrian Hart)
  • Thames Champion Cup – Spindrift (Martin Hunter, Roger Stafford, Jeremy Kearns,)
  • Dunn Cup – Kingfisher (Martin Collen, Clive Hughes, Richard Stent)
  • Clayton-Jackson Cup – Adventurer (Simon Blake, Jock Wishart, Jamie Stewart)
  • Scamp Cup – Lady Jane (Ben Palmer, Sam Eversfield, Tom Kinver)
  • Commodore's Cup – Kingfisher (Martin Collen, Sarah Collen, Clive Hughes)
  • Wokefield Challenge Cup – Osprey (Paul Browning, Justin Dunn, Mark Staite)

The 20 Merlin Rockets competed hard for the Yves Challenge Plate over 6 races. The Commodore of Upper Thames, Alan Markham, and his wife, Sue, were trying particularly hard in their Merlin and managed to recover from a very exciting moment (pictured) gybing at the home mark in front of the clubhouse.

The Merlin series was won by Upper Thames's Laurie Smart and Vanessa Pilon with Simon and Gemma Davis (also UTSC) in second place, followed by Alex and Gareth Jones of Cookham Reach SC.

Peter and Beth Brewer won the Wayfarer Founders Cup, and Terry Curtis, currently of Weymouth SC and formerly of UTSC, won the Yeatman Trophy for the OKs. In the Fast Handicap youngsters Alex Pausey and Jacques Hunter held off the challenge of more experienced sailors to win the Candlesticks.

As usual a full social programme was enjoyed each day by the attendees of the Regatta, with the ever popular cocktail party being particularly well attended. Many more photos of the action are on the club website here.

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