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Squib East Coast Championships at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club

by Chris Jordan 19 Jul 2021 12:21 BST 17-18 July 2021
Squib East Coast Championships at the Royal Norfolk & Suffolk Yacht Club © Chris Jordan

The plan was for the Royal Norfolk and Suffolk Yacht Club, the UK's most eastern club in Lowestoft, to hold the 2020 Squib East Coast Championships. The reality was they hosted the 2021 East Coast Champs - and the event was certainly not a let down after the year's delay.

Superb organisation from the RN&SYC (led by the Commodore Richard Fryer who also starred as the crane driver and Race Office) gave a great event for the 24 boats. People had travelled to Lowestoft from all over the country: Abersoch in the west, Isle of Wight in the south, and a great contingent from Burnham in the east.

The wind for the first day was around 10 knots, but forecasted to drop during the day (which it did!). The fleet had obviously not lost their keenness after the year long delay and needed two general recalls and a black flag to get the first race started. Richard Smith and Graham Reeve in Flame from Waveney & Oulton Broad YC surprised themselves by leading around the first mark in the first race after a ¾ mile beat against the tide up the coast. Stuart Rix with Steve Warren Smith in Aquabat from Royal Victoria YC fought with Nigel and Jack Grogan in Helmut Schoing II from Royal Corinthian all down the run, with Nigel and Jack taking the win. Chris and Gill Jordan in Croc from W&OBYC sailing at Lowestoft for the first time took 3rd place.

Race 2, with the wind down to 8 knots or less, the fleet were getting the balance between inshore and less tide or off-shore and more wind. Ian Keely and James Baxter in Supernova from Horning SC, and Jim Tubby with David Gale in Silver Fox from RN&SYC shot off from the pin end of the line, headed in shore and took the lead around the first mark. By the finish, Andrew Moore with Peter Halinan in Wrinkles Retreat from Felixstowe Ferry SC came first, followed by Micky Wright and Alex Porteous in Spouf from RCYC with Dave Best and Kerr Sinclair in Crossfire from South Caernarvonshire YC and W&OBYC in 3rd. This demonstrated the close racing all weekend - there were 10 different boats who finished in the top 6 places after 2 races.

Race 3 began, and with the slack tide, the fleet were pushing the line again also, with the wind dropping further, it was important to get clear wind off the start. The beat was tricky and the fleet ended up with a very slow and quite tense final lap drifting down wind to the finish against the tide. Nigel and Jack Grogan kept their wind clear enough to take their 2nd win of the day, with Dan Wastnage and Charlie Mathews in Heartbeat from Royal Burnham YC in 2nd and Spouf in 3rd.

37 Squib sailors attended a superb fleet dinner at the RN&SYC. The "Dick of the Day" jacket and hat were (at last!) handed over from the Rust family to the local fleet captain Marc Moncrieff. Marc had provided very sensible health advice, as well as 8 different sun tan lotions for the fleet from the Skin Cancer Clinic at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, but still managed to get sun burnt ears himself.

The very gentle wind forecasted for the Sunday was thankfully exceeded with a good 10-12 knots. The tide was slack at the start, but it still paid (just) to go inshore on the beat. Stuart and Steve in Aquabat led the fleet around, with Nigel and Jack the overnight leaders working their way up through fleet to grab 3rd place around the final mark, just behind Micky and Alex in Spouf in another 2nd place.

The final race was to be the decider - with the tide playing a bigger role than many people realised until much too late. The fleet treated the spectators on the beach to a good spectacle as we short tacked up the shore. Stuart and Steve in Aquabat were again the first from the pin, first to the beach, and first to tack among swimmers and lead to the finish. Ian and James in Supernova had their best race of the weekend to take 2nd, while Nigel and Jack in Helmut Schoing II took 3rd to finish on equal points with Aquabat. Stuart Rix and Steve Warren Smith won the event on count back, with Micky Wright and Alex Porteous in 3rd place. The Silver Fleet, the first boat who never finished in the top 1/3 of the fleet (i.e 9th and lower), was Jim Tubby and David Gale in Silver Fox. The Silver Fox team should also get a [dis]honourable mention for mooring up to the windward mark by wrapping their rudder around the retrieval tackle in the last race. The bronze fleet, top boat who never finished in the top half of the fleet (i.e. 13th or lower), was won by Jason Phelps and Petre Balau from RCYC.

Racing was all over by lunchtime and the RN&SYC laid on a BBQ on the lawn. The Crane team worked their socks off to lift all the visiting boats out of the water by the time prize-giving took place at 3.00pm. The weekend was hugely enjoyable and reminded the sailors how much they had missed travelling with and competing in their Squibs.

Many thanks to the organising team at RN&SYC for hosting a splendid event.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4RSPts
1stAquabat13Stuart RixSteve Warren SmithRoyal Victoria2[15]4118
2ndHelmet Schoing 11105Nigel GroganJack GroganRCYC1[7]1338
3rdSpoof811Micky WrightAlex PorteousRCYC[10]232613
4thWrinkles Retreat881Andrew MoorePeter HallinanFFSC715[14]720
SthSupernova605lan KeelyJames BaxterHorning Sailing Club849[20]223
6thLady Penelope819Malcolm HutchingsAndy CarleyRCYC5[17]87424
7thCroc855Chris JordanGillian JordanWOBYC36108[15]27
8thBrimstone73Bryan RileyJenny RileyWOBYC405(DSQ)51327
9thHeartbeat92Dan WastnageCharlie MathewsRBYC[11]10210931
10thMayhem754Steve AllsoGlenn PritchardSCYC 611[19]61033
11thFlame802Richard SmithGraham ReeveWOBYC9137(DSQ)534
12thCrossfire797Dave BestKerr SinclairSCYC CYPSC1331113[20]40
13thDiscord91David PinnerJono BakerHaven Ports Yacht Club1486[15]1240
14thSilver Fox830Jummy TubbyDavid GaleRNSYC[18]916121451
15thClever Dick810Richard SullivanSue HarperRNSYC171213[18]1153
16thPot Black147Mare MoncrieffNick HawkesRNSYC1520154(DNF)54
17thArtemis 236Philip RustMike RustBrightlingsea1916[20]11854
18thFirebird50Simon MarfleetStef OosthuysenWOBYC1614[17]91655
19thOuttaw595lan Scottlona MartinRCYC12[19]12161959
20thBy The Lee868Jason PhelpsPetre BalauRCYC20{25 DNF)14171768
21stDefiant741Bill ReesPhil ChannonHaven Port Yacht Club[22]1818191873
22ndSupertoy768Mark DuffieldNickolas BarrettRNSYC21212121(DNF)84
23rdSpring Maid857Chris WilliamsSue WilliamsWOBYC232222(DNC)DNC92
24thState Of The Harte744Fergal O'DriscollGerald McCormackRNSYC2423{25 DNF)(DNC)2193

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