There were six RCYC sailing Cruisers out in the light breeze on Saturday morning and three of them hit the Start Line for the David Eagling Trophy race to Fambridge. One of them, Star Swan, nearly did not make it, hitting that well known lump of mud in front of Creeksea ten minutes before the start at low water and was only floated off by the photo boat - Sprite - making waves round her.
Mark and Nichola Eagling provided the Committee Boat, buzzed around to give a countdown and get the entrants into position by the speed marker above Baltic Wharf before shouting ‘Gun’ at the appropriate moment - and we were off. Amanda Louise, Bargoose and Star Swan started to tack up the river on the new flood tide while Zelda (Chris and Chrissie Nolan) motored ahead to make sure everything was ready at the other end. Newly launched Spangle with David and Janet Hill observed from the front of the fleet while Otra Vez (Andy and Jude Prestwich) caught up fast from the back.
Star Swan was leading when she found her second lump of mud of the day in the stretch up to Fambridge. The boat tacked in nearly 14 feet of water and came round with 20 feet under the transducer at the front of the keel and the back of the boat firmly attached to a lump. She stayed there for quite a time despite the rising tide. As Class Captain, Chris Nolan, observed Star Swan might have won ‘but for the shallow water survey you so generously conducted!’ As it was Amanda Louise, Len and Amanda Cole, whizzed by to a well deserved victory and, like Bargoose, could be seen to tack in good time for the rest of the race.
The competitors, cruisers and others all met in the Ferry Boat Inn for lunch and for the presentation of the handsome half model of the Eagling cruiser, Gymcrack to Len Cole and the quiz. This year the questions had a sailing flavour – who sponsors Ben Ainslie, wrote The Riddle of the Sands, won the 470s Ladies Bronze Olympic Medal a few years ago?. Having baffled some of us Chris Nolan presented the Spangle Cup to Team Good Hope.
The next Cruiser Event is the Yokesfleet Meet on Saturday, 23rd July 2016.