Medway Yacht Club Wednesday Evening Series 2014 sponsored by Barton Marine
A total of 25 different yachts took part in the 5th Annual Wednesday evening series hosted at Medway Yacht Club and sponsored by Barton Marine.
The series consisted initially of 9 races with 6 to count but due to 2 abandoned races was shortened to 7 races with 2 discards. As last year the fleet was varied and included a variety of fast and not so fast Cruisers plus Dragons, Sonatas and Squibs in the keelboat division.
Only one race was abandoned on the water when the wind died away completely. All yachts finished well within the time limit and a variety of weather conditions tested helms and crews. The early races were held in quite cool conditions but in recent weeks the weather has improved greatly and competitors were able to change from layers of warm clothing and wet gear to shorts and tee shirts.
This season we have trialled the new NHC handicap system which I believe has worked well – well it worked well for Musical and White Magic ! We completed 7 races and had 6 different winners and ironically the overall winning cruiser didn’t win a race. I still believe the base handicaps for some of the slower boats need tinkering and we need to bring in a rule to prevent a boat coming in to compete in one race and taking a prize when everyone else has been handicapped because of good performance. I would be interested to hear from anyone who has a view on the handicap system or can suggest any improvements.
In the cruiser division Ian Foxwell’s new boat White Magic ( Sun Fast 32i ) started slowly but their results improved during the series and despite not having a win Ian and crew sailed a very consistent series to take the Barton Cruiser Trophy. Despite a sudden appetite for mud, another new boat or at least new owners David and Vanessa Summers sailing Wild Rover ( MG346 )finished in second place followed by Tim Gorman and Dave Sussmans in The Wizard ( Dehler 34 ) which was also their first Wednesday evening series.
In the Keel Boat division and as last year the final places were a battle between the race organiser helming Musical Express (Sonata ) and Wendy Howland ( last year’s winner ) sailing her dragon Whistle. While Whistle sailed well in her last 2 races she was just beaten on overall points and Musical Express won the Barton Keelboat trophy. Tony Newcombe and Mike Webb in Thrifty finished in 3rd place.
The sponsor generously donated vouchers to the first 3 boats in each division and some carefully chosen wines were awarded down to 10th place.
All competitors appeared to enjoy the short race format which creates a pleasant midweek sail followed by supper and drinks in the clubhouse.
At the prize giving thanks were given to the Sponsor Barton Marine, the Race Officer Roger Bishop, the trot boat helms Patrick Shanahan and Colin Marshall and all crews for turning out and making Wednesday evenings an enjoyable experience.