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EAORA Pattinson Cup & Ralph Herring weekend

by Paul Wood 17 May 14:05 BST 5-6 May 2018
The team on Brave, owned by Richard & Cathy Brown, win the EAORA Pattinson Cup & Ralph Herring © Laura Ivermee

It was settled weekend of the 5th & 6th May for the competing yachts in the first back to back weekend of the East Anglian Offshore Series. There wasn't a cloud in the sky for the competing boats.

Pattinson Cup

The race started at the entrance to the river crouch with one tack and a close reach all the way to the area south of the windfarms of the Gunfleet sands. As the tide turned yachts made their way through the Spitway with a spinnaker leg to the finish line near the Nass Beacon located at West Mersea.

With the winds so light and a north easterly wind, yachts without a mast head kite struggled for a good result on the day. Although the fleet was fairly small some very competitive match racing was taking place with Fiskardo rating 0.941 racing against the beautiful Sparkman & Stevens yacht called Golden Fleece owned by the past commodore of the West Mersea Yacht Club Michael Wheeler, both boats having the same rating. They spent most of the day very close to each other as if they were connected by a rubber band, with one error by Fiskardo going through the Spitway this opened the door lovely for Golden Fleece to take the win in class Three.

In class Two there was still competitive racing for Lyra of London, Charlie don't Surf and Spirit. Spirit won class with just over a minute in correct time over a five hour race. In class one the battle continued between Brave and Flying Fish the Beneteau 40.7 For Brave it was an overall win which delighted Richard & Cathy Brown whom having been racing for the Pattinson Cup for 28 years!

Ralph Herring

Paul Jackson, the race officer for the West Mersea Yacht Club was faced with no wind for the start of the Royal Burnham's Ralph Herring race back to Burnham on Sunday morning, there was just a slight delay for the start as the boats started a little bit further out in the River Blackwater. Fiskardo in Class three found the wind first filling in just off Sales Point, south/East of the starting area. It wasn't long before Brave found it as well and both boats left the fleet for a while before everyone picked up speed.

Although a 40 mile course had been set, with Andy Wise on station for the finish the course was set to keep the boats within the area of The Wallet and then venture through the Spitway on the Flood. The rounding mark was Wallet No 4, yachts whom hugged the shore before going across The Wallet made good progress on the yachts who tacked up the edge of the Gunfleet sands. Fiskardo rounded the mark within an hour of Brave, Spirit & Flying Fish and bearing in mind that everyone was already racing for over 7 hours, Fiskardo was nicely placed for a good result on the day. However, once through the Spitway and with the tide ebbing and the wind dropping and with no sign of a shortened course the faster boats came into the own.

Lyra of London & Fiskardo edged their way to the finish line in the dark with Golden Fleece and Charlie don't Surf retiring. Fiskardo won class 3, Spirit won class 2, Brave won overall again and picked up the Ralph Herring trophy. Again, Richard & Cathy had been trying to win this race for 28 years.

Fiskardo racing under the flag of the Royal Burnham Yacht Club was also awarded the Cecil Gatty trophy being the best or first RBYC boat. The prize giving was delayed until Fiskardo had arrived in the bar with most competitors enjoying the hospitality of the Royal Burnham Yacht Club until well after midnight.

More information on racing with EAORA can be found on

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