Jimmy Starling Trophy at BSC

»«Saturday 16th & Sunday 17th July 2011

Twelve Squibs, including the six Squibs who had returned from a successful Nationals in Plymouth, had a competitive weekend on the water for the Jimmy Starling Trophy hosted by the Burnham Sailing Club.

We sailed in the waters between Cliff and Canewdon, just up-river from Creeksea. The six windward/leeward races of 30-minute duration were completed (three on Saturday and three on Sunday) in wet, blustery conditions.

Race Officer, Peter Marchant, spotted several over the line in the first race and this meant that, with only one discard over the six race series, it was an up-hill climb for Spoof and Surprise.

Lady Penelope, Malcolm Hutchings & Andy Ramsey, held the lead overnight with two wins and a third place from Humphrey, Robert Coyle and stand-in crew Jules with two seconds and a third place.

The fleet then enjoyed a fish and chip supper at BSC with a disco and a lot of dodgy dancing until the early hours but the hangovers on Sunday morning were soon blown away with 20+ knots of wind initially, easing as racing started.

The Race Four start had PRO inventing a new game for the “cube” of retrieving starting horn batteries from the bilges and reinserting them correctly 30 seconds prior to the start! The fleet got away cleanly and racing was a close battle between Lady Penelope and Humphrey, with a inside overlap for the favoured left hand leeward mark on the final run when Lady Penelope narrowly won from Humphrey.

Race Five and Lady Penelope led from Checkmate with Paul Buckley as guest helm with Ian Simmons. Chequemate played the shifts better and narrowly led at the final windward mark however on the bare away hoist Lady Penelope slipped past again to gain an overlap for the leeward gate. This gave her a fourth win and the series with a race to spare.

Race Six started with no AP as PRO had gone fishing with it and while trying to retrieve it, stamped on the windex he was using to set the course - still don’t think he’d moved the windward mark all morning anyway!

With line biased to pin Lady Penelope and Surprise both tried a port tack flyer. Unfortunately there was only room for one boat and both were OCS and had to return. This left Humphrey and Chequemate to fight out for the runners up spot.

Chequemate did what she needed and won the last race but was closely pursued by Humphrey who was a very close second thus retaining second place on 11 points, Chequemate came third with 12 points.

The fleet were then guests at the Burnham SC for a buffet lunch and prize giving. After a fantastic weekend's racing, well run by all the volunteers, this once again proved to be one of the” must do” regattas in the Burnham Squib fleet calendar.

Malcolm Hutchings