The Squibs' Last Chance Regatta took place on Saturday in near perfect conditions. Fifteen competitors sailed in sunshine and a shifty SSE force 3-5 breeze, and were subjected to a tightly run and well-organised series of five races under the scrutiny of Principal Race Officer Kim Allen, fresh from his recent Endeavour experiences.
Kim made just one concession to the more "mature" competitors in the Squib fleet, the races were of only thirty minutes duration rather than the 45 he expected from the slightly more athletically honed & youthful Endeavour Championship sailors…
Apparently the secret to fitting in five races while still getting back to the club before it was dark, turned out to be getting each race's start sequence under way within a couple of moments of the last competitor finishing the previous race, giving nobody the time to consider whether they were still up for it! Amazingly, all 15 entrants completed the first four races, with just one DNS in the final race.
It should be acknowledged that the Squibs benefited from the ill fortune of the Dragons, who were expecting to compete in their final mini-series of the season, (a family matter affected their committee boat). With the wind direction (SSE) there was only one sailing area on the ditch that would fit a good W/L course, which the Squibs used while eight Dragons raced around the cans elsewhere on the river.
Lady Penelope finished first overall, clear by four points, but didn't have a clean sweep of first places. Other race winners were Humphrey, (Robert Coyle & Jools Briggs) and Helmut Shöing, (Nigel & Jack Grogan). While they didn't win any races, a typically consistent performance from Micky Wright & Chris Dunn in Spoof earned them second place overall.
In a light-hearted prize giving ceremony organised by Phil & Marion Aspinall as the final official act of Phil's Class Captaincy, Malcolm Hutchings paid tribute to his crew, Andy Ramsey, in what has been a most successful partnership during an exciting season. Meanwhile the Aspinalls distributed the alcoholic prizes to as many people as possible, thanks to the generous sponsorship of Messrs Colman Coyle. Hic.
Wendy and Mark Eagling