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Squib Jimmy Starling trophy at Burnham Sailing Club

by Sally Harbott 22 Jul 2019 11:04 BST

The Burnham Sailing Club hosted the annual Jimmy Starling trophy this weekend, raced for in squibs. The trophy was presented in memory of a young boat building apprentice from Tucker Brown, who sadly drowned having been knocked overboard racing in Burnham Week in 1957.

11 boats braved the adverse forecast on Saturday and headed down river to the mouth of the Roach to sail three windward leeward races. With a fresh south westerly the course went diagonally across the river with the committee boat stationed down from Redward. With a flood tide, the fair tide windward start saw the fleet on the whole a bit line shy for the first race. Humphrey, sailed by Robert Coyle, led on the third lap to take the first place. Spoof sailed by Micky Wright was second with Phil Aspinall in the distinctive yellow Guy Fawkes close behind in third.

Race two saw the same results for the top three, but Malcolm Hutchins in Lady Penelope took fourth just seconds ahead of Carl Anderson in Magic Roundabout. As the Committee Rib headed off to adjust the spreader mark, the weather broke and racing was delayed as visibility decreased in the downpour and hail. However, after a few minutes, the squall passed and the race committee got the final race of the day under way promptly. The racing was closely contested and as the leading two boats came up to finish it was nip and tuck between Robert Coyle in Humphrey and Micky Wright in Spoof.

Humphrey was heading for the committee boat end and could lay the line comfortably bearing off for speed. Spoof were at the pin end, and just before they crossed the line it was clear that they would not make it. They threw in a quick tack which made it look like they had given the race away, but a quick luff up, a timely 'Gravesend nip', meant that they crossed the line at exactly the same time, giving a tie for first place. This race saw the first four boats finish in under thirty seconds, a further illustration of just how close and competitive the Burnham Squib fleet are.

After day one, Humphrey was leading on 3.5 points, with three races scheduled for the Sunday. The fleet then enjoyed a lively supper at the Burnham Sailing Club.

Sunday dawned with lighter winds, but still south westerly, so again the Committee Boat headed down river, and set a very similar windward leeward to Saturday. The tide was turning and the flood became stronger during the course of the races.

Race four saw a new helm for Humphrey, Arthur Brown, and aboard Lady Penelope James Hutton Penman took the helm for the day. Guy Fawkes were leading, but she hit the leeward gate mark and her 360 turn cost her the place. Spoof got the win, beating Phil Aspinall in by just over a minute. Lady Penelope came in in third with Outlaw sailed by Ian Scott fourth.

Race five saw a really competitive start, and had three boats recalled for being over the line; Guy Fawkes and Magic Roundabout helmed by Jason Phelps both returned quickly, but David Mellard's Electra failed to return, scoring an OCS. Humphrey was quickly in the lead and kept it through to the finish. Guy Fawkes, Simon Griffin in Brutus and Spoof finished second, third and fourth respectively, within thirty seconds of each other.

The last race of the regatta was also hugely competitive and tight, with all boats finishing within 4 minutes after the three laps. Again, Arthur Brown took the lead and the win, with Micky Wright second in Spoof and Lady Penelope third. and Brutus fourth.

Humphrey, owned by Robert Coyle, took first overall, retaining the Jimmy Starling Trophy with Spoof, Micky Wright second and Guy Fawkes, Phil Aspinall third. The trophy and glassware were presented by Club President John Mellard who thanked the race team and competitors for a great two days of racing.

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