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Henri-Lloyd 2022 December - YY LEADERBOARD

Slow going for the Medway Marathon 2022

by Tim Townsend 16 Aug 2022 07:24 BST 6 August 2022
Wayfarer start during the Medway Marathon 2022 © Paul Babington

The Medway Marathon, an event of the Great British Sailing Challenge 2022 was hosted by Medway Yacht Club at Upnor, and sailed on the tidal river and creeks of the lower River Medway on Saturday 6th August.

As race day approached, and with a wind forecast of light to negligible, the Race Officer was starting to have just a few kittens worrying about how this year's Marathon, the 58th edition, might pan out but with 31 paid up entrants covering classes from ILCA4's to RS800's with all sorts in between and visitors from Wembley and Rickmansworth as well as from several Kent clubs, there was no backing out. It's an endurance race and an endurance it would be.

Dreaming of a change of forecast to champagne conditions of 12-15 knots, the Race Officer woke on Saturday morning to a beautiful sunny day but very little wind and an early decision was made to run the Half Marathon course (just 13 miles) for all boats with the option to shorten if necessary.

Five fleets started on time, in less than 5 knots of breeze on average, and remarkably there were no boats OCS. All managed to stem the ebbing tide and in fact the later starts, having noted how close virtually all the Wayfarers were to the start line at their gun, were particularly conservative when it was their turn.

The fleets were led away by Henry Lewis in his ILCA4 who was the only entrant in the junior Half Marathon. He led all the boats for some considerable time while the Wayfarers worked their magic in those conditions and started to move up the fleet. The skiff classes fared less well in these sub-displacement sailing conditions and struggled to catch the early starters.

Even with the ebbing tide under them, it took all the boats an age to reach Buoy 16 (some 5.5 miles down river) which was effectively their first turning mark before going south into Otterham Creek. A decision was made to finish the race at the Otterham Fairway buoy because the tide was about to turn and the RO was concerned that the back markers would not have enough breeze in the Creek to stem the tide and find their way out. Shortening the course at this point was, perhaps, not ideal from the leaders' perspective but did provide fair racing (or as fair as it could be) for the whole fleet.

By the time the leaders reached Buoy 16 several of the Wayfarers had worked their way to the front of the fleet, joined by an MRX, a 59erXX and an RS Vareo.

As the boats approached the finish line, there were any one of three or four that could take line honours. In the event, the visiting MRX sailed by Mark Candelas and Julie Cronshaw, from Wembley SC, eked out a sufficient lead to cross the line first and give them the win on corrected time from the visiting Wayfarer of John Clementson and Sam Pygall, from Chipstead SC. The Medway YC Commodore and Rear Commodore, Richard Stone and Catherine Gore, who won the race in 2021, were the first home boat in 3rd place also sailing a Wayfarer.

Mark and Julie were the first visitors from Wembley SC to sail in this race for a few years and joined a small band of previous winners of the Marathon from that club. Millie Lewis was top lady and under 23 Helm in her ILCA6. The junior half marathon was won by Henry Lewis (after taking nearly 4 hours to cover the 6.5 miles eventually sailed). Michael Wright and Paul Studart sailed the leading Squib.

For the second year running the conditions suited the traditional classes but were not kind to the skiffs who were unable to get onto the plane upwind or down and save their time. Fingers crossed that next year's conditions give the skiffs a chance to shine. Wayfarers were the largest class, numerically, for the second year running and found the conditions suited them taking six of the top ten places on corrected time.

As the Law of Sod would have it, having got out of Otterham Creek, many of the boats found some wind and enjoyed a pleasant sail home. Others received a tow from the excellent guard and support boats from the host club which had volunteered to marshall the course.

Events such as these do not happen without an army of volunteers so the Club would like to thank all those who manned the race office before and after racing to register the entries, hand out and collect the GPS trackers, the skippers and crew of the cruising yachts who acted as guard boats at various points on the race course and the crews of the several RIBs involved.

Overall Results:

PosClassSail NoHelmCrewClubPYStartFinishElapsedCorrected
1MRX3622Mark CandelasJulie CronshawWembley SC100010.3012.58.562.28.562.28.56
2Wayfarer11101John ClementsonSam PygallChipstead SC110210.2013.
3Wayfarer10974Richard StoneCatherine GoreMedway YC110210.2013.
4Wayfarer10947Stewart ColtartCatriona ColtartMedway YC110210.2013.
559erXX100Ian FoxwellHannah FoxwellMedway YC88710.4013.00.332.20.332.38.27
6Wayfarer11080Chris ParishKerry WorsfoldMedway YC110210.2013.
7RS Vareo539Stuart Bailey Medway YC109310.3013.
8Wayfarer10686Brian McKenzieLiz McKenzieMedway YC110210.2013.20.343.00.342.43.51
9Blaze805Martin Jones Wilsonian SC103310.3013.21.562.51.562.46.26
10Wayfarer11405Philip ClarabutGuy ClarabutMedway YC110210.2013.24.343.00.342.47.29
11Wayfarer10618Tony AlexanderJon MoonMedway YC110210.2013.
12Wayfarer11315Mike PimmPeter DilleyMedway YC110210.2013.27.503.07.502.50.27
13Wayfarer10673David RobertsMike BryantBough Beech SC110210.2013.
14Wayfarer10936Trevor CoxStan BenwellMedway YC110210.2013.
15Wayfarer10614Mark Pennysarah MasonMedway YC110210.2013.
16Wayfarer11118John GoudieSam BonifaceWilsonian SC110210.2013.
17Wayfarer7899Jonathan HoodHugo DavisMedway YC110210.2013.
18Wayfarer10922Chris GoymerPaul WisemanIOSSC110210.2013.
19Blaze614Brian Culver Wilsonian SC103310.3013.
20ILCA 6215283Millie Lewis Medway YC114710.1013.
21Miracle3829Isabelle HillRyszard KaletaWilsonian SC119410.1013.37.553.27.552.54.08
22AltO111Andy HockeyLucy HockeyWilsonian SC92610.4013.
23Vortex2014Jonathan Carter Rickmansworth SC91410.4013.
24Musto Skiff502Nick Lett Medway YC84910.4013.27.542.47.543.17.46
25Squib289Michael WrightPaul StudartMedway YC114210.1014.
26AltO122Chris AshbyIan ParrisWilsonian SC926  DNS 
26Musto Skiff295George Smith Medway YC849  DNS 
26Blaze574Jason Ramsden Wilsonian SC1033  DNS 
26RS8001200Richard SmithBryony SharpenMedway YC799  DNS 
26Wayfarer10837Jonathan DavisAshley DavisMedway YC1102  DNS 

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