The Medway Dinghy Regatta, hosted and organised by Wilsonian Sailing Club on behalf of the Medway Yachting Association was held over the weekend 19 & 20 July. There was an outstanding entry of 99 boats, with 50 visitors from as far away as the Yorkshire Dales and Lake District. 24 sailing clubs were represented, including a large contingent from Broxbourne, the Ahoy Sailing Centre with their fleet of Laser Stratos and Medway Yacht Club provided the Wayfarers.
Locally based MTS Cleaning Services sponsored the event and Laser UK provided some goodies. Open meetings were incorporated for 3000, Vortex and Wanderer classes. Four races were scheduled, two each day, with three to count and a Barbeque /Disco on Saturday evening. There were starts for fast, medium and slow handicap, 3000, Vortex, Laser 2000, Laser Stratos, Wayfarer and Wanderer.
Competitors were greeted with a fresh to strong westerly on Saturday morning that became more blustery during the day and with wind against tide the lumpy seas created additional problems for those who ventured out for the long second race.
52 boats managed to get a finish in the opening race whereas in the second just 39 finished, 18 retired including a couple of dismasts and few avoided at least one capsize. The wind moderated over night to a fresh north-westerly and with clear skies, sparkling waters gave excellent sailing conditions, though a squall gusting over 30 knots caught a few off guard on the homeward leg in the final race. Good Saturday results tended to be essential for the top prizes. Martin Jones (Contender) dominated the fast handicap, mastered the conditions well scoring three aces to take the series. The customary conflict between International Canoe champions Mark Goodchild and Simon Allen failed to materialise, perhaps Allen’s new boat could have been the reason.
Goodchild picked up a couple of seconds in Saturday’s challenging conditions, was pushed into 8th in race 3 by top contenders Neil Ashby/Nick Lett (ISO) and Ian Parris/Sam Proctor (RS800), then was upstaged by youngsters Aaron Smith/Alec Rodgers (29er) in the final race but held for runners up prize.
A 4th and 3rd on Saturday and 2nd Sunday morning insured Ashby/Lett a third place on aggregate, Parris/Proctor did not start in race 2 but a 1st and 4th on Sunday secured fourth overall. Stuart Bailey/Zoe Noble (Buzz) managed to get a finish in all four races and was rewarded with fifth prize.
Similarly, Jonathan Lister won the Vortex trophy with three wins to count, while Jon Stewart claimed second prize, beating Lister in race 3 and with a couple of seconds to count. Phil Harris, in competition with Mike Gower for third prize, eased ahead with a 2nd and two 4ths
Tony Hunt/David Bourne retained their 3000 crown with a hat-trick of wins then rested on their laurels for the final race, while David Fenech/Alison Williams claimed second prize with two seconds and a 3rd to count. A win and second on Sunday promoted Daniel Hollands/Andrew Thompson to third overall.
Neil Lamprell (Phantom) also retained his Medium Handicap crown by winning three races.
Ian Foxwell and Russ Hall had a close fought battle in their Blazes. Going into the final race, Hall with two seconds to count was one point ahead but Foxwell survived the squall, took line honours and runners-up prize in the process, Hall having to settle for third. Scott Room/John Carroll in a borrowed club RS Vision came 3rd in race 2, scored 6th & 4th on Sunday to secure 4th overall.
It was four wins out of four for Colin/Lauren Treadwell in the Laser 2000 fleet. David Vettergreen/Janice Smith had to retire in race 2, but ended with three seconds to count while Roy Winnett/Geoff Lambert picked up a 3rd and 2nd on Saturday and a 4th on Sunday was sufficient for third on aggregate.
Richard Stone/Catherine Gore regained possession of the Wayfarer Matkin Trophy with three pole positions in a row. There were four boats in the frame for the other top prizes. However, John Goudie/Phil Caisley won the final race with Brian Lamb/John Player second to secure second and third prizes respectively.
It ended all square in the Stratos fleet for Zack Ginnelly/Jade Van Grann and Michael/Forrest/James Cobby both with a couple firsts and seconds but the tie was broken in the favour of the former as they won the last race.
Mike Warwicker/Ben Cooper (Pacer) with two firsts and a second took the slow handicap honours but there were mixed fortunes through the rest of the fleet. Ben/Tom Brooks/Rebecca Seager (Miracle) with a 2nd, 3rd & 4th to count claimed second overall with Michael Atkinson (RS Feva) third and David/Jackie Hudson (Miracle) fourth.
Gavin Barr/Mark Skipper won the Wanderer contest with three firsts, they decided to stay ashore for race 2 which Mark Fagg/Jonathan Carter won that enabled them to claim second prize as they shared the points in the other races with Christopher Partington/Jack Skipper. Overall results/prizes
Fast handicap: 1st Contender 2347 Martin Jones 3pts (Wilsonian SC) 2nd Int.Canoe 265 Mark Goodchild 7pts (Wilsonian SC) 3rd ISO 1195 Neil Ashby/Nick Lett 9pts (Bewl Valley SC) 4th RS 800 1122 Ian Parris/Sam Proctor 11pts (Wilsonian SC) 5th Buzz 763 Stuart Bailey/Zoe Noble 14pts (Wilsonian SC)
Medium handicap: 1st Phantom 1073 Neil Lamprell 3pts (Wilsonian SC) 2nd Blaze 732 Ian Foxwell 6pts 3rd Blaze 675 Russ Hall 7pts (Broxbourne SC) 4th RS Vision 507 Scott Room/John Carroll 13pts (Broxbourne SC)
Slow handicap: 1st Pacer 2302 Mike Warwicker/Ben Cooper 4pts (Bough Beech SC) 2nd Miracle 3636 Ben/Tom Brooks/Rebecca Seager 9pts (Wilsonian SC) 3rd RS Feva 2424 Michael Atkinson 12pts (Broxbourne SC) 4th Miracle 3795 David/Jackie Hudson 12pts (Wilsonian SC)
Vortex: 1164 Jonathan Lister 3pts (Yorkshire Dales SC) 1205 Jon Steward 5pts (Yorkshire Dales SC) 3rd 1026 Phil Harris 10pts (Wilsonian SC)
3000: 1st 3603 Tony Hunt/David Bourne 3pts (Wilsonian SC) 2nd 3605 David Fenech/Alison Williams 7pts (Wilsonian SC)
Laser 2000: 1st 22115 Colin/Lauren Treadwell 3pts (Wilsonian SC) 2nd 2643 David Vettergreen/Janice Smith 6pts (Wilsonian SC) 3rd 21792 Roy Winnett/Geoff Lambert 9pts (Wilsonian SC)
Wayfarer: 1st 8288 Richard Stone/Catherine Gore 3pts (Medway YC) 2nd 9812 John Goudie/Phil Caisley 9pts (Wilsonian SC) 3rd 10201 Brian Lamb/John Player 9pts (Wilsonian SC)
Laser Stratos: 1st 44 Zack Ginnelly/Jade Van Graan 4pts (Ahoy Sailing Centre) 2nd 1005 Michael Forrest/James Cobby 4pts (Ahoy Sailing Centre) 3rd 826 Osman Yusef/Keisha/Mylie Jones 10pts (Ahoy Sailing Centre)
Wanderer: 1st 1282 Gavin Barr/Mark Skipper 3pts (Whitstable SC) 2nd 989 Mark Fagg/Jonathan Carter 6pts (Whitstable SC) 3rd Christopher Partington/Jack Skipper 7pts (Whitstable SC)