A goodly fleet of eleven boats crossed the start line for the Thames Estuary Shield, the return leg to Burnham after the Jane's Cup of the previous day. Although the weather was benign enough at the start, the wild, wet and windy conditions of this second day of May gradually whittled the fleet away to just three finishers, two in Class One and one in Class Two.
Angus Bates, owner and skipper of Assarain IV, reported that the fleet got away in a moderate easterly breeze in the Medway of about 12 to 14 knots and it was still fairly light as the fleet crossed the Thames. But about 11:00hrs the wind began to pick up and built quickly. When they rounded South Shoebury onto the beat, the wind was blowing a steady 20 knots, rising to a constant 35 and occasionally topping 40. There was a foul tide beat to Whittaker and then 'sleigh rides' with two reefs and the No.3 jib, reaching 19 to 20 knots over the water. Assarain IV crossed the finishing line just an hour before Oz Privateer HPYC, who finished second overall.
The RCYC Commodore, Stuart Munro, reckoned he had the best of it, just waiting to present the trophy but the least he could do was to present each finishing boat with some champagne which was well received to the applause of the RCYC Squibs, Dragons & 707s waiting to go up to dinner after an equally wet and cold day. With a parting comment that the RC of the RBYC showed the VC of the RBYC the way home, we all departed to a well deserved dinner.
Thanks to Bruce Burnett and his Race Box Team as well as Matt Walker who posted the results.
Full results are available here...