With up to 60 mile an hour gusts forecast in parts of the UK, it wasn’t perhaps surprising conditions for the De May Vintage Open Meeting held at Tamesis on Saturday 20th August were going to be lively.
Blowing predominantly west south westerly, and gusting from mid to high 20’s +; conditions were challenging to say the least. Officer of the day Brian Southcott with Hugh McLaughlin in the box; opted for the dog-legged course P. International judge, Mr Chris Simon had kindly agreed to be our rule 42 adjudicator and was ready in the dory.
Up for contention, the Porteous Cup for overall winner and Southcott Trophy for winner of the last race – Four boats made their way to the start: 607 Crescendo (Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris); 723 Cindy (Mervyn Allen and Lora Stock); 1004 Avenger (Ken Duffell and his grandson Matty Valentine) and 3259 Andromeda (David Baker and Jim Green).
Five laps were set for the first race with all boats away without issue. Berry Ritchie taking and maintaining for all of the race 1st place with David, Ken and Mervyn 2nd 3rd and 4th respectively.
With only a short interlude, race 2 got underway with 3 laps set in conditions which were only getting windier. At the top and bottom marks, as ever the wind was fickle swirling off the surrounding buildings while in front of the club house and dog leg marks the full blustery wrath of the wind added to the excitement. This time 607 and 3259 jostled between 1st and 2nd place with eventual winner David finishing first on the water although 2nd to Berry after handicap. Ken maintained 3rd with his young crew doing a brilliant job in the tough conditions. Mervyn unfortunately had to retire with the top of his main sail forced out of the luff track.
After time out for lunch, the wind was now at its zenith. For the 3rd race only Ken opted to venture out using his heavier and uglier crew member Joe Woods as much needed ballast. Completing the course without issue 1004 took the 3rd and final race – by no means a given in the windy conditions.
So to the awards – our brave and wind tussled hair competitors gathered over tea and scones for the prize ceremony. Introduced by Mervyn, Chris Simon handed out the prizes:
Porteous Cup: 1st 607 Crescendo Berry Ritchie and Sue Harris; 2nd 3259 Andromeda David Baker and Jim Green; 3rd 1004 Avenger Ken Duffell and Matt Valentine and 4th Mervyn Allen and Lora Stock.
Southcott Trophy: 1st Avenger Ken Duffell and Joe Woods
My congratulations to all!