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2019 Setley Cup and Seahorse Trophy Junior Model Yacht Regatta

by Mark Jardine 26 Dec 2019 15:58 GMT 26 December 2018

What a difference 24 hours makes. Christmas Day on the south coast was blessed with wall-to-wall sunshine whereas Boxing Day morning saw torrential horizontal rain and some very strong gusts.

The Setley Cup has been a tradition in Lymington for many years with families constructing model yachts over the Christmas break using a variety of materials, all with the intention of vying for one of two coveted trophies; the Setley Cup for monohulls and the Seahorse Trophy for multihulls. Some of the yachts look almost professional in build standard while others are a couple of bottles taped together with a shopping bag as a sail! Many top designers have entered yachts with the aim of adding the trophy win to their naval architecture CV with the vast majority proving unsuccessful.

The rules are pretty simple. Broadly speaking the yachts can be up to 66cm long, have half a metre of sail, must be launched by an under 18 and have no stored energy, which means radio control, batteries, rockets, propellers and jet engines are banned! The key characteristic of a winning yacht is usually being able to sail in a straight line and not tack mid-pond, returning to the child like a faithful pet dog returning a thrown ball.

Even with the horrendous weather the turnout was huge. The car park filled with sailors and spectators alike, with registration taking place to assign sail numbers to competitors. Many went for a test sail before the first start, which had the effect of reducing the fleet size due to a number of breakages, capsizes and the odd sinking.

In total an incredible 71 children registered together with their boats. Considering the atrocious conditions this was a huge turnout.

Soon after 11am the fleet was set, with the 36 monohulls starting first followed by the 35 multihulls soon after. A few boats shot off to the far side, some fell over, some went on a cruise to the top end of the lake and many others capsized in the huge gusts of wind.

Five races were held, going to and fro across the lake, with twenty of the monohulls and ten of the multihulls completing at least one race. Maisie Hutchinson's Shimmer dominated the monohull division while Lola Mordaunt's Dusky secured the win in the multihulls.

Overall Results: (five races, 1 discard)

Monohulls for the Setley Cup (top six)
1st Shimmer (34) - Maisie Hutchinson - 7pts
2nd Green Dragon (55) - Archie Gill - 15pts
3rd Sea Biscuit (43) - Angus McEwen - 16pts
4th Blue Squid (14) - Sophie Reay - 18pts
5th Planet (1) - Philippa Jardine - 21pts
6th Coral Wave (57) - Nora Hutchinson - 37pts

Multihulls for the Seahorse Trophy (top four)
1st Dusky - Lola Mordaunt - 16pts
2nd Speedy - Eddy Grealish - 27pts
3rd Tiger Cat - William Homewood - 20pts
4th Silver Swan - Will Reeve and George Chetwood - 34pts

Many thanks indeed to Luke & Emma McEwen, Ann Brunskill and the army of helpers who recorded finishers (it's very difficult to read the sail numbers of boats finishing upside-down) and the rowers and waders who collected capsized and sinking yachts. Without all the assistants this great Boxing Day tradition wouldn't be able to take place!

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