RCYC Retain St Mathew’s Cup... Just!

»«Saturday 8th September 2012

It was the Royal Corinthian's turn to organise the St Mathew's Cup this year, and Matt Anthony arranged a round-robin three boat team race event, with each team racing the opposing teams twice, around a windward/leeward course. The boat chosen this year was the RBOD, selected to acknowledge the fleet's 80th anniversary in 2012.

Unfortunately, due to a clash with the EAORA Buckley Goblets, the CYC was unable to send any representatives, but the BSC, RBYC and RCYC all fielded strong three boats teams with a number of helms bringing good team racing pedigree.

After the 0900 briefing, the teams faced one of the calmest mornings on the Crouch so far this year. The race management team optimistically took Phoebe to the proposed sailing area just outside the marina and anchored where they thought the start line might be, bent on the flags and put on the kettle. And waited in the glorious sunshine.

After a couple of hours of patient sunbathing, there was still no sign of the wind arriving so the mark laying RIB was dispatched down the river to see if it looked any more hopeful down towards the Roach. Fortunately, the forecast southerly breeze was starting to make an appearance to the east of the moorings, and Phoebe raised her anchor and followed the RIB to the Roach, where a port rounding course was laid and the teams were summonsed.

The races got under way, with four races completed before the wind died away to the point where further racing had to be postponed. Once the wind picked up again, it had moved round to the south-west, so the course was moved out into the Crouch with the leeward gate positioned near Holliwell, and the weather mark near Branklet, allowing for the final four races to be completed in the best racing conditions of the day.

Once all the points were added up, the RCYC and RBYC were tied for first place - so the organising officers had to resort to tie-breaks to decide the winner. The first tie-break didn't separate the teams, as both teams had won the same number of races - so the 2012 St Mathew Cup had to be resolved using the second tie-break - points scored when the tied teams met. This gave RCYC the trophy, with 20pts to 22pts.

Burnham's Mayor, Helen Elliott, and her husband Peter, enjoyed watching the close racing in the sunshine with Derek and Dwilla aboard Tolerance of Guernsey, making this a St Mathew Cup of which ‘The Officers, Men & WRNS Personnel of HMS ST. Mathew’ - the presenters of the trophy in 1945 - would have been proud.

Mark Eagling