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Bourne End Week 2022

by Tony Ketley 22 Jun 2022 15:17 BST 2-5 June 2022

This year Bourne End Week took place on the Jubilee bank holiday weekend, but despite the draw of celebration parties and television coverage of this once in a lifetime event, substantial numbers of the sailing fraternity chose Bourne End to do their celebrating. BEW itself is a Jubilee celebration, it was inaugurated in 1887 by UTSC to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.

Thursday, the first day, flags flew high on the new signal gantry, well they hung high rather than flew with any purpose, giving an indication of a perplexing problem for our Vice Commodore Richard Pausey the Race Officer for the event. The wind was light and not in a good direction for the normal start line. Rippling water could be seen up stream, a promising location for the start, the committee boat had been prepared for this scenario and was now going into service.

As part of the race officer’s team, I witnessed first hand this indecisive breeze that came from every compass point in the course of five minutes. It was lottery which way it would be blowing at the end of a five-minute start sequence, jackpot, we got it right. Merlins were away first, OKs next then Wayfarers and the Handicap fleet. During BEW these fleets include several of the races in their annual programme of trophy events. So these were competent competitors and understood wind shifts and appreciated the torment for the race officer. The race officer also understood the frustration of the competitors and didn’t prolong their suffering for any longer than was really necessary to run a fair race. Things improved for the afternoon’s sailing.

The Thames A Rater sailors are drawn each year to Bourne End all with the hope of taking home the most coveted trophy in Rater sailing, the Queen’s Cup, the Queen being, Queen Victoria. Whilst the winds remained light, these craft can make progress with the slightest hint of a breeze, so a start on the club line wouldn’t be a problem. Big relief for the race officer. Their second Raters’ race of the day way was late in the afternoon and benefitted from a little more wind.

Day 2 Friday. The weather had become friendlier, a light breeze from a constant direction gave cheer to the competitors and race officer alike. This was the day of the Queen’s Cup which under the rules could last up to four hours and must cover nine miles. Because of this the other classes had all their races in the morning leaving enough time for the Raters if four hours were necessary to complete the race. In the event the winner, Vagabond helmed by Ben Palmer with Miles Palmer and Kevin Pearson as crew, crossed the line in an hour and forty-two minutes. Osprey and Scamp took second and third places, meaning all the silverware was lifted by Thames SC members. Well done Thames.

Day 3 Saturday. The day couldn’t be more different, dull skies threatening rain, but with wind that put waves on the water, much more exciting, there would be capsizes, and there were. This was now a spectator sport, not a day for the faint hearted. Saturday evenings at BEW are known for the traditional cocktail party followed by dinner and a party. Local band, The Rock Doctors, hit the spot with their choice of music and kept the dance floor busy with gyrating sailors of all ages.

Day 4 Sunday. The wind had eased somewhat but was enough to play with. The skies still had the threat of rain but fortunately didn’t fulfil the promise. The sun appeared late morning and improved the mood to what could be described as a pleasant day’s sailing.

The re-established camping field was popular with visitors and members who were here for the duration. The caterers got the thumbs up; food was always very good and value for money. All in all, another successful BEW with the promise from the visitors to return next year.

BEW has traditionally been held around the second bank holiday in May, this year was slightly different because of the two-day Jubilee holiday, next year it is expected to return to its usual calendar slot. If you haven’t been before, put in your diaries and come and join the fun.

Overall Results:

Sunday Prior ‑ All Dinghies under 16’Rathbone Rose BowlAlouetteJennie Portsmouth(UTSC)
Ladies Rater RaceNo TrophySpindriftNicola Smith ‑James (UTSC)Vanessa Pilon & Kevin Rose
1885 Pursuit Race1885 TrophyQuiverMartin Hunter (UTSC)Tim Williams
A Rater Open1907 Vagabond CupSpindriftKevin Rose (UTSC)Rosie Frost
Merlin Rocket River ChampionshipWantage TrophyQueen PhillipaChris Kilsby (TSC)Pippa Kilsby
Merlin RocketVintage TrophyQueen PhillipaChris Kilsby (TSC)Pippa Kilsby
OK River ChampionshipsYeatman Bowl2196Alastair McMichael 
OK RegattaYeatman TrophyZymSimon DavisUTSC
Wayfarer Splashaway ChallengeSplashaway CupKimsarPeter Brewer (UTSC)Beth Brewer
Splashaway PlaquePenelopeNicola Smith‑JamesRichard Stent (UTSC)
A RaterThames Championship CupUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & James Warren
The Dunn CupUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & James Warren
In Thames Championship not placed 1st 2nd or 3rd in any raceRuby SalverTaraDan Harrison (UTSC)Sue Mackenzie & Nicki Binks
A RaterClayton Jackson CupUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & Matt Reid
Scamp CupUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & James Warren
Commodore’s CupUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & James Warren
Wokefield Challenge CupUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & James Warren
Merlin Rocket Yeves Challenge PlateFlinkidinkStuart Jenkins (UTSC/Hampton)Nicola Scaddan
WayfarerFounder’s CupKimsarPeter Brewer (UTSC)Beth Brewer
Handicap FleetHandicap Class CandlesticksCinzanoAlex Pausey (UTSC)Josh Dench
CadetWalter CupLaserJacob Gould(UTSC)
SeriesSilver Jubilee Champioship TrophyKimsarPeter Brewer (UTSC)Beth Brewer
A RaterVintage Rater TrophyUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & James Warren
Queen’s CupUlvaBen Palmer (TSC)Matt Hannaby & James Warren
Merlin RocketGravy Boat Trophy Mark Barwell (Lymington Town SC)Louise Johnson

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