Tamesis Vintage Racing Open 2006

John Harris and Margaret Stokes won the Porteous Cup in Passing Cloud (1079) on Saturday 3 June. The 11-strong turnout for Tamesis Clubís annual vintage/classic Merlin Rocket open meeting, including visitors from Minima, Sheerwater and Ranelagh, was blessed with sunshine, blue skies and a fairly steady northerly wind, giving Race Officer Peter Mason the opportunity to set a longer 3-lap sausage course between Teddington Lock and Stevenís Eyot.

The morning race saw boats compete for the Porteous Cup. At the front of the fleet a close contest developed between father and son John and Andrew Harris, with Andrew crewed by his wife Nym in Omega (1605) leading for most of the race, only for his father John to overtake him at the final leeward mark and carry on to take line honours.

Not to be outdone in the drama stakes, the two eldest boats in the fleet also battled it out, with Kate (1), sailed by Merlin Vintage Wing organiser Mervyn Allen and Tammy sub Charlie Morgan, finishing only eight seconds ahead of Chris Barlow and Steve Winter in Iska (6).

After a very good lunch, competitors took part in an afternoon handicap pursuit race, seedings for which were based on finishing times in the morning race. 19 minutes separated the first and last placed boats and a well-handicapped Jabberwocky (1950) sailed by Rupert Livesey and John Hinchcliffe never relinquished her position, the half-time re-tuning at lunch obviously having a positive effect.

Prizes were awarded for the first four places in each race and a special award was given for the furthest travelled boat, this year being Iska, whose owner Chris Barlow had come all the way from Frome in Somerset.

Report: Richard Mourant
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