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EAORA fleet in the Buckley Goblets at West Mersea Yacht Club

by Paul Wood 18 Sep 2018 22:50 BST 14 September 2018
Golden Fleece wins the EAORA Buckley Goblets race from Mersea to Ostend © WMYC

A "classic win" for the Golden Fleece in the EAORA series during the Buckley Goblets

The Classic 1974 Sparkman & Stephens 41 footer "Golden Fleece" owned by Michael Wheeler from West Mersea YC won the 2018 Buckley Goblets proving that sometimes it's not all about Kevlar hulls and Dimension Polyant sails! Friday 14th of September offered the right conditions to demonstrate that if you have a competitive owner and crew, you can have the ultimate end-of-season offshore race "in the bag"

It was the second overall EAORA win for Michael on board his magnificent S&S; his love for this yacht goes back to 1999 when he found her in a sorry state in a Durban marina. Her graceful look and her history is all it took for Michael to fall in love with her. He sailed her back to the UK where she was transported by road to the Elephant Boatyard on the south coast for renovations that took place over five years.

Today, "Golden Fleece" makes an appearance for most EAORA races and classic regattas, adding silverware to her collection. Full details of Michael's love for this boat can be seen at:

The race from Mersea to Ostend started with a 7am committee boat start from "Blue Horizon" in the capable hands of EAORA/WMYC's Race Officer Brian Bolton, with the self-time finish line being the line between the green buoy no 3 and the Binnestroombank off Ostend, Belgium. Sailing conditions were at their best, with a spinnaker run up the Wallet with a close fetch in a steady breeze of 15 knots gusting 25 knots across the North Sea to Ostend. Corrected times gave around four minutes separating each of the fleet.

Competitors of the Buckley Goblets all arrived within day light hours and were greeted upon arrival by EAORA Chairman Paul Wood with a tray of cold beers!

The Buckley Goblets was also the deciding race for the overall winner for the 2018 EAORA series. Before the race, "Spirit" a Sigma 38 owned by Paul Scott and "Brave" owned by Cathy & Richard Brown an Arcona 410 were in the running for collecting the Blackwater Cup for overall EAORA champion at the Association's end of season prizegiving party on 3rd November at the West Mersea YC (please book your tickets - everyone is welcome).

Luck was not on "Brave"s side as she needed just one extra boat between her and "Spirit" to take the overall point, so Paul Scott's "Spirit" ended her successful year as EAORA overall champion, added to his impressive overall win back in May in the RORC North Sea.


1st in Class 1 – Brave
1st in Class 2 - Lyra of London
1st in Class 3 - Golden Fleece

The results for the Buckley Goblets and the season overall can be found at

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