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Cadet Alf Simmonds Memorial Trophy at Plymouth Youth Sailing

by Alice Thorogood, Lorna & Sean Nee, Angela Cox 9 Apr 07:42 PDT 4-7 April 2024
Cadet Alf Simmonds Memorial Trophy in Plymouth © Paul Gibbins Photography

If this weekend's Alf Simmonds Trophy told us anything about the UK Cadet Class it is that it is on the up; fifty entrants, four spanking new boats, three fleets and one new squadron joining the Cadet Circuit. Its just a shame that the weather didn't quite play ball!

For over a week we have been carefully studying the weather and refreshing our wind apps on an hourly basis with an increasing sense of doom, but our sailors are a hardy bunch who don't give up on even the smallest window of opportunity to sail. So, on Thursday morning we descended on The Mountbatten Centre for the first of our World Team Selectors, The Alf Simmonds Memorial Trophy hosted by Plymouth Youth Sailing and kindly supported by RED Paddle. This was an important event for the Class, not just because it was a selector, but it was also an opportunity to get to know the waters of our 2024 World Championship and instil a little of that home game advantage.

Thursday was all about training and at 20 knots gusting 25 it was a chance for our sailors to experience the top end of the conditions we go out in. We were grateful to Plymouth Youth Sailing who pulled some strings and organised for our regatta fleet to train within the relative calm of the river. These less experienced sailors still had shifty challenging winds to contend with and for those of us watching from the warmth of centre it was clear to see that this was an exciting and useful training session thanks to Ex-Cadet turned coach Sarah McEwen, Frensham SC.

Gold and Silver fleet, lead by head coach Alex Page and Plymouth University sailor Ethan Davies headed out to the bay. It was an impressive sight, 37 Cadets battling though the waves, with crew and helm working together to keep upright.

As we once again turned to our weather apps on Thursday evening, that window for racing seemed impossibly small, but we have a great team behind us at the Cadets. Our race officer, Bob Wainwright AKA Arky, has seen it all before and working alongside our safety officer Toby Davidson, the excellent team at Plymouth Youth Sailing and Mountbatten Centre a plan was hatched to get our sailors to the start line.

Rigged and ready, the AP went down at midday and Al McEwen of Frensham SC with his launch team of wader clad parents helped both fleets down the slipway, Gold and Silver heading back to the bay and Regatta making use of the track set up for them up the river. As welfare lead for the weekend I took some time to chat to a few of the younger crews on how they were feeling about going out; these sailors never fail to amaze me, whilst the noise of the flapping sails was unquestionably making the adrenaline flow, there was a huge sense of excitement in the dinghy park and a confidence that had definitely grown out of the previous days training.

Thanks to Ex-Cadet and now Cadet dad Dom Stanislaus stepping up as race officer for the regatta fleet turning yesterday's training ground into today's race track

Sean and Lorna Nee from Frensham SC were out on the water with the main fleet:

Race 1

Race 1 started in a strong 25 knot South Westerly and into a lumpy, choppy sea. It seems the pin end of the line was slightly favoured and Tom and Annabelle Shephard 9994 won the pin end but were closely followed by Monty Hampton and Wilf Kingsnorth 7231. The first beat saw all the teams getting to grips with the sea state and figuring out the incoming tide that was flowing from left to right across the course.

Monty and Wilf in their brand-new Synergy Marine Cadet rounded the windward mark first and were looking very fast in the big breeze, clearly all the training they have been doing was paying off. They were followed by George Cox-Olliff and George Letts 10128 in another brand-new Synergy Marine Cadet and Amelie Whitehouse and Maddy Sherwood 10076. Monty and Wilf took advantage of a massive gust and shot away from the rest of the fleet on the downwind and were leading by over half a leg by the bottom mark.

On the next upwind, saw Monty and Wilf still leading. Amelie and Maddy had moved up into second position. But this was about to change.

Unfortunately for Monty and Wilf and Amelie and Maddy, they both missed the spreader mark on the downwind leg. With much shouting and gesticulating from the following pack (we help each other out in the Cadet class) Amelie and Maddie turned around and headed back upwind to correct their error but it was too late for Monty and Wilf who had already sailed off into the distance.

