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1,2 for S&S classics in West Mersea Yacht Club EAORA Buckley Goblets

by Paul Wood 26 Sep 2023 09:50 BST 22-24 September 2023

On Friday 22nd September at 7am, eight IRC yachts and one MOCRA Trimaran raced in the annual 90 mile race from West Mersea to Ostend. The Glass Goblets were first presented to the West Mersea Yacht Club in 1968 by J.C. Buckley.

It was agreed back then that minimum waterline length could be reduced from 24ft to 18ft so that smaller EAORA yachts were not debarred from the overall points series, obviously these days we have a different set of rules governing who can or cannot race EAORA.

Jon McColl with shockwave the Mocra Tri started at 7.10, this time with a couple of other Mocra owners onboard which is very encouraging for the growth of our Mocra Fleet for 2024.

Photos were soon out on social media showing a slow start with yachts under spinnaker amongst a very low cloud base. For most it was a fetch across the channel, but many yachts were caught in a wind free zone which made it challenging for trimmers and navigators heading towards the buoy called Twin just East of the Shipping lanes. Richard Matthews with Oystercatcher XXXV parked up for almost half an hour within this zone. But the wind soon filled in and they finished at 17.07 (UK time). Being the first boat to arrive they did however benefit from missing the thunder, lightning and squally conditions that the rest of the fleet endured just off the Belgium coast in the dark between 9pm & midnight.

Just after 2200 hours Will & Jenny Talyor-Jones onboard Sunstone the S&S 39 were greeted with a rapturous applause from the Royal North Sea Club. The race Committee and everyone who raced over on Oystercatcher XXXV were there on the Balcony, Richard Matthews had already figured out that they may had been beaten on handicap, Sunstone experienced a very warm EAORA welcome especially as they had Shockwave in tow.

All yachts arrived by midnight and the Royal Northsea Yacht Club kept the bar open to 1.30 so all competitors could share the experiences, drink beer, and compare stories of the closeness of the lightening strikes. As the competitors came up the stairs in the RNSYC they looked like "drowned rats sniffing out beer and food"

At the prize-giving the following day, it was confirmed that Will & Jenny Talyor-Jones with Sunstone from RHYC had won Class III the Lawson Trophy and Overall. Very popular winners with a family run boat with their children onboard Issy & Sam aged 19 & 21 and Josh Beck & Ben Rowland who may all now qualify for prizes at the end of the season for the Youth series sponsored by Foxes Chandlery. Will Taylor-Jones had last won this race in 1991 with his father onboard Deerstalker.

Second overall was Michael & Jason Wheeler with Golden Fleece from WMYC and a former winner of the Buckley Goblets three times before. Golden Fleece also a classic S&S which proves again that these classic displacement yachts can still be on the podium.

3rd - Oystercatcher XXXV. Richard Matthews. 43rd Light Infantry Trophy (1st CLASS 1)
4th - Woozle Hunter. P Hammond, D Harrington-Lynn & A Pentelow
5th - Sweet Caroline. William Sunnocks
6th - Spirit. Paul Scott. RNSYC Challenge Cup (1st CLASS 2)
7th - Magic Moments. Andy & Pelham Etherington

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