The first major event of the season for UK Squibs, the Squib Gold Cup, was held May 1st to 3rd hosted by the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, attracting a quality field of nineteen boats including five visitors from Yorkshire, Norfolk, Suffolk & Romford. Eight races were scheduled but this programme was severely curtailed by the weather.
Three races were in the programme for Saturday’s sunshine but these were lost due to lack of wind. Race Officer Edwin Buckley had planned to hold extra races on the Sunday but strong winds, low temperature and driving rain curtailed the programme yet again. Two races were held in very difficult conditions and beating against the strong current in the Roach added to the challenge for the crews.
In the first race Nigel Grogan and Daniel Cripps edged in front but they were chased hard by Gerard Dyson and Tony Saltonstall. These two enjoyed a close battle but Grogan always had the upper hand and held on to win with Malcolm Hutchins and Andy Ramsey a close third. The second race followed a similar pattern with the same three boats in contention. However a collision at the end of the run between Dyson & Grogan resulted in disqualification for the latter and consequently moved Dave White and Mel Titmus up to third. The race officer then took to sensible decision to abandon for the day and no doubt saved the fleet from hyperthermia. This left the programme six races short and the intention was to try to recoup some of the programme and hold four short races on the Monday.
Monday dawned bright and breezy and the fleet assembled at the mouth of the Roach with some optimism. The first race got away in bright sunshine with an interesting beat along the west shore of the Roach. Peter Marchant and Marc Rawinsky just edged ahead of White & Titmus at the top mark and sailed conservatively to take the winning gun from White with Dyson in third place ahead of Hutchins. As the fleet awaited the next warning signal, a vicious squall swept up the Roach and the race committee wisely abandoned racing for the day leaving Dyson and Saltonstall winners of the prestigious Burnham Gold Cup.
So once again, the local fleet allowed the Gold Cup to travel north although every year the gap is getting smaller.