Cookham Reach Open Meeting - Sunday 17th April 2011
Whilst the dominating high pressure did nothing for the strength of the wind, it did persuade 29 boats to enter this year’s Craftinsure Silver Tiller Event for the Cookham Shield . The Officer of the Day, David Phillips, had no alternative except to postpone the start allowing the competitors more time to prepare for the challenge ahead and enjoy the hospitality of this most welcoming of Thames sailing clubs.
The fleet was split into four flights and finally released from shore for the first race. However such were the conditions 13 boats did not finish. The flight winners were 1079 Passing Cloud – Richard Harris and 1097 Flinkidink – Mike Stephens.
The Officer of the Day and his team were given a real challenge throughout the day and for the second race after lunch re-sited the start line. Conditions were still testing, but whilst the wind direction was variable, the strength was definitely improving. As a result only two boats did not finish. 1079 was again a winner with the other start being won by 774 Quiver – Martin Hunter. They were followed by 3702 Salmon en Croute – Duncan Salmon and 1097- Mike Stephens
The safety boat crews were having a pleasant restful time but were brought into action with a dismasting and a bizarre capsize by 3650, Lawrence Tosh crewed by his son Joe. The excuse was that the helm wanted to adjust his racing flag! Despite this, 3650 was still able to take part in the third race.
Race 3 had the most wind of the day with the northerly bias allowing spinnakers to be flown on the downwind leg. The challenge for the OD was now trying to guess for how long he could keep the race going in the late afternoon when the wind could suddenly fail at any time. The flight winners were 1079 and 774 followed by 1097 and 3702 respectively.
Throughout the day and in each flight there had been close competition with everyone having experienced their own disaster or bit of luck. The final results were very close.
The Peter Flanagan Trophy (kindly donated by his widow, Christine, and to be awarded to the highest placed Cookham boat):-
3645 Blue Velvet – Jeremy and Jo Deacon.
The Cookham Shield:- 1st 1079 Passing Cloud – Richard and Harry Harris. Tamesis SC. 2nd 774 Quiver - Martin Hunter and Jack Tosh. Thames SC. 3rd 1097 Flinkidink – Mike Stephens and crew. Tamesis SC. 4th 3702 Salmon en Croute – Duncan and Harriet Salmon. Wembley SC. 5th 3088 Shenandoah – Andrew Harris and Francis Gifford. Tamesis SC.
Report : Richard Cartwright.