Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club’s 155th annual regatta

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WITH Team GB’s success on the water still ringing in the ears of many up and down the country, the Royal Yorkshire Yacht Club’s annual regatta was perfectly timed to follow in Ben Ainslie and company’s example.

Over the course of the week 32 boats enjoyed fantastic sailing in Bridlington Bay for the club’s 155th annual regatta, across four different classes and in three special handicap races.

The cadets’ race and ladies’ race started the proceedings on Saturday.

William Jones retained the Margaret and George Rose Bowl as the leading under-21 helm on Porkers in the cadets’ race, while Linda Dyson laid claim yet again to the House of Fraser Rose Bowl, for an incredible seventh year in a row.

Saturday also provided The Commodore and his flag officers with the first opportunity to cast their watchful eye over the fleet, with Robin Smythe’s refurbished YOD, Jesta, impressing as they won the Norman Cooke Cup for the smartest yacht.

Sunday saw racing proper begin, with 29 boats competing across four classes, among them the PY class, where Cruisers compete on handicapped times, and the club’s oldest class – The Yorkshire One Designs – which are located exclusively in Bridlington and boast a history of over 114 years.

The remaining two classes, The National Squib class and Contessa 26 class are both popular classes nationally with the Squibs offering a cheaper and more accessible option, requiring only two people to sail them competitively, while the Contessa 26s allow more comfortable sailing, with cabin and bunking room.

The largest cruiser class to compete in Regatta week for a number of years saw visiting yacht Hippie Chick enjoy close racing on the water with Starchick and Endeavour.

The three boats took a share of the ‘wins across the line’ but it was Daisy Dog which won seven of the 10 races, while Starchick and Sundance won the remaining three races.

Daisy Dog, owned and helmed by Steve Travis, won the Voluta Cup for the overall series, with Starchick, owned by Bob Wallace and Mike Kaye, winning the 1922 Roland Winn cup for winning the coastal race to Scarborough and back.

In the National Squib Class, fiveboats competed for a number of trophies available for various achievements over the course of the week.

Porkers, owned and sailed by Tony Saltonstall and Neil Orum, won five of the first six races to win the North of England Championships.

However, true to the saying ‘it’s a game of two halves’, Ghost, sailed by Gerard Dyson and Adam Saltonstall won the final the following four races of the week, leaving the two boats tied on points meaning that the result between the two boats in the final race would decide the overall winner of the Regatta series.

At 5pm on Friday the race got underway and it was last year’s winner, Ghost, which emerged successful, winning the final race with visiting squib, Grey Matter, owned by Bob Smales of the Humber Yawl YC, moving Porkers down to third.

Ghost won the Fairy Cup for the winner of the series overall and the Talurit Trophy for the second half of the week.

Nine Yorkshire One Designs competing for the Regatta series, including four of the original eight 114-year-old YODs, and the more recent addition, Patience, Y16, which was built and added to the fleet to mark the turn of the Millennium.

Day one got off to a flying start for Neil Pavely’s Iolanthe, Y6, which won the first two races of the series.

However it was Tim Rix and Mark Egglestone’s Blackie, Y1, crewed by Tim’s son Robbie, which took the rest of the week, and the club, by storm as they won the remaining nine races.

This set of results not only landed them The Royal Prince’s Parade Cup for the YOD series, but also possibly the most coveted trophy for the week.

The Commodore’s Rose Bowl is awarded for the best performance by any yacht in any class, based solely on the number of races won in each fleet, and Blackie’s achievements could not be bettered by any other boat.

And the silverware didn’t stop there for Blackie as able-crewman Robbie also won the Simon Nettleton Trophy for the best performance by an RYYC cadet, as voted for by competitors across the week.

The fourth and final class of the week, the Contessa 26s was hotly contested by six boats, with Contessa Juliet and Tessador, owned by Jeff Preece and Keith Richardson respectively, sharing the spoils over the week.

Tessador won six of the nine races over the week, leaving them as the overall winner of the series in their long-over-due return to racing following a two-year absence, while Contessa Juliet won the three remaining races, including the coastal race to Scarborough.

The final day of regatta week saw 15 boats compete in the Guy Shackles race, where all boats entered for racing are invited to take part in one mass start and race around one of the club’s pre-set bay races.

The competitive nature of the sailors was apparent as three boats were over-eager at the start, being recalled to restart.

Ghost, Porkers and Starchick set the early pace with Hippie Chick making a late charge on the second leg of the course.

Hippie Chick eventually crossed the line first, chased by Ghost, Porkers and Starchick.

On corrected time however it was Ghost which added to her silverware, with Porkers second, Hippie Chick third, True Blue fourth and First Fling fifth.

RYYC extended a huge thank you, on behalf of the Flag Officers, to all of the sponsors, including ERYC, KPMG and Lloyds TSB.

Next year’s regatta will start on Saturday, August 3.

Anyone interested in taking part, including any visiting yachts from any other club, is encouraged to contact the club office on 672041 or through www.ryyc.org.uk at the earliest opportunity.

Anyone who has been inspired by the Olympics and/or interested in general membership should also contact the club in the same way.