The year started as usual with a convivial evening at the Naval Club for the Winter Dinner, unusually however, the fleet bar a couple of stragglers was launched by Easter. We had high hopes of a splendid season at that point, with Bob Melville winning the Easter series. Fate had other ideas!
The following week saw the Class Captain being incapacitated in time for the Beer Festival he was organising! The fleet rallied round, together with Sir Richard Rycroft, to man the pumps - literally! The weather took a hand in blowing all the Club fleets off the water and into the beer shed. Thanks to everyone’s hard work, it turned into a rather successful affair and we were all pleased to hear that in his inimitable fashion, John Heathfield was rapidly recovering from the effects of the stroke as he has continued to do so all season, although probably less rapidly than he would like.
Bob Melville then succumbed to a strained back which put him ashore for the better part of the early season and then Claire was unfortunately hospitalised with pneumonia. I am pleased to report that both are now recovered.
The wind didn’t seem to abate for some weeks and by the Regatta we were resigned to racing reefed. Adrian Fluker sailed Cormorant to victory in the Regatta and also took this season’s series - early, mid, summer & late and the 4 Sunday series although he struggled for some competition at times with only Corsair and Corpo Santo occasionally available.
John Apps had taken over Corpo Santo and gave a good account, providing stiff competition to both Cormorant and the recently relaunched Corella, who also took line honours, on occasion, through out the season. Barry Lewis in Corindelle and Peter Willoughby in Coriander also gave chase. In Nick’s absence Peter Marchant expertly helmed Corella to victory in Burnham Week. And Corsair finally got a look in on her last race of the season before the leaks forced an early withdrawal from the river.
Will Wallis, racing Coram, had a rather curtailed season due to the demands of the next generation of crew! Felix is an avid Otter and will be shortly joined by his brother Luke. Corinthia was successfully refloated during Burnham Week for a trial, and we look forward to welcoming Ben & Sue back on to the river next season. In recognition of the dedicated service to the restoration of the fleet and his many years in office, we were delighted to appoint John Heathfield as President of the Royal Corinthian One Design Class at the recent Annual Class meeting, when he stepped down as Class Captain. Barry Lewis was elected as the new Class Captain.