Adrian Lower (Royal Burnham YC Commodore) and David Smith with an all-star team aboard a Swan 48 Snatch have won the Town Cup – Burnham Week’s most celebrated award. Burnham Week also included the 707 National Championships which was won by Team Sea Word from Royal Northern & Clyde YC.
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For the first time ever, entry to the Town Cup was opened up to all yachts rated under IRC/SER (0.890 and above) this year, instead of the traditional IRC Class 1 yachts only. Not surprisingly, this resulted in a surge of interest and some exceptional competition.
A moderate west-north-westerly, close reach start made for a lively sail particularly for those who battled with spinnakers during the opening stage of the 38-nautical mile Town Cup course. As the wind swung round to the north there was a bit of an autumnal chill in the air and, as it built to 26kts in the gusts exciting times were had by all.
Having returned to Burnham fresh from her win at the Swan European championship and completion of the Fastnet Race, Team Snatch was on top form and reveled in the tight fetching course. Commenting on the win, Adrian Lower said “We are absolutely delighted to have finally won the Town Cup. It is our first season in the boat but because all 12 of us, including five nippers under 25s from the club, have sailed together for most of the season the boat handling was superb, which was key to our win. We had 20-30 degree wind shifts, so it was a case of constantly trimming and changing gear the whole time rather than trying to tack on the shifts.”
As they sailed back up river, Team Snatch were welcomed home in true Town Cup spirit by well wishers keen to steal a glimpse of the winners as they crossed the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club finish line. Although Team Amazon were unable to defend the Cup, they were delighted to have retained second place overall in the Town Cup, and secure an overall win of the IRC Midweek Series for Gaydon Cup.
The 707 class returned to Burnham Week to contest its national championship. The 12-strong fleet, made up of teams from across the UK, enjoyed an interesting 12-race series in testing conditions on the River Crouch. Racing was close throughout with results going right down to the wire. Andrew Marshall and team from Royal Northern and Clyde YC sailing Sea Word sailed an impressive series that included four straight wins, and won the event from Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham members Paul Gray and team (Beaver Hunter) in second, and Richard Bavin and team (Racehorse) third.
Commenting on his 707 national championship win, just before hitching up and driving 450-miles home to Scotland, Marshall – winning helmsman said: “We’ve come second a few times but never quite won it. It was great that it all came together this time. We thought there would be a real tidal/local knowledge advantage here but it has turned out to be a really fair event, with lots of place changing. We generally sail in the tidal Clyde so we are fairly familiar with the tides but we really like it here in Burnham and we’ll definitely be back.”
Other notable winners:
- Class 5, Midweek Series for the Harry Crocket Bowl. Won by Roger Noble, Stephen Gosling, Andrew Courts aboard Grace and Danger took the Midweek Series for the Harry Crocker Bowl
- Class 5, Saturday’s Penrose Fitzgerald Cup. Won by Paul Drew and team on Harvest Moon.
- Class 6, Midweek Series for the Claxton Jug. Won by Richard Moore and team on Spring Chicken.
- Class 6, Roach Trophy overall vicotyr. Won by Len Cole abord Amanda Louise
- Squib Class, Sonny Cole Salver, Paul Tucker Tiller, and the final Saturday’s Burnham Week Bowl. All won by Malcolm Hutchings and Jackie Tracey aboard Lady Penelope
- Dragon Class, Midweek Series for the Valhalla Cup. Won by Michael Holmes aboard Hands Off
- Dragon Class, Week Points Series for the Sidney Sabin Cup. Won by Rob Campbell aboard Beauty and the Best
- Dragon Class, The Daily Telegraph Cup. Won by David and Lynn Brown aboard Storm
- RBOD Class (Local one-designs Royal Burnham and Royal Corinthian), Midweek Points Series for the Wilson Sanderson Memorial Cup. Won by Nick Geeves and Mike Shields on RB11 Onyx
- RBOD Class, Lards Cup. Won by Chip Cole on White Rose
- RBOD, Champion Of The Week. Team Mandarin sailed by the Dallimore Family.
The Burnham Week prize giving ceremony took place at Crouch Yacht Club with Ron Pratt, the Mayor, presenting the Town Cup, David McNeill, Town Clerk, was also present. Team Snatch celebrated in style and in true traditional spirit filled the cup with bubbles, and paraded it around the Town visiting most clubs and pubs on the way.
The remaining trophies were presented by Duncan Haley (Commodore Crouch YC), and Jo Barker (Chairman Joint Clubs Committee). In her closing speech, Barker reported that over £1,800 had been raised for the Essex Air Ambulance through the sale of Burnham Week polo shirts kindly donated by Dave Smith at Dewhirst Group.
Activities around town culminated with a grand fireworks display to mark the end of the 2015 Burnham Week festival.
For results, and further event information, go to www.burnhamweek.com