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Jimmy Starling Squib Regatta at Burnham Sailing Club

by Sally Harbott 14 Sep 2020 08:55 BST 12-13 September 2020

The Jimmy Starling took place this weekend having been postponed earlier this year. Ten squibs headed down river to race down by the Roach to complete three windward leewards per day.

Day one saw a good westerly breeze so the fleet were able to get a good beat up to the windward mark and round the spreader, and used both sides of the leeward gate before sailing back through the line on each lap.

Race one saw Simon Griffin in Brutus win, with Chequemate sailed by Ian Gray second and David Mellard's Electra taking third with just four seconds from 3rd to 6th, illustrating the close competition enjoyed by the Burnham Squib fleet whenever they get out. Phil Aspinall in his distinctive yellow Guy Fawkes a second off Electra took fourth, Spoof fifth and Sophie sixth.

A quick turnaround into race 2 and again Brutus took the bullet with Micky Wright in Spoof second and Chequemate third. Race three was another really closely contested race and Ian Gray crewed by Ian Simons took the win, with Spoof second and By The Lee, Jason Phelps and Carl Anderson, taking the third.

Overnight, Brutus, Simon Griffin led the regatta by one point from Chequemate, with Spoof a little behind in third.

Sunday was a good south westerly and the course was angled diagonally across the river to get a beat. The first race of the day saw a cracking start with Chequemate getting the best position and start of the weekend. However, Micky Wright got to the front and took the bullet with Lady Penelope second and Guy Fawkes third.

The second race was not as successful, with two general recalls with the keen fleet blocking the pin from sight. Third time lucky, however, and the fleet got away with Lady Penelope OCS returning to clear with Spoof also coming back despite not being recalled. Chequemate took the win with Jason and Carl in By The Lee second, and Guy Fawkes taking another third place.

The final race of the weekend started with Chequemate over the line on the gun, but they returned quickly to get back to the fleet. Lady Penelope, Brutus and Dave Hyde in Sophie were at the front and Malcolm Hutchins in Lady Penelope took the win from Simon Griffin in Brutus with Dave Hyde's Sophie third.

This weekend epitomised all that squib racing can offer; close competition and great enjoyment. Overall, Ian Gray and Ian Simons in Chequemate won the trophy, presented to remember Burnham boat building apprentice Jimmy Starling who drowned as a teenager in the 50s whilst racing, with Micky Wright in Spoof second and Simon Griffin sailing Brutus, one point behind, in third.

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