Musical Express retains Barton Keelboat Trophy at Medway YC Wednesday evening series.
With 2 bullets in the last 2 races Musical Express, a Hunter Sonata helmed by Mike Harrison and extensively fitted out with Barton products won the trophy for the second year running. The boat has been crewed during the series by Bartons M D Paul Botterill and they were joined for the last race by Paul's son Liam.
The last race of the 9 race series was held in a pleasant light force 2/3 Westerly, at least for a time, but the wind swung to the south with some interesting shifts where considerable gains were made if you were on the right side of them. A downwind start saw Booty a Stewart 39 over the line which took some time to get back against the ebbing tide. Musical started well and managed to get away from the chasing pack with Whistle ( Dragon ) recovering from a slow kite hoist not far behind. A brace of Dehler 34's and Wild Rover MG 346 followed, with Silver Lining ( Sonata ) in its first outing, sandwiched between them. Also out for the 1st time was Breeze (Squib) bringing up the rear.
Musical managed to hold the lead to the downwind mark buoy 27 and benefited from the tidal gate leading the fleet upwind to buoy 29. However halfway up the beat Booty powered through. There was then another downwind leg to buoy 27 before the beat home. Unfortunately due to a change in the wind this led to a fetch with most boats completing the course without another tack. While this meant few place changes it pleased the crews who otherwise would have been short tacking in the shallows.
Whistle eventually overhauled Musical on the final reach to the club line with Valkyrie ( Dehler Optima ) undertaking both boats to finish before them, but Booty took line honours. On handicap and in the chocolates were Musical, Whistle, Valkyrie and Booty. Falaise ( Dehler 34 ) decided on an early bath but all credit to Breeze who kept going and managed a finish well within the time limit.
The prize giving followed with overall sponsorship prizes awarded to the first 3 boats in each class and bottle prizes awarded down to 9th place overall . The Barton Cruiser trophy was awarded to Valkyrie and the Barton Keelboat trophy awarded to Musical Express.
Thanks were given to the participants and crew for taking part, to Barton Marine Equipment for sponsoring the series and to the organisers and trot boat drivers for turning out each week without whom the racing could not take place.
In conversation Mike expressed his satisfaction with the Barton products fitted to the boat particularly the kicker and ball race mainsheet track system which had added to the boats overall performance and ease of sail trimming..