On Sunday the 24th of April, the sun was shining. The wind had calmed down from the previous day to a ‘blustery’ force 3 at Tamesis, initially from the north. Throughout the day (in true Tammy style) the wind swung through 180 degrees from north to east to south – and back again (sometimes within minutes). Unfortunately, the blusteriness of conditions meant that the Junior Cup was canceled, but the conditions proved perfect for the Elizabeth Cup.
Seven visiting boats were joined by a ‘fleet’ of three from the home club to contest the cup.
Throughout the day, the sailing was close, with all positions (bar first!) being hotly contested through to the afternoon’s final race. Stuart and Lizzie Hudson won all three races (in F3850, Fursty Ferret) but had to sail well throughout to keep in front – that said, they provided a real masterclass in handling a Firefly on the Thames, a delight to watch! Second and third were hard-fought between Mark and Beatrice Tait (in F498, Dido) and Alex and Stella Davey (in F3690, Mutsy) with the Davey pairing winning out with two second places from the three-race series. In fourth place were Harvey and Sophia Hillary (in F3027, Princess Pearl).
The first two races were contested on a simple up and down course (downstream start to Lensbury, back to Canbury) which at various times through the morning were either beats and runs or reaches. Sometimes all three, sometimes simultaneously!
A well earned rest over lunch was enjoyed by all before the afternoon began in seemingly less aggressive conditions.
The final race had a change of course with the introduction of a well laid dogleg (again a downstream start to Lensbury, then Club followed by Cadet and then up to Canbury). Wonderfully the dogleg was consistently upwind. Gusts continued to blow across the Thames at random, causing considerable compression then extension in the fleet. Passing moves were numerous and positions in the crucial race for 2nd and 3rd changed several times.
As ever, sailing on the Thames and at Tamesis required patience, skill, and perseverance. But the competing crews showed these in abundance. Whilst the home team struggled a little, it was great to see people getting involved and doubtless learning much from some of the most accomplished Firefly sailors in the UK.
We were thrilled to welcome so many visitors and hugely encouraged by the age of crews – many youngsters getting their first outing on the Thames. We look forward to welcoming many back next year for the next running of the Elizabeth Cup.
Many thanks go to Dave Baker and Jim Green for organising the racing, Peter Bide, Sue Harris and Carolyne Vines for manning the patrol boat and our Commodore Chris Pollard for the prize giving. We are also very grateful to the house team under the leadership of Nicky Johnson, who catered superbly with Bacon Rolls to start the day, a wonderful lunch and the final flourish of cake for the prize giving.
|Position||Boat number||Boat name||Helm||Crew||Home club|
|1||3850||Fursty Ferret||Stuart Hudson||Lizzie Hudson||Royal Lymington Yacht Club|
|2||3690||Mutsy||Alex Davey||Stella Davey||Royal Harwich Yacht Club|
|3||498||Dido||Mark Tait||Beatrice Tait||Dell Quay Sailing Club|
|4||3027||Princess Pearl||Harvey Hillary||Sophia Hillary||Dell Quay Sailing Club|
|5||3095||Mensonge||Christian Guy||Jemima Guy||Castaways|
|6||3476||Atalanta||Jason Aldous||Imi Aldous||Papercourt Sailing Club|
|7||3127||Rosie||Shaun Pollard||Zara Pollard||Dell Quay Sailing Club|
|8||3841||Genesis||Henry Medcalfe||Ed Medcalfe||Tamesis|
|=10||1698||Ella||Johannes Wagner||Luzius Wagner||Tamesis|
|=10||3552||Slippy||James Berry||Jianfeng Yu||Tamesis|
Report written by Matthew Dalton (Firefly Class Captain)
Pictures courtesy of Carolyne Vines