Whilst the weather may have been a bit damp and overcast for this year’s Rowhedge Regatta, the same cannot be said for the spirits of the Brightlingsea One Design fleet which were in exceptionally good form.
A dozen BODs came to the Bateman’s line for what was to be a closely fought and at times very tricky light airs race up to Rowhedge. Geoff Gritton, sailing C51 Grethe in Fi’s absence with a scratch crew, got off to a great start and led the fleet away from the line, but before long the experience of the old hands began to show through and Danny Fox in C8 Egret took an early lead, sailing very fast and avoiding all the usual up river obstacles to comfortably claim victory and the Marlow Trophy for 2015. Second place went to Craig Bond sailing C54 Storm Petrel in Alan’s absence. Malcolm Goodwin in C1 Jean had looked very good for second until an altercation with a mooring line just off Wivenhoe Sailing Club allowing Storm Pertrel to overtake. Celia Charlton helming C30 Sarah Louise took fourth with Mark White in White Spirit fifth.
Once of the nicest aspects of the day was the number of new crews making their first racing appearances onboard BODs. Debbie Wilby crewed for Mark Wilby aboard C75 The Mike, Marianne White was sailing with Mark in White Spirit and Emma McTiernan stepped in at the last minute to race with Gritter in Grethe.
The fleet was very ably supported by a strong fleet of tenders led by Dan King, Rob McTiernan and Kate & Billy Button. With no rescue work to trouble them the support boats focused on photos and encouragement on the way up and providing a full bar service on the way home, all of which helped to ensure a very merry day was had by all.
After a stretch ashore in Rowhedge for the traditional free beers and snacks the fleet went afloat again for the downriver race. A slight misunderstanding in communications meant that several boats missed the official start time, but with virtually no wind and just the ebb tide to carry them away from the line no one seemed to mind too much and the fleet raced/cruised in company back down river.
For those racing seriously the Ian Brown Trophy was won by Malcolm Goodwin in Jean with Celia Charlton and Sarah Louise second and Dany Fox and Egret third. Storm Petrel crossed the line in fourth but had to confess to “outside assistance” from the support boat/bar so retired.
All in all a great fun day was had by all. Huge thanks to Nick Baker and the organising team in Rowhedge for laying on another great day out for the BOD fleet. As always the sight of the massed BODs streaming upriver into Rowhedge was impressive and when the Smacks, WODs and rowing gigs were added to the mix it made for a visual feast for the spectators.
Our thanks to James Wilby, Phil Holding and Kate Button for the great photos.
Brightlingsea One Designs Upriver Race for the Marlow Trophy
1st C8 Egret Danny Fox
2nd C54 Storm Petrel Craig Bond
3rd C1 Jean Malcolm Goodwin
4th C30 Sarah Louise Celia Charlton
5th C53 White Spirit Mark White
6th C16 Dulcet Chris Rust
7th C75 The Mike Mark Wilby
8th C51 Grethe Geoff Gritton
9th, C29 Panic Graham Bridle
10th C6 Jumbo Too Tom Sargent
11th C20 Ruff Bob Richardson
12 C18 Gelesma Mike Hempstead
Brightlingsea One Designs Downriver Race for the Ian Brown Trophy
1st C1 Jean Malcolm Goodwin
2nd C30 Sarah Louise Celia Charlton
3rd C8 Egret Danny Fox