Monty crossed the line almost a leg ahead of the next boat and was awarded first place as no boats had actually protested him for missing the spreader. In true gentlemanly fashion and in what makes our sport and the Cadet class so special, Monty went and saw the race officer later that evening and asked to retire from the race as he had realised that he hadn't correctly sailed the course. Bravo that man!

Rhona Enkel and Sophie Ringland 9982 had done a great job to work their way up the pack and crossed the line second followed by Gwen Thorogood and Primrose Denny-Pickess 9985 in third.

Race 2

The wind intensity and direction were the same as the first race so Arky - the Cadet class's fantastic race officer, was giving the mark layers a very unheard-of break and the course was left as it was.

Monty and Wilf had another great start and were leading at the windward mark again. They were followed by Tom and Annabelle in second and Amelie and Maddy in third.

The runs were difficult with the big winds and lumpy seas and three out of the top ten ended up capsizing on the gybe mark.

The front three all kept their nerve and their positions never changed (they even sailed the correct course!). First over the line were Monty and Wilf, followed by Tom and Annabelle with Amelie and Maddy in third.

Race 3

The wind had eased in intensity down to 12 knots but still from the South West so another easy race for the mark layers. Arky wasn't messing around and wanted to get 4 races in so the sequence was started promptly. Sam Nee and Isabelle Davies 9028 with Oscar Bush and Harriet Walker 10003 has good starts at the pin end and went left.

The favoured tactic for the day was to head left to stay out of the channel and current and then judge when the best time was to come back across the channel on port and around the windward with the least amount of starboard tacking into the incoming tide.

Sam and Isabelle seemed to get this almost right and rounded the windward mark in first, followed by George Little and Charlie Jones 8533 and Alex Enkel and Jude Baldock 10012 in third.

Sam and Isabelle, having capsized in the first 2 races were making amends and extended their lead on the second beat to the windward mark. Alex and Jude moved up to second and Monty and Wilf had climbed to third.

Final positions over the line were Sam and Isabelle, second were Monty and Wilf and third were Alex and Jude.

Race 4

Another cracking start by Tom and Annabelle and the fleet headed off to the left hand side of the course. With the tide now slack it was anyone's guess what side of the course was going to pay.

Sam and Issabelle decided to go left again - very far left - and even though they ended up reaching in to the windward mark, (allowing for current that was no longer there) they just managed to round in first but hit the mark in doing so. A quick 360 and they were down to 5th. George and George had a fantastic first beat and rounded in second with Dylan McArdle and Lewis Walker 10121 in third.

At the gate, Dylan and Lewis were leading followed by Gwen and Primrose who had made up places on the run.

Amelie and Maddy took the lead on the second windward leg and were followed by Dylan and Lewis and Sam and Isabelle.

Not sure what happened on the last downwind leg but Sam and Isabelle managed to finish first, Tom and Annabelle crossed second and Rhona and Sophie finished in third - was there a banana involved?

Angela Cox From Fishers Green SC reporting for the Regatta fleet:

Friday 5th April the saw 13 Regatta Fleet Cadets take to the water in what can only be described a challenging forecast!

Race 1 saw Frensham & Fishers Green duo Jenna Berry/Daisy Cox 8333 make a clean start followed closely by rivals Charlotte Noram-Topham/Miles Hardy 8427 and hotly tipped Hugh Voysey/Hannah Muir Wood 8855. The fleet worked hard, battling for position all the way up the beat, with both Anna Thomas/Amelie Pedley 7279 and Paige Davidson/Livia Cesari - Wrigley 8521 showing excellent form in the early stages. Then came the tactical decision on how best to launch spinnakers in a stiff breeze, and with coaches Sarah and Alan on stand by to encourage the fleet it was race on and a well deserved first position for 8333.

Race 2 saw it all to play for, with Olivia Stamp/Sebastian Baer 9043 and Immy Sherwood/Evie Buddy 8403 making an early decision to go low, a decision which paid dividends in a breeze that was starting to shift and build. A number of capsizes ensued with Bruce Ward/Benjie Russell 8513 retiring after a promising start. The leaders piled over the finish and a well deserved first for 9043 (young crew Seb didn't stop smiling the entire time despite the challenging conditions).

