It was a busy bank holiday for the Squib fleet with sailing every day. First up was the Rice & Cole Cheeseboard Regatta on Friday. Four short races in front of the club house for the 8 Squibs that ventured out on what was a slightly damp and dreary day.
Racing was close and positions changed often as boats tested out their depth gauges against the mud trying to keep out of the tide. In the end it was Malcolm Hutchings & Ben Harden who came out on top in Lady Penelope, just 1 point ahead of Jono Brown and Chris Dunn in Squiggle and Micky Wright and Alex Porteous in 3rd place. Once racing was completed it was into the club for the all-important cheese and port very kindly sponsored by Rice & Cole!
Saturday arose with a few sore heads and it was back down to the club for the start of the Mike Flint Trophy. A few more boats had joined the original 8 and it was great to see 11 boats racing down the river to Cliff. Positions changed often through the race as the tide caused havoc around No13 and it was Robert Coyle and Marc Rawinsky in Humphrey who came out on top and sailed off into the distance followed by By the Lee (with no breakages today) and Brutus taking the remaining top spots.
The second race of the day started after lunch and on a strong tide. Despite much effort (and a number of short tacks) it became clear that there was insufficient wind to get round the course (or indeed the pontoons) and the decision was made to abandon racing.
The number of sore heads had increased slightly on Sunday morning thanks to a great Tapas evening and dancing to DJ Karn. The results for the Sunday race came down to which side of the river to go and it was Squiggle, having followed Brutus and Outlaw over to the south side who won the battle and the left the rest of the fleet battling for fourth place.
Monday looked like it was going to be a wet and miserable day's racing and numbers were down as people decided to stay in the warmth however it was probably the best day's racing and it was all to play for with a number of boats only 2 points behind the overnight leader Brutus! At the start it looked like Simon and Steve in Brutus had thrown it all away over the line with the spinnaker flying but they kept fighting back and moving up the fleet. Spoof meanwhile managed to get over their fear of the No13 mark and round it twice without hitting it (a miracle!). In doing so they were able to maintain their lead over Squiggle and Guy Fawkes and win the race.
However, it was the race behind these three where it got interesting with Brutus, Outlaw and By the Lee all fighting it out for the regatta win. As they progressed to the finish line, Brutus managed to squeeze past Outlaw and finish just one place behind By the Lee and secure the win. Final placings for the Mike Flint Regatta were - First - Brutus (Simon Griffen and Steve Howard), Second - By the Lee (Nic Tolhurst and Mel Titmus) and Third - Spoof (Micky Wright and Alex Porteous).
A great weekend to start the sailing season for the Squib fleet!