Results :: Cookham Reach S.C. Cookham Shield

31/08/2014

Write-up

On Saturday & Sunday August 30th / 31st Cookham Reach Sailing Club was the host venue for an exciting open meeting for the very fast Merlin Rocket dinghies. Competitors from eight clubs in the South East competed for three trophies.

The weather was perfect for competitive and challenging sailing in light but variable westerly sometimes north westerly winds. It was warm too – about 20ºc right through both days. A beautiful weekend to be on the river at Cookham.

The De May Vintage Series Cup

Three races of 8 laps each. Exclusively for boats built at least 30 years ago.

Light winds for the first race in the morning. Brisker for the first race of the afternoon improving lap times by a full 10 minutes. The lighter winds for the third race with lap time falling back to roughly the same as race 1. There were 9 entrants. The races were shortened to 7 in race 1 and to 5 laps in races 2 and 3.

First: Laurie Smart and crew Vanessa Pilon from Upper Thames Sailing Club
Second: Dana Church and crew Dan Batty from Tamesis Sailing Club
Third: Jeremy Deacon and crew Mary Webb from Cookham Reach Sailing Club

Guy Pearce Memorial Trophy

Single Race open all ages of boat.

10 Boats took to the start line to compete for this fabulous glass trophy. Laurie and Vanessa did a horizon job and won by a mile from Dana and Dan. Third Place though was closely fought the whole race and was snatched from Richard and Alex Pausey in the last 100m by Jeremy and Mary having sailed through from the back after a bad start.

First: Laurie Smart and crew Vanessa Pilon from Upper Thames Sailing Club
Second: Dana Church and crew Dan Batty from Tamesis Sailing Club
Third: Jeremy Deacon and crew Mary Webb from Cookham Reach Sailing Club

The Cookham Shield

3 Races, 2 to count. Open all ages of boat.

A respectable 14 boats turned up to compete in this Thames Series event. In the end it could not have been closer with 3 different boats taking a win and 3 points separating the top 5 by the end! The first race saw the old boats showing how to sail on a river and Laurie and Vanessa again sailing off in to the sunset. David and Rosemary Croft were second although were very nearly caught by the chasing pack at one point.

The next 4 places changed constantly through the race and one mark made all the difference. Fran Gifford/Alex Warren and Andy Dalby/Caroline Croft got stuck in a recurring hole at mark 'B' and allowed Alex Jones/Jack Deung to sail above the hole and round the pair of them. Jeremy Deacon/Jack Barratt could not quite keep the same height and tacked to avoid the hole, not quite making it round the other two boats but closing the gap enough to pass Andy/Caroline for 5th in the final 100m. Alex/Jack held of Fran/Alex to take 3rd.

The Second Race was far lighter and the bulk of the fleet stayed in close quarters. Fran/Alex made a good get away and held a good lead to the finish followed by the vintage boats of Laurie/Vanessa and David/Rosemary again. Duncan & Jack Salmon recovered from an uncharacteristic 1st race to take 4th pushing Andy/Caroline and Alex/Jack down to 5th & 6th respectively. Jeremy/Mary never recovered from hitting two marks and finished 8th.

The 3rd race was all to play for with Fran/Alex, David/Rosemary and Laurie/Vanessa all with an equally good chance of taking the open. As it was Andy/Caroline took line honours after leading the first race of the day and drifting back to 6th through the holes! Even with this they could not win the day but there was a real battle going on behind them with Laurie/Vanessa trailing in 4th and David/Rosemary in 5th.

All Fran/Alex needed to do was beat Alex/Jack to the line and the Shield was theirs! Unfortunately Alex/Jack had other ideas and sailed an excellent race to hold them off again as they did in race one. This meant Laurie/Vanessa took the open with 3 points from the first 2 races followed by Fran/Alex on 4 points, Alex/Jack (3rd on countback) tied with David/Rosemary on 5 points and Andy/Caroline in 5th on 6 points.

First: Laurie Smart and crew Vanessa Pilon – 1065 Flipside - Upper Thames Sailing Club Second: Frances Gifford and crew Alex Warren – 3676 Hot Totty - Ranelagh Sailig Club Third: Alex Jones and crew Jack Deung – 3627 Snorter - Cookham Reach Sailing Club Fourth: David and Rosemary Croft – 3165 Panatella – Tamesis Club Fifth: Andy Dalby and Caroline Croft – 3766 The Bear – Hampton Sailing Club

All in all a fantastic weekends sailing and evidence that a well sailed Vintage boat is almost unbeatable on the river in the right conditions!

Thanks to Race Team of Paul Roberts, Dave Phillips, Steve Roberts, Andrew Boxer & Richard Palmer.

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