Race 3 and finally the sun came out, but with no sign of the wind abating and the fleet reduced to only 8 boats it was now sugary snacks and determination that saw 8403 vying for a podium position against 9043 from the get go. The fleet split in half and a tough race against increasingly challenging conditions. A fantastic win for 8403!

Race 4 and with the weather closing in RO Dom made the correct call to push ahead and all boats made a clean start on the whistle. This time it was Imogen Bush/ Vivienne Letts 9026 giving 9043 a run for their money with Tom Stoddart/Maxwell Stanislaus 9964 continuing to hold their line in challenging conditions. Overall a fantastic race event for our regatta fleet and an excellent result for our podium winners: 1st - 9043; 2nd - 8403; 3rd - 8855.

Saturday saw the safety teams hopes high and after an early morning meeting, the class WhatsApp rang out confirming that the window of opportunity remained ajar, and the class should muster for racing. For those of us still sipping coffee in bed (yes me) this made for a hectic start to the day and there were many a "bed head" hair do sported in the dingy park while we rigged.

Arky headed out into the bay, pasty in one hand and anemometer in the other only to return to raise the AP and with Storm Kathleen settling in for the weekend, an end to the sailing side Alf Simmonds trophy.

For the grounded fleet this was a great opportunity to explore Plymouth and spend some time together - work hard, play hard is an old adage that we take seriously.

It was a real treat on Saturday evening to have the opportunity to listen to Ex-cadet Sailor, Conrad Humphries tell of his journey from Cadets to Vendee Globe. For someone with such a list of achievements under his belt, Conrad is an exceptionally humble guy and our sailors thoroughly enjoyed his inspiring talk. Its amazing where sailing a Cadet could eventually take you!

Four races, leaves us under a lot of pressure for our next selector in Brightlingsea at the end the month. Class Chair, Frank Thorogood hopes to extend the sailing in Essex to make sure we have a 10-race series under our belt, allowing the cream of our fleet to rise to the top and return to Plymouth in the summer to sail for their country.

The wonderful thing about a home World Champs is that, more than any other time, the pressure to get into the "World Team" has slightly eased, with the majority of our young sailors looking forward to representing team GBR either as part of the "World Team" or in the open "PROMO" fleet. Having seen what our UK Cadet sailors have in the tank this weekend I feel confident that team GBR will make a real impact at the 2024 Worlds in Plymouth this Summer!

Are you and ex-Cadet, or would you like offer support to the 2024 World Championship? We have lots of opportunities.

Or what about popping £10 in the coffers and adding a message of support to the 2024 World Championship Souvenir Program? gofund.me/a818d1d6

Follow all the Cadet action:

Overall Results:

PosFleetBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
Main Fleet
1stGoldMay Contain Nuts9994Tom ShepherdAnnabel ShepherdFrensham Pond SC32‑927
2ndGoldMorwenna7231Monty HamptonWilf KingsnorthSouth Cerney SC(NSC)1258
3rdGoldRacing Stripes9982Rhona EnkelSophie RinglandWaldringfield SC1‑157311
4thGoldTwocan9985Gwen ThorogoodPrimrose Denny‑PickessWaldringfield SC24‑11612
5thGoldJoint Effort10012Alexander EnkelJude BaldockWaldringfield SC7‑93414
6thGoldAurora10076Amelie WhitehouseMaddy SherwoodFrensham Pond SC63‑15716
7thSilverHypersonic10128George Cox‑OlliffGeorge LettsBrightlingsea SC / Waldringfield SC56‑10819
8thGoldTeen Spirit8533George LittleCharlie JonesFrensham Pond SC4125‑1721
9thGoldBluefin9367Ned FairhurstSamuel EnglishFrensham Pond SC‑17561122
10thGoldBoombastic10032Hettie ThorogoodClementine Denny‑PickessWaldringfield SC118‑12928
11thGoldPushing It10001Kemmel ThorogoodGeorgina LoaderWaldringfield SC97‑131329
12thGoldShe Who Dares9028Samantha NeeIsabelle DaviesFrensham Pond SC(RET)301132
13thGoldMatador9984Tom KrailingElla EdwardsWaldringfield SC‑201481638
14thGoldJungle is Massive9673Zachary WindibankAlice BoddyFrensham Pond SC813(SCP)1839
15thGoldExotic Blue9212Aron KerreCedric MannaertsBZYC (Belgium)1018‑221240
16thSilverVortex10055Daniel RinglandJoshua BoothWaldringfield SC141018(DNC)42
17thGoldSamurai10051Thomas WinandRenee IserbytRoyal Yacht Club Belgium‑2211171543
18thGoldMaster Mariner8352Jemima McMorrisHarriet DaviesSouth Cerney SC121616‑2544
19thGoldHurricane10121Dylan McArdleLewis WalkerWaldringfield SC1619‑211045
20thGoldEnigma10003Oscar BushHarriet WalkerWaldringfield SC23(RET)42350
21stSilverHydrosphere8447Benjy BullockOscar WardSouth Cerney SC15‑26142150
22ndSilverThunderstruck10094William HancockHenry YatesSouth Cerney SC2517‑261456
23rdSilverHot Rocks8845Monty SlumpFrankie SherwoodFrensham Pond SC1821‑302261
24thSilverSorcerer9983James BaileyJasper BushWaldringfield SC132329(NSC)65
25thGoldGood Vibes10092Alexander McEwanHarry MurphyMcKieFrensham Pond SC19(RET)192967
26thSilverWaveRider7274Joshua DavidsonRosie HancockSouth Cerney SC(RET)20282068
27thSilverUtopia8529Mia StanislausSophie BaerFrensham Pond SC242424‑2672
28thGoldZat Bowt9754Willemijn CammaerHannelore CammaerRoyal Belgian Sailing Club27‑29271973
29thSilverHammerhead9631Dominik McArdleZoe ThomasWaldringfield SC / Rickmansworth SC2125‑362773
30thSilverAzure9080Teya BrezanKyla BrezanSouth Cerney SC26‑27232473
31stSilverRoadrunner9042Kali KaraskasFreya CobbWaldringfield SC(RET)22312881
32ndSilverAeolus10002Ava StoddartSophie StampFrensham Pond SC2828‑353288
33rdSilverArgy Bargy9159Gregory BoddyJames RichardsFrensham Pond SC293132‑3492
34thSilverSpectre9321James VellacottOliver WalkerWaldringfield SC(RET)DNC253093
35thSilverNever Look Back8537Mimi WindibankRose LittleFrensham Pond SC3032‑343395
36thSilverZephyr10006Mave Parry‑ShieldAlvy JonesFrensham Pond SC / Fishers Green SC32(OCS)333196
37thSilverTrue Colours9301Emily KrailingClara VellacottWaldringfield SC31(RET)DNCNSC107
Regatta Fleet
1stRegattaEl Nino9043Olivia StampSebastian BaerFrensham Pond SC‑61214
2ndRegattaShadowfax8403Immy SherwoodEvie BoddyFrensham Pond SC‑42136
3rdRegattaFlirting With Danger8855Hugh VoyseyHannah Muir WoodFrensham Pond SC233(RET)8
4thRegattaSizzerin' Hot8333Jenna BerryDaisy CoxFrensham Pond SC / Fishers Green SC1‑5449
5thRegattaToo Risky8427Charlotte Noram‑TophamMiles HardyFrensham Pond SC34‑5512
6thRegattaFast Forward9026Imogen BushVivienne LettsWaldringfield SC‑986216
7thRegattaMischief and Mayhem9964Tom StoddartMaxwell StanislausFrensham Pond SC‑777620
8thRegattaMoonraker8556Noah SauvenGeorge DearsleySouth Cerney SC898(RET)25
9thRegattaHi‑Velocity9215Isobel StampMargarita MoshchenikovFrensham Pond SC116(RET)DNC31
10thRegattaGnat8521Paige DavidsonLivia Cesari‑WrigleySouth Cerney SC5(RET)DNCDNC33
11thRegattaDi Maggio8513Bruce WardBenjie RussellSouth Cerney SC10(RET)DNCDNC38
12thRegattaBlue Rose7279Anna ThomasAmelie PedleyRickmansworth SC12(DNC)DNCDNC40
13thRegattaTop Notch9232Kyla BrezanNancy KingsnorthSouth Cerney SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC42

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