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Rory Cheetham Cup 2023 at Queen Mary Sailing Club

by Ollie Meadowcroft & Daisy Nunn 25 Apr 2023 07:22 BST 22-23 April 2023

Over the weekend of 22nd and 23rd of April, Exeter University Sailing Club held the fourth Rory Cheetham Cup, a match racing event held in memory of former member Rory Cheetham, to bring together friends, family, alumni and fellow keen sailors for a weekend of racing in the RS21's, hosted by Queen Mary Sailing Club.

Day 1 saw an early onshore postponement, with the reservoir weather station giving optimistic readings of exactly zero knots. With confidence in the forecast and fuel from several bacon baps, the competitors waited in anticipation as a midday soft southerly breeze descended over the lake and built over the day, allowing for all teams to complete 4 to 5 races.

The teams skippered by both Ben Tylecote and Jack Hanslope started the weekend strong with a sweep each of 5 wins, both leading the round robin overnight, with the remainder of the competition settling close to a 50%-win rate.

After collecting our complementary stubbies, Rory's favourite, the fleet raced off to hit the London traffic and headed to Venn Street Records in Clapham, with the social providing pizza, cocktails and a boogie for the sailors. A definite highlight was Andy Cheetham's generosity to the sailors, which helped keep the party going strong into the early hours of the morning.

A 9:15am launch the next day saw some sore heads as we faced another 5-7 knot breeze. Unfortunately, the wind did not play nice for PRO Tom Rusbridge, making the job of getting the final round robin races in a tricky prospect, but a fantastic job was done to capture the small windows of breeze and to finish the event with 11 flights completed.

The final race of the day, and the decider for the 2023 RCC title, was the faceoff of Jack Hanslope 'West Country Social Sailing Society', and Ben Tylecote 'Rutland'. After two abandoned starts due to the fickle breeze, the race got away with Jack taking an early lead off the line having effectively controlled the pre-start. However, Ben's team, helmed in this race by younger brother Jamie, showed good speed to reel them in and make the overtake on the tricky second beat and win the event overall for Rutland. Third was taken by the Exeter fresher team, the Roadford Rascals skippered by Ollie Meadowcroft with an impressive match racing debut.

The Rory Cheetham Cup was therefore awarded to Rutland with the team of young sailors polishing off the not so appetising concoction of Guinness and Baileys from the trophy - even a champagne spray accompanied the celebration of their victory.

The trophy, alongside all the prizes were kindly donated by the Cheetham family. Rory Cheetham was an active and incredibly valued member of EUSC, before he sadly passed away in January 2018. The spirit captured from this event helps us to continue Rory's love for sailing and a social atmosphere, so we would like to thank all of the competitors for continuing their support.

We would also like to thank our PRO Tom Rusbridge, Match support Peter Aitken, chief umpire Will Davies and umpires Bill Wyatt, Patricia Neri, Dan Fox, Will Massey and Paul Robson, for their contribution to the event. And finally, thank you to Richard Moxey and Jessica Beecher from the RYA for all of their help in organisation and preparation that has gone into the event.

Overall, a truly fantastic weekend held in the face of unforgiving conditions and a true celebration of the spirit of sailing and Rory Cheetham. We look forward to welcoming the teams back next year!

Overall Results:

PosTeam NameSkipperCrew
1RutlandBen TylecoteTerry Hacker / Jamie Tylecote / Freya Pembrey
2West Country Social Sailing SocietyJack HanslopeJakob Schmutz / Will Roberts / Ed Roberts
3Roadford RascalsOllie MeadowcroftAlice Snook / Jamie Elder / Cam Yates
4Match Made in HeavenNiamh DaviesEllen Morley / Louis Manners / Tiarana Finney / JJ Marie
5Millennial Mariners Ed EvansAnnabel Bates / Will Harvey / Ellie Harvey‑Bates / Ed Harvey‑Bates
6Exeter Burgundy Tiger TellwrightToby Petit / Hattie Askew / Michael Schenk
7Vitamin SeaJames HallMaddie Wylie / Nick Walters / Dilly Ala / George Ross
8Alumni Racing Sailing Experts Robert GiardelliEd Harris / Sam Davis / James Bennett
9Knot for SailAnnabelle BodyAlex Hawes / Charlotte Hooper / Ollie Brookes / Daisy Tickner‑Portet
10FORORY!Andrew CheethamLeah Sweet / Charles Barker / Annabelle Orme

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